God’s love language
Gary Chapman has popularized the concept of love language. In his theory there are 5 ways that people express love. They are; words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. The concept seems to be a good one in that it helps people recognize how others express their love to us. In other words, if I express my love through showing quality time, then I will have a tendency to only recognize love from someone else when they show me quality time. But if their means of expressing love is physical touch, I will have a tendency to not believe they love me because they are touching me physically but aren’t giving me the quality time that I demand. By recognizing someone else’s love language, I can recognize that they love me even though they are not expressing it the way that I would.
If we take this concept into our relationship with God, we can get some clarity on one of the biggest struggles we have on a daily basis. Our love language as earth-bound, physical beings is to demand of God that He fix all our circumstances. We think if He doesn’t, then He doesn’t love us. God’s love language is completely different than that.
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
If God allowed us to determine His love by our circumstances then His love would be subject to satan’s attacks and our bad choices, which are the most likely sources of our negative circumstances. This would completely eliminate our ability to respond to God in faith and love and make us psychotic because we would think God loves us when everything is going well and think He hates us when everything is going bad. The instability that satan could create in our lives by attacking us and our circumstances would prove to us that God doesn’t love us. Game over.
That is why God’s love isn’t based on our circumstances. His love has a much higher standard than that. Instead of giving us good circumstances, Jesus gives us His life. Paul tells us in Romans how God demonstrates love.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Of course Jesus died 2,000 years ago at Calvary, but I believe Paul is conceptually communicating the idea that God demonstrates love beyond our comprehension in that Jesus was willing to die for us at the very moment we were commiting the worst sins we would ever commit. There can be no greater demonstration of love than to die for someone much less do it at a time when they are absolutely rejecting the person willing to die and acting out in the worst possible way to show how much they loath them.
That is God’s love language. He doesn’t allow us or satan to cheapen His love by allowing us to base it on the quality of our circumstances or our behavior. The standard of demonstrating His love is stable and always visible to those who are looking. It is definitely not the love language the world recognizes because God will sometimes allow us to suffer the loss of circumstances in order to ingrain the standard of Jesus’ love deep in our souls. This revelation of Jesus' love only happens when the Holy Spirit reveals to us that Jesus loved us when we were the worst we could possibly be and will therefore never forsake us. Jesus’ love of us doesn’t depend on us but on His own perfect standard and demonstration of that standard through His death, burial and resurrection. It's only requirement is for us to personally receive it.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
When we learn to rely on His demonstration of love with the confidence that is His due and not demand God use our love language, it will allow us to soar above our circumstances, failures and the lies satan is constantly whispering in our ears.