In 1995, Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. In the book, Chapman outlines five ways to express and experience love, which he termed "love languages".
I’ve always believed in the principle that the way you show love is the way you feel loved and the way you feel loved is the way you show love. I saw this principle vividly displayed in my own life.
Let me give you an example.
One of my love languages is food (Chapman would categorize it as an act of service). I feed people I love. I love taking the family out to dinner or barbecuing them a meal. It is my expression of love.
I think I know how this language developed.
When I was a boy, my father took me to see the Baltimore Colts and Johnny Unitas play the Los Angeles Rams in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It was raining cats and dogs (an old person’s way of saying that it was raining really hard).
Because of the rain, my dad parked the car in the parking lot instead of at a friend’s house near the stadium. My dad didn’t like to park in the lot because it took so long to depart.
So, instead of fighting the parking lot traffic, my dad bought me a hamburger, French fries and a root beer and we sat in the car and ate our sumptuous repast. It was one of those moments that I felt loved and cared for by my father. I believed it influenced me greatly.
My mother also loved to cook for our family. I am sure it was her love language.
Over the next few weeks, I will share some thoughts about the love languages.
Let me leave you with one final note. Some believe that there is no room for psychology within the Church. Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. I think that learning things about humans through observation and study can be profitable. I don’t think we should accept all the conclusions and remedies offered by the field unless it conforms to Scripture.
The Lord tells us to observe things in His world like the behavior of ants that store for the winter and learn from our observations.
I embrace the love languages as legitimate observations of human behavior from which we can learn.
More to come and something to think about…
I. Words of Affirmation
A. Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
B. Proverbs 25:11 “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.
C. Words of affirmation are powerful.
D. Some people feel loved when they receive words of affirmation.
E. Some people feel like they are expressing their love when they affirm the one they love.
- Thank you, you are always so helpful when I have a need.
- I love your hair that way.
II. Quality Time
A. Ephesians 5:15-16 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making
the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
B. Quality time means giving undivided attention to your significant other.
C. Some people feel loved when they have face time with their significant other.
D. Some people express their love by giving quality time with their significant other.
- It’s having dinner without the TV on.
- It’s sitting and sharing from the heart.
III. Receiving Gifts
A. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
B. God showed His love by giving the incredible gift of His Son.
C. Some people feel loved when they receive a gift.
D. Some people express their love through gift giving.
IV. Acts of Service
A. Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give
His life a ransom for many.”
B. Jesus showed His love through acts of service.
C. Jesus supreme act of service was His death on the cross.
D. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
- He showed love through his acts of service.
- He served his family well.
- That’s my love language for Reine and my family.
V. Physical Touch
A. Genesis 48:8-10, 14 “When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, ‘Who are these?’ 9Joseph said to
his father, ‘They are my sons, whom God has given me here.’ So he said, ‘Bring them to me,
please, that I may bless them.’ 10Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not
see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them… 14 But
Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and
his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn.
B. Israel touched his grandsons with a kiss and embrace and then he placed his hands on their
heads to bless them
C. Love is communicated through a significant touch
D. Some people feel loved when they receive a significant touch
E. Some people express love with a significant touch.
Something to think about