Years ago, reading Gary Chapman’s ground breaking book, The Five Languages of Love, changed my relationship with each of my children. Gary Chapman discusses 5 main ways of showing and receiving love: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. Although it’s important to meet all five, most people will feel loved if their primary and secondary love languages are met.
My two children who were the easiest for me to understand were the ones that perceived love the same way I did—through words of affirmation and physical touch. My “quality time” child also didn’t take much effort because that’s my third language. However, my “gift” child was a real challenge. I often had to pray and ask the Lord what to “get” her. I used to get frustrated with her when she was little because she was always asking for “things.” But when I became aware that her Love language was gifts, I started remembering the myriads of times she had used her B-day money or allowance to buy things for others.
I was thankful I didn’t have an “acts of service kid”. But looking back, I realize I was continually serving my family—so maybe I was learning that language all along.
This year, I feel as though I am taking “acts of service, course II”—not only with helping family, but also in other ways God is challenging me to “give of myself.” But isn’t that what Jesus did?
It is obvious that Jesus operated in all five love languages. He touched the adults and held the children. He spoke life to a dead girl and spoke truth to the masses. He not only spent time with His disciples but also with sinners. He made blind eyes see, the lame walk, healed a woman with a seven year infirmity, and yet humbled himself and washed feet. He gave gifts of healing and deliverance to many, gave wine as a wedding gift, and ultimately gave the greatest gift—His life.
And Jesus is still speaking all five languages today as He holds our hearts, encourages our spirits, shares His presence, picks us up when we fall, and provides our needs. Jesus doesn’t just speak love languages; He embodies them—for He is love—and that’s a language all in itself.