What's your love language?
In 1992 Gary Chapman published The 5 Love Languages, originally titled, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. In this book Chapman outlines five ways to express and experience love between romantic partners.
In the last 10 years, we've expanded the understanding to include how we accept love in the relationships that are most significant to us. If you don't know, here's a brief description of each of the love languages:
1. Words of Affirmation: This love language expresses love with words that build up your person.
2. Acts of Service:This love language expresses itself by doing things that you know your person would like.
3. Receiving Gifts: This love language isn’t necessarily materialistic. It just means that a meaningful or thoughtful gift makes your partner feel loved and appreciated.
4. Quality Time: Undivided attention;if you value quality of time you want to be the center of attention. You want your person to look at you and you only.
5. Physical Touch: You feel more connected and safe in a relationship when you're experiencing physical contact.
(Originally posted on Crated with Love)
Do you know which is yours? If you're not sure, there is actually a quiz you can take: here.
Everyone enjoys each of these displays of affection at some point, but everyone has a primary language that, for them, makes them feel the most connected with their partner and really with all of their most intimate relationships.
I took the time to take the quiz:
I'm not surprised by the results, I live alone so I value human interaction. I know this about me and God knows this about me too.
This is also why I feel closest to God when I set time aside to be in His presence. When I dedicate that 15 minutes before my day or when I've gone through my day and at the end of it I feel drained, I take the time to seek out my Heavenly Father and He restores me. He meets me and He loves on me the way He knows I accept love, in addition to providing for me, blessing me and telling me how much He loves me. God loves me completely, just like He loves you.
Hebrews 11:6 says,
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
If you want God's love, you'll find it how you need it, because God loves you that much. He loves you so much that He can acknowledge how you feel loved and show up in your life to prove it - in addition to sending His son down on the cross so that we get the choice to live an actual eternity in that love.
Yet, sometimes that love feels inaccessible. Why?
Have you ever been in a situation where someone liked you more than you liked them? Romantically or platonically, has there ever been someone who just went above and beyond, but you just weren't feeling it? Or more specifically them? You weren't reciprocating their feelings so, their actions didn't mean that much, even if it meant the world to them.
That's how we get with God sometime. He literally died for us, he pursues us, He goes out of His way to prove that not only does He want our attention, but that He loves us more than we will ever truly comprehend. Yet, we can sometimes feel that we don't have access to His love because we haven't learned to properly reciprocate it. We can acknowledge that He's good, even that He's good to us, but He still feels far away.
Because the most successful relationships are built on the shared experience of that relationship. In other words, we don't know God's love language, so we don't properly reciprocate His feelings, which then makes His feelings feel less significant to us.
So, what is God's Love Language?
Just like we can find descriptions of His character in His Word, we can also find how to reciprocate His love. Let's go back to Hebrews 11:6, we know that He rewards those who diligently seek Him, but we have to Believe Him first. God accepts our love through our belief in Him. We have to have faith. The scripture literally says that it is impossible to please Him without faith. Do you truly believe that God is who He says He is? Do you believe His Word? If you do, then you will obey Him.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments."
John 14:15 (KJV)
God accepts our obedience as reciprocal love. Obedience to His Word and His will for our lives.
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."
Matthew 25:40-45 (KJV)
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these."
Mark 12:30-31 (KJV)
We love God by loving others. God accepts our love by how we show His love to others.
"If a man say, “I love God,” and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
1 John 4:20 (KJV)
God knows us very well, and so He has made it easy for us to understand Him, by telling us exactly how we can reciprocate the love He so generously gives to us.
To truly accept His love where you can feel His love, the key is to reciprocate it, just like in other healthy relationship.
Learn your love language, then learn God's.