1 John 2.3-5
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"Oh . . . well, her love language is acts of service, definitely not gifts; she isn't into gifts--greeting cards either." This is what a husband said to me about how his wife receives and feels love. The Five Love Languages,1 an insightful book about how people feel best loved, has helped a generation better understand and communicate love to those who matter. [what are the love languages? you ask. Simply, they are: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.]. As I fly across the country right now, I have a novel thought: What is God's love language?
Do you think he has one? I mean, do you think there is some way we can express our love for God in a way that is most pleasing to him? I believe so.
Hmmm, does God really need or want our love? While our love for him certainly will not add anything to who he is, making him any greater or more loving than he already is . . . he definitely wants each of us to love him. What's more, he has invited us into a loving relationship with him-a love which goes both ways. He made the first move by loving us first! Paul said it: God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.2
Does God have a love language? He most certainly does.
John, who called himself the one who Jesus loved, seemed to understand love more than the other disciples, [perhaps he had a high emotional i.q.?3], so he explains God's thinking on love in 1 John chapter two: And we can be sure that we know him (God) if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 1 John 2.3-5, NLT
Simply, God's love language is love, which John linked with obedience. We recall that when Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, he said the first was: Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this, Love your neighbor as yourself.4
We are on the eve of the holidays ~ a wonderful blessed time of year, certainly my favorite time ... but a time when some will feel un-lovely and alone; when others forget to lead with love because they are overwhelmed with busy-ness - we must love well. People will be short tempered, some will be sad, but we can extend a hand of generosity.
What does love look like from God's perspective? This song says it so well:
...If You could show me in a picture If I could see it from Your view, Would it be something I could run to Or would it look a lot like You? Maybe it's a Father working through the long night Maybe it's a Mother trying to raise her kids right Maybe it's a prayer on a long drive home Maybe it's a soldier fighting on the front line Maybe it's a preacher laying down his own life Maybe when You gave Your Son to die That's what love looks like And now I am learning how You love me . . .5
Give a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY0pvb_BCaA
Love changes things, love gives people hope, puts a smile on their face.
Love is the only spiritual power that can overcome the self-centeredness that is inherent in being alive. Love is the thing that makes life possible, or indeed, tolerable.6
God's love language is love - so let's love him, and let's love others!
After all, there is nothing ordinary about a human being you will encounter along the way. I love this take from C.S. Lewis, brilliant man:
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are in some degree helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."7
Because God's love language is love ... simply love, let's lead with love ~
Obeying God, because he linked obedience with love
Loving those at home, because second to loving him, he asked us to love others
Offering kindness to strangers, for that is love
...on the airplane, on the highway, at the market, at the gym.
Because with God, we can express love to all,
p.s. I tore my bicep muscle while in Israel and will be having surgery Monday morning 11/25; will be back as soon as possible!
1 - The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman
2 - Romans 5.8
3 - Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry
4 - Matthew 22.36-39
5 - "What Love Looks Like", Among the Thirsty
6 - Arnold Toynbee
7 - The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis