Book Review XXIV: The Love Languages of God

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The tragedy is that people who choose not to love are never happy people.
Their lack of love hurts not only the other person, but it atrophies their own souls.

In God’s eyes, we are His children and He loves us as we love our own children. Since we are created in His image, we are capable of receiving and giving love. In fact, only God’s love can make us truly happy. In general, there are five love languages of human. God can communicate His love to us in 5 different ways and we can express our love to Him in 5 ways too.

1.) Words of affirmation
God constantly affirms His love for us and encourages us.
People whose primary love language is words of affirmation often express it in preaching His word and singing praise.

2.) Quality time.
God loves speaking to His people and desires to draw near and spend time with us.
People whose primary love language is quality time often express it in prayer and meditating upon His word.

3.) Gifts
God is the great Giver. He gives life and provides daily necessity. He even calls us His children and gives us spiritual gifts. Some of His blessings are reserved for His children whereas some others are for everyone. People whose primary love language is gifts often find joy in giving to His work and to other people often beyond expectation as a sign of thanksgiving to God.

4.) Acts of service
Love makes us willing to suffer for the people we love. Lord Jesus proved His love by dying on the cross for us. Mother Teresa is an example of showing love through acts of service too. In the Old Testament, God’s act of service is shown through answer of prayer, healing and deliverance from enemy. In the New Testament, we see Lord Jesus healing the sick, calming the storm, casting out demons, raising the dead.

5.) Physical touch
For those of us whose primary love language is physical touch, we can always feel God’s presence and the manifestation can even be physical. In the Bible, we see God wrestling with Jacob and Moses’ face glowing from His presence. Lord Jesus touched the children and blessed them, touched the sick and healed them and even washed the disciples’ feet.

A couple may sincerely love each other. However, they may not connect emotionally to each other if they do not speak each other’s primary love language. How do we discover our primary love language? We can ask 3 questions to ourselves: How do I most often express love to other people? What do I complain about most often? What do I request most often? To discover our love language to God, we can ask ourselves the same three questions: How do I most often express my love to God? What do I most often complain to God about? What do I request of God most often? By knowing our primary love language, we can better understand ourselves and other fellow pilgrims.

After discovering our primary love language, we can express it in different dialect.
– The dialects of word of affirmation include giving thanks to God for simple things around us, for people, for our body, praising God with or without music, privately or corporately, or even by writing love letter or poem to God.
– Some dialects of quality time time with God include having daily quiet time with God or having a walk with God. No matter how busy we are, a heart that longs for God will find a place and time.
– Some dialects of gift giving include giving money, food, drink, clothing, shelter and even encouragement.
– Some dialect of act of service include cooking, building and volunteering in a ministry; using whatever talents to serve others.
– Some dialects of physical touch include touching the sick, those in prison and nursing home, touching others while praying and hugging.

Real love includes discipline. If we love, we will correct. There two important points in discipline: 1.) we are most likely to rebel against the discipline of God when our spiritual love tank is empty. 2.) God’s method of discipline relates directly to our primary love language, it strikes us at the deepest possible level. However, at the same time, God’s discipline isn’t always in response to our behavior. Discipline can be His effort to direct our sincere effort to serve Him in a more productive manner too. God’s discipline may include: when He withdraws His blessing from us if it distracts us from God, when He withdraws His presence from us due to sin, when He chooses not to heal us of our sickness, when He redirects us from one ministry to another ministry. An example of discipline: "God gives good gifts to His children but only when He knows they are ready to receive them."

God’s love prevails much: it enables one to overcome the walls of apartheid, to choose His mission rather than personal mission and even to sacrifice own life for Gospel’s sake. While humans love those who love them, God’s love is unconditional: He loves us even while we are sinners. He is both holy and loving. He offered us forgiveness of sin through Lord Jesus. His love enables us to love Christians and even those who persecute us.

God fluently speaks these five love languages. While it is easy to express love using our primary love language, it will take time and effort to speak the other 4 love languages. God designed us to live in community. Learning to express God’s love in all five love languages will enhance our usefulness in His family and in reaching out to the world.

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Posted August 24, 2014 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Book Review, Gary Chapman, Love

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