WORDS // KATEY LEE & JESSICA BILLS
People are needy. Every person has different expectations of what their relationships require. The thing about relationships is that there is a constant give and take, a push and pull, an ebb and flow.
Whether you’re friends, siblings, parents, church members, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. etc. etc. everyone needs to love and be loved. This is how we prove our Christianity. Like it says in John 13:35 “...all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
This brings us to a brilliant way for us to discover and be aware of how people need love (including ourselves). Ever heard of the 5 Love Languages?
Well, Gary D. Chapman wrote a book and it’s become an excellent guide to improving relationships. Never taken it? Please do, and have all your friends and family take it too. Afterall, we need to know each other’s love language in order use them, right?
Here’s the link: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
When learning about the Love Languages, there are some things to consider. Firstly, there is a fine line between being self-aware and being self-focused.
Self-focusedness says: “I am words of affirmation, and you are not loving me in the way I need to feel loved.”
Self-awareness says: “Even though I receive the most love through words of affirmation, my boyfriend receives it through physical touch, so I need to think past myself and give him hugs, even if that’s not what I want.”
That doesn’t mean that you can’t tell other people your love language or that your needs are not important.
It just means that if your focus is on yourself, you will miss opportunities to love other people (and loving other people is kinda the whole point).
Secondly is this: The Love Languages are not biblical. These are not commands that God gave us for life, they are simply a behavioral tool to help you understand and love the people around you.
In Psalm 119:103 David says that God’s word is sweeter than honey. The love languages, again, are not biblical. They are artificial sweetener, aka not the real thing. If you are really interested in learning how to love people, go explore through the New Testament and underline anytime you see “one another.” Memorize that verse and live it out. There are 59 one-another commands in the New Testament. One-anothering is crucial to being the Church, so keeping the 5 Love Languages in mind can be an excellent starting point. Use them as building blocks and stepping stones to become a better lover of people.
For the next five weeks we are going to be exposing each love language in order to do just that. We want to be better people-lovers and we want you to be better people-lovers too! And this is how we love others; by being selfless and putting them and their needs above ourselves our own needs.
So when a quality time person needs affirmation you can take them to coffee. When a gifts person needs love you can send them a postcard. The list goes on and on.
We hope that this series will encourage and inspire you to find new and genuine ways to love the people around you. And we pray that through learning about ourselves with this tool, we will be spurred on to put others’ above ourselves.
LETTERING // SAM PALENCIA