Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. – John 4:8
Most of you know the marriage book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, written by Gary D. Chapman. It is still a top-selling marriage book and has been around for almost 20 years. It explains that each one of us have primary ways of feeling loved, and we receive and show love differently based on these five languages. Some through gifts, acts of service, affection, quality time, and words of affirmation.
The reason it is important to understand our own love language, and those of our spouses and people close to us, is so that we can receive and give the kind of love that counts!
I for example can tell you that my least favourite love language is physical touch. I have never been a very cuddly, huggy person. Give me a fist pump and a pat on the back and I’m good! This is a big challenge for me, because half of my family, including my hubby need a lot of affection to feel loved and it’s sometimes really hard for me to hug or give a smooch, when it just doesn’t come naturally to me. My primary love language is quality time. If I get one on one time to talk your ear off, I’m like a skipping preteen at a Boy Band concert. This, however, doesn’t come easy to my husband, so it is often hard to feel fulfilled when conversation is not his strong suit.
The most difficult thing about speaking different languages is that often the one trying to show you love, their way, is often missed because our focus is on our primary need. So, how does this affect our relationship with God?
Sometimes, because of our narrow love focus, we can even miss God’s affections towards us.
God has always shown His affection towards me through quality time together. Time spent reading my bible and praying. Lately, it’s been so silent and so dry that I have been grasping to stand firm on the knowledge that God loves me.
When I have been feeling insecure about God’s feelings towards me, I have to remember that God is always loving me and sometimes it’s showing me through his other love languages. Gifts, encouragement, favour and so much more.
If different expressions of love is true to humanity, can it be true to God too?
So often in the churches and with Christians, there are debates about what pleases God. Our words of praise, our acts of service in the church and for others, our affection in worship, our gift of tithes, or our quality time in prayer. Some preachers will emphasize worship, some will do a tithing message over and over saying THIS is the key to reaching God’s heart, others will preach that prayer, prayer, and more prayer is what will show God that you are serious about him.
The truth is, is that God IS LOVE, and God receives and gives love in many forms of expressions (languages).
In our limited capacity of giving and receiving love, we usually have a primary love language. God doesn’t. In fact, many of us miss God’s affirming love towards us, because he is expressing it in a way that we may not understand.
We are to search for God, we are to seek his love. Which means it won’t always be right in front of us in the language we understand, but he promises it’s there.
For example… If Gifts are our love languages, then we praise God when we are given a raise, or a significant material thing that we have been longing for. God loves to give good gifts to his children, but what happens when the money-well is shrinking and we are in a season of financial burden? Does that mean that God has stopped loving us?
Of Course not. Seek his love elsewhere.
Here are some, and of course not only, way that God shows his love for us.
Gifts – James 1:17 – Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…
Quality Time – Psalm 16;11 – You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand are pleasures forever more.
Affection – Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Words of Affirmation – John 10:27 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Acts of Service – Psalm 37:4 – 5 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
God is always showing His love towards us. Can you stop today and ask God to show you his love gestures that you have been missing.