Food as a love language


I recently read an article where the author described her Grandfather as conveying his love through food. Food was his love language.

I had heard this expression used previously, but the meaning had never been clear to me.

Until now.

We each express our love for people in different ways. Some people express love by giving things, others by physical contact, and yet others through words. Apparently, there are five love languages according to Greg Chapman, the author of books on the subject, who describes love as the ‘food’ for future emotional health. This love is expressed in five ways:  physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service.

Food as a love language would therefore be the giving of food as a gift to others. A gift that is given without an expectation of something in return. A gift that is considered, prepared and relinquished with a selfless generosity.

My children once described me as a feeder. I was horrified. The reference was to the constancy of food at every occasion, the offer of certain foods at a meal, or a second helping if more was available. When people visit, when an event is celebrated, when time is spent as a family on a lazy afternoon – there is always food.

But I am not a “feeder”. I give food as an expression of something far more important than nourishment itself. I give it to nurture those I care for.

I realised that I have always done this. I learned this love from my mother, her mother and indeed my whole family. I learned this language before I could speak. Food is our love language.

Gary Chapman “the 5 love languages”


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