Growing Love in Your Kids at Christmas


Guest post by Dr. Tim Elmore

Love. We probably talk about this concept more today than ever before, but actually practice it less than ever. At least in the way God intended us to do so. We find love in movies, romance novels, in Hallmark cards, on YouTube, and on bumper stickers. At Christmas time, especially, love is promoted by stores to push sales, and by cinemas to sell tickets. We all love the idea of love!

But how do we practice it on the people we are closest to — like — in our home? Sometimes, the hardest people to love are not the strangers we meet out shopping, but our own family members.

Try this simple idea.

Sit down at dinner one night and talk about “love languages.” You may be familiar with the concept. Author, Dr. Gary Chapman, introduced it to us in his 1992 book: The Five Love Languages. After many years of counseling, Dr. Chapman noticed a pattern: Everyone he had ever counseled had a “love language;” a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. He also discovered that for whatever reason, people are usually drawn to those who speak a different love language than their own. The 5 love languages are:

1.     Words of Affirmation (Speaking words of encouragement, favor and belief)

2.     Quality Time (Spending focused time just sharing with another person)

3.     Physical Touch (Holding hands, offering a hug or a squeeze to express affection)

4.     Deeds of Service (Finding ways to serve someone by doing something for them)

5.     Tangible Gifts (Providing some tangible gift that the other person appreciates)

Allow each family member to discuss which of these is their favorite. Then, have each family member write down their name and what their top love language is. Then, divide them up secretly. Each person should have the name of someone else in the family. The assignment is this: Each person must find a way to “speak” that love language to the person they drew. The following week, talk about what happened.

Then discuss: How could this be a regular practice in our family, and not just at the holidays but year round?

“If someone says ‘I love God’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (I John 4:20)

Join us tomorrow at Eric Bryant’s blog as we discuss ways to develop faith in your kids (and maybe yourself!) during the holidays.

Tim Elmore

You can follow Tim Elmore’s personal blog at, and learn more about developing the next generation in his latest book: Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future.

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  • Of course this is my favorite in the series so far – I know – I know – you are surprised, right?
    It's important we understand our children's love language so we can communicate it well to them!
    Great post – great series! THANKS!

    • I think I need to add another language for my son Marcus. Morsels of goodness. If you take the boy to eat at a nice restaurant, he purrs like a kitten. 🙂

    • Thanks, Tami! It is important that we understand our children so we can teach and lead them well. Appreciate your feedback.

  • Craig Evans

    Love this post. I have 4 kids and they all have different love languages. This reminds me I need to be more intentional about how I love each of them.

    • Craig — Thanks for your comment. Thanks for taking the time to invest in your 4 kids and being intentional with them. That's neat you're getting the opportunity to implement the love languages with your kids.

  • Tim, unexpected pleasure to find you on Maurilio's site. Great post, and congrats on the latest book.

    Maurilio, now I'm really impressed with your bolg!


    • Thanks, Lawrence! I greatly appreciate your feedback and encouragement. Hope you're doing great!

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  • Sally Epps

    I love Generation iY. So happy to see Dr. Elmore here.

    • Thanks, Sally. I love Generation iY, too, and my heartbeat is to lead and invest in them well.

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  • Thanks for hosting this blog as part of my parenting blog tour, Maurilio! It is greatly appreciated and I am honored you would take a post to host me. Thankful for your friendship.

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