I'm Not Speaking Love Languages

I do a lot of marriage counseling. Hardly a week goes by that I am not confronted with a couple in marital crises where one of them tells me about what love language their spouse is missing, or how their love cup/tank runneth dry. This teaching is found in popular self-help marriage books like Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages (hereafter 5LL).  These concepts have so infiltrated the church that virtually every couple in trouble is aware of some aspect of them. Some even come with lists of ways their spouse does not meet their emotional needs.
In his book, Seeing with New Eyes, David Powlison states, “The core premises of 5LL are simply false” and I agree with him. This methodology sets up a “give to get” mentality within marriage, and places enlightened self-interest at the forefront of marital interaction. It removes the obligation to love one another selflessly as a response to receiving Christ-like love.
Like other books that integrate psychological thought with Christianity, 5LL places emotional needs before spiritual ones and elevates the desires of the heart to places of prominence.  In this paradigm, everything is focused on how my spouse can and should meet “my needs.”  
The love-language paradigm ignores the fact that our hearts are idol factories and human beings will always choose self-worship and demand others worship them before selfless worship of God. The truth is, our “needs” are a never-ending stream of selfishness, self-focus, self-worship, and self-satisfaction that no human being can ever satisfy. 
As a Biblical Counselor, I must be able to clearly (and biblically) articulate the problems found in troubled marriages, and then be able to correct wrong and sinful beliefs as I train my counselee’s in righteousness.
I do this by focusing on Christ’s love languages of grace, mercy, unconditional love, forgiveness, selflessness, sacrifice, repentance, and faith.  This list is clearly incomplete but the rest are easily found within the chapters and books of the greatest love letter ever written, The Bible.  I point my counselees who are in the middle of marital messiness to the Word of God for answers and direction, and not a self-help book.
If you are presently looking for help with a marriage problem, I urge you to find a biblical counselor who will rely on Gods sufficient Word to help you with your problems.