I remember having a telephone conversation with a lady sometime ago, who was having some challenges in her marriage. The heated bone of contention
in her marital relationship was a complaint about her husband “He just doesn’t understand my love language!”.
That was a new term that I had never heard before. But as the lady continued her diatribe on her husband’s insensitivity to her needs, I thought mischievously
to myself; lady, If you speak your love language anything like the way you are speaking with me on the phone right now, it’s no wonder your husband
doesn’t understand it.
I could not manage to get a word through edgeways when she was talking!
Getting off the phone later, I did a quick check up of the term and realised that it was a trendy psychobabble that was being used in relationship
counselling circles, based on the book of the same title by Gary Chapman.
Basically, it works on the premise that each person has a primary love language that we must learn to speak if we want that person to feel loved. It
suggests five basic love languages – five ways to express love emotionally and improve the quality of our relationships: Words of affirmation,
acts of service, gifts, quality time and physical touch.
Whilst I thought that this was a brilliant read with a fantastic insight into the complexities of relationships, and having a definite, positively
usable template that can improve most relationships as each person learned to appreciate and cater to the other’s needs, this question dropped
in my mind – “What about our normal day to day inter-personal relationships. What should our love language be?”
In many cases, when it comes to this, it would appear that many of us are deaf and dumb, or maybe just plain dumb and can neither speak nor understand
This question became even more pressing, when I realised that there was the inherent possibility that the concept of love languages could unwittingly
be distilled into one thing:
I love, because…
I love you because you speak my love language; I love her because she does… I love them because they give… I love him because I get…
Man is naturally wired to respond to stimulus. As a matter of fact, I remember my elementary biology teacher going to great lengths to hammer this
scientific fact into my mind – Animals respond to a stimulus in order to keep themselves in favourable conditions and stay alive.
Animals that do not respond to a stimulus do not survive for long.
Examples of this response to stimulus include:
Moving to somewhere warmer if they are too cold
Moving towards food if they are hungry
Moving away from danger to protect themselves
A stimulus is an event or a thing that causes or encourages a reaction in something or a person. It will either cause you to draw towards something or cause you to draw away from something.
In this context, we can see that our love language can effectively be a sort of stimulus that encourages a reaction in us towards the person that “speaks
it” to us.
Loving for love’s sake
The bible says that God loved us before we did anything for him; He loved us before we gave anything to Him; as a matter of fact, God loved us in spite
of what we did to Him, in spite of us rejecting Him. He loved us even when there was nothing lovable about us.
The question that I’d like you to ask yourself today is: Do you, can you love like God loves?
The only way you can really answer “Yes” to that question is when you can love someone just for love’s sake.
What does this mean?
The bible says in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus to die for us. And Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrated
this love towards us whilst we were yet sinners. 1John 3:1a rounds this up nicely:
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”.
Indeed, what manner of love is this, with which God loves us?
The love that loves the unlovable and sacrifices for the unworthy. This love that even pursues the ungrateful recipient. The love that abides even
where there is no reason for it to be, other than for one reason – God does not love because of anything that man does or gives; God loves because
God is love.
This is what it means to love for love’s sake – Loving for God’s sake.
Not loving in response to anything that has been done by, or something that has been given by an individual; but loving in response to what has been
done and given by God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son.
That should be the “Love Language” of the believer. I love you just because God loves you. That’s the kind of love that never dies. It doesn’t stop
because of offence. It doesn’t diminish because of rejection.
That should be the stimulus that we respond to – I love you, just because Jesus loves you…
But before we round up today’s devotional, I’d like you to meditate on one more thought:
What is God’s love language – do you know what God’s love language is?
Pastor Wale Ola
1. What is God saying to me in today’s message?
2. What was ministered to me in the bible verses that I read today?
3. What are the changes or adjustments I need to make in my life to align with the word of God?
4. What is my commitment to the word for today?
5. What practical steps can I take to benefit from the word I have read today?
Teach me how to love like you do.
Help me Lord to love like you do.
Help me to love the unlovable;teach me to love people in spite of, and not because of