Speaking God’s Love Language

51vpsy3zuml__sy344_bo1204203200_Gary Chapman published a book, The Five Love Languages several years ago that revolutionized my life. It helped me understand the people in my life and why they acted as they did.
Although most people enjoy most every expression of love, usually one speaks louder than the others. The five love languages Gary Chapman writes about are…

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Physical Touch
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Acts of Service

It is natural to love others the way we feel loved, but if others have a different love language than our own, they won’t feel loved by us.  My life was so impacted by this as a young wife and mother.  I was surprised to find that my husband and each of my children all had different love languages.

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Suddenly I understood why when I complimented one child, I would often hear from the other, “Didn’t I do a good job?” Her love language was words of affirmation.  It now made sense why one of my daughters was always rubbing my arm, hugging, and wanting to snuggle.  Her love language was physical touch.  The third child felt particularly special when she received a pretty package.  Her love language was gifts.

I immediately began seeing positive results as I began speaking the love language my husband and children related to best.  It was a challenge for me to put aside my love language (acts of service) and begin speaking the love languages of my family, but the rewards were well worth it.

As I was reading God’s Word the other day, it occurred to me that God also has a love language. Jesus relayed that to us in John 14:15.

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If we are wondering the depth of our love for our Savior, we can use our Gauge of Obedience to measure that love. Talk comes easy. If you heard, I love you often, but never saw that played out in actions, you would begin to doubt its truth.

obedience1It’s easy for us to say we love God, but do we obey the truth He has already revealed to us?  Are we regularly in His Word learning new things He wants for us?  We can’t obey if we don’t know what He requires.

As circumstances and seasons of life change, so can our love language.  This sure keeps life interesting at best.  If you can’t figure out someone’s love language, why not just ask them?  I think they would be pleased that you care that much.

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Human relationships will always present challenges, but God has made it clear what His love language is and the good thing is….He never changes! Hebrews 13:8 says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Let’s love lavishly today.  Our family and friends need it.  The lost and dying world we live in also needs to see what God’s love looks like. Let’s be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. (James 1:22)

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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Meet my new little grandson, Destin Vara! Born 9-24-16! (I have a blog is the making about this little fella!)

 

 

 

And they shall be one flesh…

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David and Gaye 12-16-89

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

What does this even mean?  Obviously, the man and woman do not morph into the same body. I think it means there is no longer a “mine and yours,” but everything becomes “ours.”  Instead of separately, the couple begins working as a team as they face life and work toward common goals.

David and I were twenty-six and twenty-five when we married.  We both had to wait longer than we would have liked.  Since we were separated by two states, our “dating” was via telephone lines.  We felt like God had made us for each other so after he popped the question, we wanted to make sure our marriage got off to the best possible start and was according to God’s plan.

We read and discussed many marriage books and we each drove three hours to meet for a counseling session once. By the time the wedding date rolled around, we thought we were marriage experts. Ha ha!

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Gaye and David 12-16-89

Although we both had a lot to learn, one thing that I thank God for is that I knew God’s purpose for me in marriage. I was made to be David’s helpmeet. This marriage wasn’t only about how it would benefit me. I went into the marriage with the purpose of helping David better accomplish God’s will in his life. I looked forward to serving him.

Later, when I didn’t always  feel like serving David, I tried to do it for God.  When I had a bad attitude, I tried to remember God’s design for authority recorded in Ephesians. By submitting to David, I was indirectly submitting to God.

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Because we had so much in common, I believe the thing that continued to surprise and frustrate David the most was how differently God made men and women in general. He would often ask aloud, Why did God have to make men and women so different?  For the longest time I thought if I could just find the right words, I could convince David to see things my way. (I think they call that nagging!) I finally realized it wasn’t my finding the magical words to persuade David that was needed. The solution was us asking God to show us what HE wanted and then us making the proper adjustments.

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One of the hardest things I ever did was leave our one year old babies and go off for a day and night to celebrate our wedding anniversaries.  As much as I enjoyed our time alone, it tore my heart out to leave the little ones.  But we wanted to make sure we didn’t end up being one of those couples who found themselves strangers when the kids left home. Those get-a-ways were like glue in our marriage. Those times always reminded us of why we got married in the first place.

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David and Gaye at A Weekend to Remember at Chattanooga, TN Oct. 25, 2014

I spent years trying to learn how to respect, submit, and honor David.  Practicing good communication was a constant challenge for both of us. Although we had a good marriage, in the fall of 2014, the recent trials of life (his cancer, my cancer, and our two daughters getting married all in the same year) had taken a toll on our relationship.

We felt overwhelmed and discouraged.  We knew we needed some spiritual encouragement as well as some help in our relationship.   We went to a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference hosted by Family Life Today in October 2014 right before our 25th Wedding Anniversary (5 months before David went to Heaven).  It was humbling and hard to admit our failures, but we received a lot of practical help. I will be forever glad we went and thankful to God for how He worked in our hearts and for what He showed us that weekend!

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And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves; for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins. (James 4:8)

Marriage is tough under the best of circumstances even when a Christian couple desires and is trying to follow God’s plan. Misunderstandings can happen so easily. Communication can be difficult.  If you have a problem that sends you on the merry-go-round for the thousandth time, please get outside help.

Don’t let pride stand in the way of getting the help you need. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married a few months or 50 years, a relationship can always be improved if people are willing to make changes.

Proverbs 11:14 says, Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

You don’t have to be headed for divorce court before you see a counselor.  But don’t go to just anybody for advice!  There are good Christian counselors available. You need to make sure the counselor is going to steer you God’s way.

My prayer is that your marriage is all that God intended it to be. Keep working at your relationship. It is worth the effort!

Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith,

Gaye