walk in the word
Family, Forgiveness, Spiritual Life
It’s a popular . . . misused . . . misunderstood word, but it’s perhaps the most powerful word in the Bible. Love—it’s God’s word.
Everyone loves a love story. Isn’t that true? Be honest, men. You might not like the same love story your wife likes, but everyone loves a love story. Magazine covers call to men and women, “Ten Ways To Love Your Mate,” “How To Make Love Last,” “How To Keep the Love Alive.” Hollywood top-ten lists are packed with stories built around the endless search for love.
Can we just get one thing settled once and for all? Love is an action. Love is a do thing; it’s not a feel thing. Sometimes you feel love; sometimes you don’t. But it always is a do thing. It’s a choice.
As I was thinking about this, I wrote this definition: Love is an act of my will to put someone else’s good ahead of what’s good for me. So boil that definition down to three words. Love is: You Before Me. That’s the whole thing right there.
Nowhere is the power of love more vividly portrayed than in the family. Nowhere is the lack of love more tragically lived out than in the home. Think back through the four words that we’ve gone over in the past weeks. Who would fail to forgive if they really loved? And who would withhold a blessing from their children if they somehow caught hold of what it means to love unselfishly and truly from the heart? And who would not rush to honor their parents if they could break free from our childish adult ways and see their parents as they really are and their desperate need to be honored and respected for the right things that they have done?
You may be asking, if love is so great, why don’t I see more results? I want to give you one little insight into this that has been very helpful to me. Try speaking their love language. I base these next thoughts on Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages.
Let me give you all five in a nutshell. I know that you’ve heard this before. You might even be able to list these five yourself. So are you doing it? Or are you just doing what you’ve always done and wondering why they don’t feel loved by you? Remember—love is saying “you before me.” Think about the person in your family to whom you want to show love. What communicates love to them? It’s easy for you to communicate love to them in your language, but that’s not what I’m asking you to do. Figure out and speak their love language. Do they respond to . . .
1.Words of affirmation. Some people communicate and/or receive love through words. They like to be told or written loving, encouraging words. If you’re a doer and don’t ever tell them how you feel, it’s could be disaster. Speak the words to them.
2. Quality time. Do they want the phone unplugged and the stereo turned off when you’re together? Do they want focused, quality time? Plan how you can give them your undivided attention.
3. Receiving gifts. If their love language is giving gifts, don’t miss an opportunity to show them you care. The gifts don’t have to be big or expensive. They just want to know you’re thinking of them.
4. Acts of service or deeds of kindness. You might tell the person you love them, but some need to be shown you love them through thoughtful or helpful service.
5. Physical touch. Finally, some people receive love best through physical contact. By all means, let them know you care.
Love is the greatest need in our family. If we’re serious about loving our family members, we had better learn their language. If you communicate with them in a foreign love language, they’re never going to understand your heart.
I think John 3:16 is one of the greatest verse in the whole Bible. It says it all. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.” Walk through those phrases with me.
God — the greatest lover
so loved — the greatest degree
the world — the greatest number of people
that He gave — the greatest act
His only begotten Son — the greatest gift
We follow the Creator of the universe who says that the greatest thing of all is love. “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love,” 1 Corinthians 13 says. Two thousand years ago almighty God said, “Do you know what? You guys have messed up so bad and you’re not going to be able to fix it yourself, so here’s what I’m going to do.” And He sent His own Son to speak our language. The cost was great, but the gift was extended.
How about passing it along to your family today?
brought to you by change partners