Nearly twelve years have passed since my hubby and I got married. It’s hard to believe when I open a carton of eggs that that’s how many years we’ve shared since we said “I do.”
One of our wedding gifts, those dozen years past, was a copy of “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. I can’t remember who gave us the book, but I do remember quite clearly a few eye-opening moments it held for me.
The main takeaway from this book is that every one of us expresses and experiences love in different ways, through our own unique combination of the five “love languages”; gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, and quality time. In other words, some of us experience more love from a hug (physical touch) than we do from a kind word (words of affirmation). Some of us feel more loved when our husband cleans out the bathroom drain (acts of service) than when he buys us a bouquet of flowers (gifts). Just me?
I learned a lot reading this book (despite the subtle, yet undeniable cheese-factor) and it has genuinely helped me to love and recognize love in all types of relationships —not just my marriage. However, I felt from the very first read that there is a love language most certainly missing from the book.
A sixth love language.
A missing love language.
The lost love language.
If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you may very well be able to guess where I’m heading.
Yes, I declare that I’ve found the lost love language, and every so often I even get the chance to claim it.
When someone asks me “what is your love language?” I invariably laugh and answer: “FOOD!”
I love a good joke, perhaps even more than the next person, but this response of mine is not only in jest. In truth, food is my love language!
I love growing it.
I love cooking it.
I love eating it.
I love offering it to others.
I love sitting down and enjoying it with family and friends.
When someone I love looks up at me from a bowl of tomato basil bisque or a piece of pumpkin pie and says, “YUM!” I feel almost giddy—feeding people is loving them the best way I know how.
And food for me is not a one-way . . . treat. I love receiving food as much as I love giving it!
I’m not a great hunter’s wife (the whole thing kind of freaks me out), but when my hubby comes home with a gorgeous turkey for our Thanksgiving feast, that’s pure love, baby. Especially since I take no part in the plucking, gutting, or salt brining 😆 !
When I think back on my childhood, food was always a main source of love for me. My mom was always baking bread, roasting a chicken, and canning jam on the stove (often at the same time, wonder-woman that she is). All our birthdays were marked by our very own “birthday pie” and at the center of every holiday was a spread worthy of a cover photo on Bon Appetit. But these fancy feasts weren’t even when I felt the most love from my mom by way of the kitchen.
In high school, I was very involved in choir and theatre which, among other things, means that I had to stay late after school pretty much all year long. I was always but always hungry as a teenager, and I looked it too. After a long day of school I was truly ravenous. My blessed mom would bring me an early dinner almost every day to school before my rehearsals, which I would proceed to inhale in the car before running into the gym or choir room.
To this day, those car dinners rank among the best meals I have ever eaten. I’m certain that this is purely because of the love that was faithfully put into those tinfoil-covered Tupperware, day after day.
My favorite was chicken pot pie. On especially rough days, when my mom knew I really needed some comfort food, she would bring me a huge container of her homemade chicken pot pie. I wish I could share the love with you all and reach through your tablet screen to give you a bite of this homey goodness. Even now in my thirties, when I’m having a rough day —when I’m sick or fed up or exhausted— I crave my mama’s chicken pot pie.
I remember my teenage friends coming to the window of the car from time to time, gawking with mouths open at whatever feast my mom had brought me that day. “My mom brings me a bag of chips, and you get a whole chicken pot pie! Your mom must love you more than mine does.” Often, my mom felt so bad for all the other deprived kids at rehearsal that she’d bring freshly-baked treats for my whole choir or cast.
If that ain’t love, than I don’t know what love is.
But it took me years of claiming food as a “lost scroll” love language (if you will) to realize that food is NOT a sixth love language at all! It was never missing, it’s not lost, it’s not found, because . . .
FOOD IS ALL FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES IN ONE!
1.) Food is a GIFT. We give food as nourishment and enjoyment at special occasions, to people in need, or just for the joy of it.
2.) Food is an ACT OF SERVICE. We spend a lot of time and effort acquiring, preparing, and serving food to our loved ones. And then, of course, there’s cleaning up afterwards!
3.) Food eaten together is QUALITY TIME. That is, if we take the time to sit and eat a real meal together. You know, a meal served on . . . dishes.
4.) Food eaten together invites WORDS OF AFFIRMATION through dinnertime dialogue. After all, conversation is the perfect pairing to a good meal.
5.) Food can even facilitate PHYSICAL TOUCH. Of course, saying grace over the meal takes care of that right from the beginning . . . but hand-holding across the table is also a commonplace occurrence for a couple dining out. Also, hugs upon arrival and exiting a dinner party are as commonplace as “please pass the salt.”
This all makes me wonder (as the chronic over-thinker that I am) if this could possibly be why the sit-down dinner is so effective at bringing and binding a family together. It makes me wonder if this is why the classic, stand-by date night choice is to enjoy a nice meal together; why the “wine and dine” is the ultimate romantic experience.
Could it be —even without our realizing it— that the reason we often center our relationships and celebrations around food is that every one of us feels loved (each in our unique way) when we sit down at the table to share a beautiful meal?
I believe it is!
So, give us this day our daily . . . LOVE!
Cheers to feasting together, talking together, laughing together; loving each other!
Cook up the Thanksgiving Feast with us this week: Early-Bird, Make-Ahead THANKSGIVING DINNER SKILL SCHOOL!
Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~