Special Forces soldiers, families learn love languages
February 28, 2014
DESTIN, Fla.- Special Forces soldiers and families gathered to learn the "5 Love Languages" during a three-day retreat held at the Sandestin Resort on Florida's Gulf Coast beginning Friday, Feb. 14.
Members of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) participated in the retreat led by the group chaplain, Capt. Todd Ramey, as part of the Army's Strong Bonds program.
This Strong Bonds program helped soldiers and spouses of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), many whom experienced multiple combat deployments in recent years, understand how to thrive in their marriages and resolve problems using Dr. Gary Chapman's "Love Languages."
Ramey's teachings during the seminar centered on lessons included in Chapman's bestselling book "The 5 Love Languages," and his concept that each person has a particular "Love Language."
When a couple initially falls in love, there's a period of time where faults and bad habits are overlooked, said Ramey.
"Eventually you got to move on but the problem is...you start to realize stuff and things start to creep up and things start to creep into the relationship. You start having these little arguments and you don't know how to deal with those things," said Ramey.
Spouses, according to Chapman, communicate better and solve problems when each understands and speaks the other's "Love Language."
A "love language," says Chapman in his books, can be any combination of physical touching, gift giving, communicating with meaningful words, performing acts of service and spending quality time together.
At the beginning of the program, participants were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire to identify what "love language" that best resonates with them.
After learning what "love language" they communicate in, soldiers and spouses learned about the details of each language from lessons taught by Ramey and Capt. Ishmael Serrano, the group support battalion's chaplain, using instruction, games and play-acting.
"Love at some point, has to be a decision. It has to be a choice where we say 'hey, I am going to love you,'" said Ramey. "You realize 'hey, I can't just love them based on all this feel-good stuff.' You start to realize that this love is going to take an effort."
Soldiers and their spouses were then treated to date night on Valentine's Day evening as their children enjoyed childcare offered as part of the Strong Bonds program. Later in the retreat, families joined together on the beach for games and an obstacle course.
The retreat concluded as Ramey spoke about the "love languages" children and teenagers use to communicate with each other and their parents - concepts also championed by Chapman in his books "The 5 Love Languages of Children " and "The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively."