Is it just me or has the ‘love language’ become a Christian version of a Zodiac sign, a way to size one another up with a small amount of information. I can just imagine a Christian singles mixer where a gent approaches a lovely women, hands her a class of red punch and says, ‘so what’s your love language?’, excuse me, barf! We let it define us, (‘I’m a time person’) and worst of all we let it define marriages. But please let me stand tall from my soap box and implore to you that God has something much richer than a list of attributes with the label words, time, gifts, service, or touch.
However, I do believe the concepts Gary Chapman has defined in his 5 Love Languages books can teach us about communicating love to one another. Since love should be the defining characteristic among Christians, let’s dive in ,remembering that while God has set apart the marriage relationship from all others, only Christ promises that He can fill us until our cup runneth over.
Words of Affirmation
It was one of those winter nights perfect for curling up next to the fire, yet there we were starting a 10 hour road trip at 8 p.m., with the threat of a blizzard in front of us. Yep it’s one of those moments we’ll file in the ‘young and stupid’ category. Three hours down the road, we hit the front of the blizzard and within a half hour it was a struggle to see the road. This was going to be a long night and from my post at the wheel I would reach over and nudge my future husband awake just to hear him tell me what a great job I was doing. Ahhh, now I could drive a few more miles.
I think this is what most of us think of when considering affirming words as a love language; compliments, encouragement, and general niceties, but often where words count the most is in the midst of conflict. Scripture points us toward ‘For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks’ Luke 6.45, and never is this more true than when tensions are high. However, the loving mate will turn away anger with well thought out soft speech, we’ll dive deeper here later in the month, but it’s worth considering love next time tempers rise.
Love does not makes requests nor demands. In day to day life it’s easy to cut to the short hand of “I need ____ from you”. It’s hard not to feel like a buzz kill after a few such demands. However, requests “Would you be able___” of your spouse do what love does best, puts the other person first, and how can you not feel loved when your spouse is continually putting your first?
Our hope through this series is not that you can better define your love medium, but that you may better recognize and rejoice in the love that you have been given.