Do you know the five love languages? In his bestselling book, The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman explains that people show love and receive love in one of five ways: through words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Though I identify with all five, I wasn’t surprised to learn that my primary love language is words of affirmation. After all, I am a writer and make my living using words.
He goes on to say that many people marry someone with a different love language.
The result is often frustration: what one person does to communicate love is not received as such by the other person, and how one spouse expects to be shown love is not what his or her partner typically does. This results in two people in love, showing their love, but not feeling loved.
The solution is to express love in the way our spouses will best receive it, by speaking their love language—not our own.
Dr. Chapman extends this concept of love languages to God in his book God Speaks Your Love Language: How to Feel and Reflect God’s Love. Unlike people who primarily use one or maybe two of the love languages, God excels at all five.
Though he shows us his love in all five ways, we might not perceive all of his various grand expressions of love but only those that align with our primary love language.
What we receive best from him matches our love language, which is different from other people, so don’t compare yourself to them.
In response to God’s perfect love for us, we respond by showing him our love through our primary love language. That means my preferred way of showing God love may not match yours. That doesn’t imply either of us shows God our love in a wrong way, just a different way.
He receives all expressions of our love.
Then armed with a better understanding of how God shows his love to us and how we confirm our love to him, we can love others in a more effective and God-honoring way by using that person’s love language.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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