1 Peter4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, receiving gifts, and quality time are Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages [http://www.5lovelanguages.com/]. He has narrowed our needs down to these 5 categories and teaches that one must know their partner’s greatest need in order to love them in the way they will perceive as loving. Basically, if someone does not like gifts and I buy them all the time as an act of love then I may as well be speaking a foreign language. Some people do not need physical touch (affection). Some people would rather you take out the garbage rather than say loving things, etc. I agree that we all have greater needs in some categories than others (and some may not need anything from one of these categories), but I think most of us love them all to some degree. One of these is higher for me than all the others, and I have a second category but 4 of them are pretty close in rank.
I think 1 Peter 4 speaks to loving through affection, words, actions, gifts, and time. If you are offering someone some of all of this on a consistent basis, then I would qualify that as loving “each other deeply”. The text states this type of love will “cover over a multitude of sins.” It is so true that we can overlook many frustrations when someone is giving to us in a deeply loving manner. The text goes on to say we should “serve others…speak the very words of God…serve with the strength of God” and this is would mean spending time with your loved one, offering to help with things that need to be done (willingly and without complaint), offering words of love and adoration (at least 1x daily), giving thoughtful gifts (not expensive – thoughtful), and offering the physical touch they need in order to feel loved (and yes men, this one is greater for women – we love to hold your hand, snuggle, your arm around us, hugs, etc…most of us, anyway.)
The challenge today is to go to the link above and take the love language test, and ask your partner to take it also. Discuss the results.
Can you give all of the love languages in 1 day? I think you can 🙂
It all comes down to this: Love is not just being with. It is also giving to, doing for, speaking up, and reaching out. Just showing up is not enough.