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Affection, Love Languages, & Gender Differences In Marriage

Affection can be defined as tender feelings of love expressed to another person. Notice there are two parts to the definition:  (1) tender feelings of love and (2) expressing those feelings to another person. Marriage is a learning process and we are to learn from each other about how to give and receive affection. You will need to teach your spouse about what things are most meaningful to you. One way to do this is in terms of the five basic ways people give or receive love, or  “love languages” (words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch). As a couple, you can help meet each other’s basic need for love by learning, and then speaking, each other’s love language.

When two people come together in marriage, they will discover they have things in common as well as many differences.  One of the best ways to prevent Satan from gaining an advantage with us in this area is to work to acknowledge, understand, and appreciate these differences and then submit ourselves fully to Christ. One particular area of difference is that men and women generally receive love in different ways. A husband is called to “love his wife even as himself” (Ephesians 5:33), which coincides with the primary need of women to be loved. In contrast, the instruction to women to “reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33) supports the need for godly order and for men to perceive they are trusted, admired, and respected.

Further information on showing love and respect to each other through the various ways men and women interact in marriage can be found in the full document.

For Further Information:

The Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Brains.
This short article provides a good overview on key differences between male and female brains[]

For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women
Authors: Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn
This 208-page book provides much helpful information to any husband and is a practical guide on how to listen to your spouse.


For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
Author: Shaunti Feldhahn
This 224-page book deals with what women need to know about the inner lives of men.


The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
Author: Gary Chapman
This book is very helpful in teaching couples how to best communicate and express love to each other. The author describes five primary “love languages” and shows how people tend to both give and receive love in different ways.