It was a blessed relief to hear someone speaking my language when I was in a foreign country. Language, however, is more than words. It entails our actions, expressions, gestures, and tone of voice. In fact, sometimes our non-verbal communication speaks louder than words. One thing is for sure. When we demonstrate God’s language of love, it is universally understood.
Does each person have their own language of love?
Dr. Gary Chapman has written numerous books about the five love languages. The best way to connect with any person is to learn their preferred language. Dr. Chapman’s list includes quality time, gifts, acts of service, physical touch, and words of affirmation.
Most people have a predominant love language, with another close second. What makes me feel loved may be different than what works for you.
God is fluent in our language of love
How do I know this? In my singleness, God gave me gifts at just the time I needed them. He gave me flowers and heart shapes in nature on more than one Valentine’s Day. You can read that story here: Feeling joyful even when single.
But don’t just take my personal example as proof. Though you won’t find the phrase “love language” in the Bible, you will find all five of them woven throughout scripture.
Acts of service
Jesus Demonstrated love through many acts of service: healing, washing feet, and feeding people. (1) He put aside His desire for relaxation, rest, and calm to meet the needs of others. He began his earthly life serving us as he gave up riches, comfort, and majesty to become a helpless, vulnerable baby.
Jesus used this language of love so effectively. Today He continues to heal our broken hearts, help our blind minds to see the truth, and bring other believers to bear burdens and pray for us.
The most heroic act of service was when Jesus died for us, paying a debt we could not pay.
As with any relationship, quality time requires us to be alone with God. The more time we spend with Him, the more we begin to observe how He speaks to us in our love languages. He not only speaks through His Word, but also through inspirational music, circumstances, books, and His creation.
All we have to do is look around to see the many gifts that God has given us to enjoy. Creation with its wonder and amazement is a gigantic gift, too big to wrap but always opened for our discovery. The most costly gift is our salvation. God has also given to us the Holy Spirit, other believers in Christ, endless promises, peace, and so much more.
We are blessed beyond measure with gifts upon gifts.
We don’t always recognize these gifts because we don’t take time to see them, or to say thank you for them. Never-the-less they are there.
When Jesus walked this earth, He never shied away from touching people. He held children, comforted the broken, and healed lepers. The primary way that he physically touches us today is through other believers. This is why it is so important to fellowship in a caring community of Jesus followers.
At times when there has been no one else around and I was feeling sad or alone, I have used imagery to feel God’s touch. I have imagined myself as a little child being picked up and comforted by Jesus. Other times, I have pictured myself as a little lamb, cold, and lost. And then I imagine Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gently picking me up, warming me with His love, and carrying me to where I belong. This imagery has gone a long way to calm my inner spirit.
Words of affirmation
Throughout scripture, we find words of affirmation for those who knew God personally. (2) He also has words of affirmation for us today. God tells us:
- I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3, Deuteronomy 10:15, Romans 8:38-39)
- I will never leave you. (Hebrews 13:5-6, Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20Psalm 55:22)
- I knew you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5, Job 3:16, Psalm 139)
- I delight in you (Psalm 37:23, Psalm 147:10, Psalm 149:4)
- I sing and rejoice over you (Zephaniah 3:17)
In other parts of scripture Jesus calls us His bride and His family.
Are we fluent in God’s language of love?
Scripture tells us what pleases God. Since we were created in His image, I believe God is blessed when we use ANY of the languages of love.
Acts of service
Jesus showed us how to serve. He put aside what He wanted to do in order to meet the needs of others. When we do the same, we show God that we love Him. (Galatians 5:13) Jesus said, “In as much as you have done it to the least of these, so you have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40).
When I pour a cup of cold water for a dry and thirsty soul, when I pick up a crying child to comfort, when I open a door for an elderly person with a walker, I have served God. I have spoken God’s language of Love.
God wants us to spend time with Him. He invites us and waits for us. He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
When we put aside our phones, social media, to-do lists, and Netflix, we are on our way to spending quality time with God. As we pay attention solely to God our creator, we are speaking God’s language of love.
How do we go about giving gifts to God? First and foremost by giving Him our lives. King David wrote, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.” (Psalm 51:16-17) “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) Another Biblical author wrote, “O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:6-8) These gifts are part of God’s language of love.
In the Song, Mary Did You Know, one line stands out. “When you’ve kissed your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.” When we wipe tears from a child’s eyes, when we hold the hand of a distressed widow, or when we gently cradle a baby in our arms, that physical touch speaks to God of our love for Him.
Words of affirmation
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1, Psalm 107:1, and many more). When we thank God for his many gifts, we are giving words of affirmation.
Giving thanks can be done when we pray or in a gratitude journal. It can also be done when we share with others the many ways God has blessed us and met our needs.
“Sing to the Lord a new song; for He has done marvelous things. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (Psalm 96).
Have you ever thought much about what you listen to or sing along with on the radio or a playlist? This is one more way to give words of affirmation to God. Not only does it bless Him, but we also increase our own sense of hope through Christian music.
Just as we love to be openly praised by others, words of affirmation are part of God’s language of love.
Love in any language
This song was released in 1986, recorded by Sandi Patti. The name God is not used in it, but don’t let that bother you. Since God is love, it still speaks of Him.
Even though this recording is 34 years old, it is beautiful, with a message that is still relevant today. Take a listen and enjoy.
“Love in any language, straight from the heart, pulls us all together, never apart.”
- (1) John 13:1-15, 17, John 9:6-7, Mark 7:32-35, Mark 8:23-26.
- (2) Matthew 11:9-11, Luke 7:1-10, Matthew 12:49, Mark 14:6-9, Matthew 16:15-17, Mark 12:34 and 42.
- Many thanks to Open Bible for making easy navigation of Bible topics.