At a ladies Bible study I’m teaching, We Saved You A Seat by Lisa-Jo Baker on finding and keeping lasting friendships, I made mentioned to the ladies that the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman had come to my attention on three separate occasions recently. First, it was the study topic of the marriage retreat we went on at the end of January/beginning of February. Then just a few weeks ago, unknown to me, Will wrote an article about the 5 love languages that was published in the school newspaper. And lastly, it was brought up on the DVD part of our Bible study on one of the first nights. When God tells you something three times, He is definitely trying to get your attention. I felt as if God was speaking to me on the importance of the 5 love languages in finding and keeping relationships, regardless of the type of relationship. Since then, He has continued speaking to me and I thought I’d share some of it with you.
For those of you unfamiliar with the 5 love languages, Gary Chapman explains in his book by that title that people tend to feel and show love in 5 different ways - acts of service, gifts, touch, words of affirmation, and/or quality time. He goes on to share how we can completely miss showing love to our spouse, family, friends… because we tend to show love according to our preferred love language and not the other person’s language. It takes a choice, a conscious effort, to learn the primary love language(s) of those closest to us and then love them in the method they need to be loved in order to fill them up. To learn more about the love languages, or to take the test to see which one(s) you score higher on, visit www.5lovelanguages.com.
Anyway, my thoughts were originally based around how Jesus shows us love using the 5 love languages. However, as I began studing, God led me in a different direction. He took me to the first notable visit with Jesus after the night of His birth when the wisemen traveled to see Him. The Bible says in Matthew 2:11 that the wisemen first fell down and worshiped Him. In doing this, they showered Him with words of affirmation. Then they presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh; three very special and expensive gifts. The time these men spent with Him was certainly some of the best quality time ever. The extensive journey for them to reach Him was an amazing act of service in itself. The Bible doesn’t specifically say, but I have to imagine that there was a special greeting and/or goodbye that involved the act of touch as well. Possibly a kiss to the forehead or to the back of His hand, as it is my understanding was commonplace in that day and time. The Bible speaks of acts of touch in greetings and goodbyes such as that of David and Jonathan kissing as they departed in 1 Sam 20:41. Laban kissed and hugged Jacob when they greeted in Genesis 29:13. Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, and 1 Thessalonians 5:26 all refer to greeting one another with a holy kiss. So, more than likely all 5 love languages were presented to Jesus in this one encounter by the wisemen.
If this was the case then, shouldn’t we be so wise with our interactions with Him today?!
How then can we best present Jesus with the 5 love languages?!
Words of Affirmation - Much like the wise men did, we can fall down and worship Him. We too can shower Him with words of affirmation, just as they did so many hundreds of years ago. In doing a quick search at biblegateway.com, I found 56 verses that contain the phrase, “sing to The Lord”. Paul specifically tells us in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” During worship time on Sunday morning, so many people just stand up and never move their lips. We have to lift up songs of praise to Him, raise our hands, fall on our faces, and worship Him.
Gifts - We might not have a way to personally present Him with physical gifts today, but we can present Him via the church with our physical gifts such as tithes, or via love offerings to other Christian ministries and missionaries. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” Matthew also talks about taking care of the least of these in Matthew 25, that anything you do for those less fortunate, that you also do to Him. We must move past our self-centered ways and give graciously and cheerfully.
Quality time - The two best ways that we can spend quality time with Jesus, is in prayer and studying The Word of God. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing”. We should be in constant conversation with Him. Paul also tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” In order to be able to rightly divide or correctly teach God’s Word, we have to be diligent in our studies. We have to first know His Word before we can be able to present ourselves approved to Him and teach His Word with truth. It’s so imperative that we spend time talking to Him and learning The Bible.
Service - There are so many ways to serve God that there is no possible way I could mention them all here. In Romans 12 Paul says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” I don’t think we generally think of presenting our bodies holy as a form of service. However, it is, the Bible says it is our reasonable service. Reasonable is fair, it’s nothing special, or out of the ordinary. It is our service to be a living sacrifice. This might be one of the greatest forms of service we can actually do. Service should also come from the use of the spiritual gifts we have been given when we surrender to Jesus as our savior. 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 gives us guidance on spiritual gifts, such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and love. Paul says in both 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 that these gifts, though differing for each person, are meant to be used together as one body for God; giving preference to one another, for the profit of all and not to just benefit ourselves. Luke 16:13 gives clear warning about our service saying, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” If we become selfish and only use the gifts for ourselves, we are clearly not serving God. This is something we need to be very careful to watch for. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” We must keep our eyes on the cross and the perfect example that Jesus has set for us to follow in service, as is demonstrated in John 13 when He washed His disciples’ feet. One other thing to watch for in service is that, at times, we label people as too old or too young to serve. This is not the case at all. In Luke 2:36-38, the Bible speaks of Anna who was of a great age, 84yrs old, and she served God with fasting and prayer. No matter your age, God has a plan and purpose for your life which includes service that edifies Him and profits all.
Touch – We cannot physically touch Jesus today, but we can spiritually touch Him when we partake in any of the above love languages. As mentioned above with gifts, Matthew 25 speaks of whatever you do for the least of these you do unto Him. So, by touching others out of His love and compassion, you touch Him. Maybe it’s a simple pat on the back, a handshake, a hug, a held hand, holding and comforting someone. All these things you are doing unto Him.
It’s my hope that as you learn more about the 5 love languages, you will seek to spend time in giving this love to Jesus. After all, He is love. The only reason we can love is because He first loved us - 1 John 4:8 & 19. I encourage you to take the time and effort to learn the love languages of those family and friends that are closest to you, and then make the choice and commitment to show them the love that they so desperately need. This can’t be a once or twice thing. It has to be a lifelong sacrifice for the other person. In doing this, it will fulfill them and make for lasting relationships that transcends this earth and reaches Jesus, bringing Him honor and glory! Love more!!