When I was home visiting my family in Wyoming for the forth of July, my mom surprised me with a gift she had picked up weeks before I had arrived. She was so excited to give it to me and so giddy. Her eyes always light up with so much life when she has a fit to give. She calls these "I love you gifts." It is a tradition that I have carried on into adulthood. If you know my mom she has a sweet, gentle, kind, and childlike spirit.
Her gift was a book called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. She loves giving me gifts even though that is not my primary receiving love language. She is very thoughtful in trying to give all 5 love languages to my brother and I. I am grateful that she thought of me enough to pick up the book for me because most likely I would have missed out. It was a good read and if you are looking for a self improvement or communication book I suggest starting with it. (There is a link below to purchase the book online in case you want it).
This book gave me a lot of insight about myself and my current relationships with others. These last few months, I started to think more purposefully when dealing with people in general and this book helped keep me on that path. What I say to others (Ephesians 4:29-31) and my actions towards others (Ephesians 4:32) . Are my actions intentional or do they have purpose? Am I just being tossed around in the waves of life? Am I being a true woman of God? I have been thinking a lot about these things, but it has been good and I have had so much growth in doing so.
I gave myself a challenge and it is being proactive in ways that I can give people what they are so desperately wanting. This could be as simple as conversations or interactions at work, home, in public, church, relationship, etc. that ultimately fulfill one if not more of a person’s love languages (this doesn’t mean compromising my morals or values).
Just ponder this thought for a moment as you continue to read. What areas can you work on in your life or what people in your life would benefit from purposefully trying to meet someone’s love language?
Digging deeper into what the 5 love languages that Gary Chapman writes about shed light into a whole new perspective I didn’t think of before.
What if we apply the 5 love languages to our relationship with God? What would that look like?
The 5 love languages are as followed:
This love language is for people who prefer the words of affirmation. For example, hearing "I love you" and other compliments that align with what they value most. Words hold value within all languages and for some people this is what makes them feel like they are loved. Personally, this is the way I receive love from others (and time). Having the assurance from my boss that I am doing a great job makes me feel appreciated and eager to push harder for success. Knowing that my family or partner is pleased with me as well makes me happy and have the assurance I need to feel like I am receiving love the way I need.
Additionally, negative or insulting comments cut deeply and are not easily forgotten, but they are forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15).
The biggest lie that I was told as a child was "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." I really dislike that I was taught that because it is so far from the truth. I have broke multiple bones and I would rather take a broken bone any day over a broken heart. Before God brought healing and understanding of grace and forgiveness into my life, words of those who had hurt me would echo in my head and the torment of the past often crippled me from growing into the woman God made me to be. It seemed like no escape from the hurtful things people had said to me. Words do matter, even if it is not your love language you can do a lot of good and a lot of damage to the ones you love. So with words our self-image and confidence is built through compliments and verbal praise. A person feels loved when people know what is important to you. Tone of voice is very important to people with this love language. Knowing how to properly receive and give this love language can change relationships vastly!
People with this love language value being together and doing things together. Focusing in on one another is the best way to show love for these people. If this is your love language, you want your friend or spouse to give you undivided attention and do meaningful activities with you. This includes quality conversation, hobbies, sports, etc. Knowing how to give time to your loved ones or significant other is important if this is their love language. It is worth investing in because the quality of your relationship will skyrocket.
If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship start by being present. Find out what your partner or loved one enjoys doing. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but plan time to do that activity. If it is music take them to a free concert, if it is a sport hit some balls at the driving range or shoot some hoops. Quantity time over quality time is key here. Consistency is what is needed.
I love when people have a willing heart to serve God with me. This is one way I receive love other than words. It is something that is so dear to my heart. My parents taught me that community service was never a punishment like most people who get into trouble experience, but that it is our duty as part of the community to be involved in making it a better place. I’m so grateful for that. I think this is why it is one of my passions and why it comes first nature for me. Find that passion and help it blossom in your relationships!
Some people receive love in the form of gifts. These gifts don’t have to be expensive to send a powerful message of love. They can be purchased, found, or made. Just like my moms tradition of “I love you gifts.” These gifts can be literally anything that reminds you of the person or simply remembering something they wanted and surprising them.
Spouses who forget a birthday or anniversary or who never give gifts to someone who truly enjoys this love language will find themselves with a spouse who feels neglected and unloved. This can also include the gift of your presence during a crisis or when they need your support most.
This got me thinking about how much impact on the divorce rate there would be if people knew more about their partners love language before they got married. Even a step further, how their partner's love language has changed over the course of their marriage. Add children to the mix how much it changes then.
4. Acts of service
Loving someone whose language is “acts of service” requires time and creativity. Acts of service need to be done not out of feeling burdened or forced but with delight in order for the acts to be perceived as a gift of love. Here are some examples: cleaning someone’s house, running an errand or favor, doing tasks without being asked, being willing to help out in needed areas, etc.
Parents can relate to this one easily. If you have kids it can be a task juggling work schedules, sports practices, school, charities events, home life, etc. Helping your spouse or parent manage these tasks can really show your appreciation and love for people whose primary love language is acts of service.
This form of love language is felt with meaningful touch. Some people feel the most connection and receive love when they are being touched. Having the transfer of energy is another way to look at this. Finding a healthy balance of touch is important to give as a spouse and as a parent. Teaching the appropriate type of touch and the right time and place is also important with this love language.
Some examples of touch can include hugs, shoulder massages, leaning against the other person, holding hands, etc.
My goal is to incorporate all 5 love languages in my relationship with God’s creation and with God in a daily basis. I am so excited to the fruit the Holy Spirit will bear by doing so (Galatians 5:22-23).
John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." I realized how purposeful God is at using love languages with us. It is written in so many places in the Bible.
I thought about this for a while. God shows us how he is continuously purposeful with love language with his creation, so it intrigued me to start doing the same thing in my relationship with my creator. In everything I started being purpose driven.
How I convey my love language of words with God to build my relationship with Him is through prayer, singing worship music, and/or speaking truth. There is purpose behind my words that I have put into action (Hebrew 4:12).
How I show my love language of time with God is by being purposeful and proactive with my time. This can be spending time in prayer, studying the word, serving in the areas he tells me to go, basically being intentional with my time with God.
How I show my love language of gifts to God is by using my spiritual gifts to help build His kingdom. This is important because God has give each of us talents (Matthew 25:40) to use for His glory and benefit His creation. By holding back our spiritual gifts, we are not experiencing the full capacity of our relationship with God and others. By using our gifts for God’s glory, this is an act of worship and another way to honor who God created you to be.
There are three main passages describing the spiritual gifts in scripture. Romans 12:6–8, 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 are the main passages that identify spiritual gifts and what they are. The spiritual gifts that are identified in Romans 12 are prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and mercy. The spiritual gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 include the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. The spiritual gifts explained in 1 Corinthians 12:28 includes healing, helps, governments, and diversities of tongues. Each role is important in the growth of our faith and the kingdom of God.
If you would like to find out more information about your spiritual gifts, click the link below to take the test.
4. Acts of Service
How I demonstrate acts of service to God in the form of love language is by loving His people (John 13:35) and serving in the areas that need it whatever that may be (1 Corinthians 10:31). There is nothing we can do to earn our way into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9), but acts of service are important because they show our reverence, respect, build His kingdom, and demonstrate thankfulness for what Jesus did on the cross (John 3:16). Because of how thankful I am for what Jesus did for me and all of you, my heart has the passion and desire to serve God with so much joy. It is one way I am able to worship Him in more than just on area of my life.
This love language is more difficult to give to God since we do not see Him in physical form daily. This doesn’t mean that He is not present in our everyday lives or that He doesn’t reveal Himself in different ways to us. We can touch the lives of others and in doing so touch God’s heart (Luke 6:31; Matthew 5:16; Romans 11:36). For example honoring him in our daily actions, thoughts, deeds, etc. This could be through prayer, serving people or animals, sacrificing our wants for a better purpose, there are so many ways to show this love language depending on the person He created you to be.
I hope this information has given you ideas to ponder and explore. I hope that you. Can apply some of this information to your lives and benefit from it greatly. I love you all and I want nothing more than for you to have blessed, abundant, fruitful, laughter filled, holy lives.
Let me know now how these love languages have changed your lives if you take on this challenge. Remember be purposeful with your your life! You weren’t created to be mediocre! God has plans and a future for you (Jeremiah 29:11)!
My Prayer for you
Father, I pray over all your people. That you fill us with your Holy Spirit. That you make us purposeful with our time. I pray for awakening in our relationships with others and in our relationship with you. I ask that you comfort those who are struggling and give them your peace. Your burden is light and your love is great. Help is trust you with all areas of our lives and give us revelation of the paths you want us to walk. Thank you for all you do!
In Jesus name we pray! Amen
Link to the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman:
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman