• Jennifer

Learning To Speak Their Language

She didn’t know how much her words would fill me up, but she poured them on like a healing balm. I was weary. She was willing. And her willingness to speak life over me gave me the encouragement to keep going.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24 ESV

Have you ever read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book 5 Love Languages or taken the 5 Love Language Quiz?

If you haven’t, you should give it a try. I truly believe that as we learn to recognize the language our people receive love in, the better we are able to love them. And vice versa.

My love language, based on Dr. Chapman’s book, is Words of Affirmation.

When words of encouragement and affirmation are given to me, my very soul drinks it in. We all benefit from affirmation, but for those of us who receive love primarily through kind words, an affirming word fills us up in ways no other action does.

We all receive love differently. You may fit into one of the other four categories: Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, or Quality Time.

To love each other well, we’ve got to be intentional about learning how we each receive love.

It’s all about learning to speak each other’s language.

Learn To Speak Their Language

Jesus tells us to love people as we love ourselves.

“‘And you shall 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: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Mark 12:30-31 ESV

Learning to speak someone else’s love language is a selfless way to love. It takes our needs out of the equation. It’s not loving others how we receive love, but loving them in the way they receive love.

When I remember that my friend receives love through physical touch and then make an effort to show her love through hugs and affectionate touch, I have moved from loving from a self-focused stance to a selfless one (Ummm proceed with caution in the physical touch arena).

You see, I receive love through words of affirmation, so that’s most often how I give love to people. But that’s not how all of my friends receive love.

Sure, we can still love people without knowing their love language, but when we know the intimate ways they most receive love and then do that, we have reached a new level of love.

Jesus’ life and death show us He loved people right where they were at that moment. Even today, He loves us right where we are at this moment. Jesus enters in and loves us to the point of change and breakthrough.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 ESV

Jesus loved us with His whole self and we can do the same for the people in our lives when we speak their love language.

The 5 Love Languages In Scripture

Words of Affirmation

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV

Acts of Service

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV

Physical Touch

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him...If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. John 13: 5, 14 ESV

Receiving Gifts

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 ESV

Quality Time

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

There are not enough people in the world pouring out love. We hear talk about love all the time in our culture. Typically, it’s a twisted, counterfeit love that leaves the world unsatisfied and broken.

But when are we (the Church) going to stand up and say, “Let me show you true love?” And then do it. Loving people with everything we have. When it’s uncomfortable, scary, and just plain messy.

This is love…

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:9-12 ESV

Gals and guys, if you haven’t taken the 5 Love Languages Quiz yet, you can do so HERE.

Be sure to let me know your results!

Verses For Further Study:

Romans 1:11-12 ESV: For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.

John 15:13 ESV: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Romans 12:5-8 ESV: so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.