Recently, I opened a discussion on Facebook about the five love languages.
Have you read the book by Gary Chapman? The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.
Here is the post.
Aleisha to Steve in the grocery store: "What do you think my top love language is? I have zero clue."
Aleisha: Sorry, Gary Chapman, you seemed to have missed that one. Ha! Curious. What are your top two? (Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Gifts)
Oh, what conversation this spurred on. Do we just learn to love the language another can easily give without it being our top way to receive? Do we give out what others need or what we naturally give? Those are questions to mull over, for sure.
And so, I began to wonder—can our love languages change over time?
I used to think mine were "Words of Affirmation" and maybe "Gifts." But I haven't been too sure lately.
I save every email people send me that has the hint of any special words inside. I keep my voicemails on my phone because they are the voices and words of the people I love. [Yes. Yes. I know it makes my phone clogged up when you try to leave a message.] I have all of my husband's old love letters to me. Those are the words I treasure.
I saved the precious river rocks of someone who sent them as a gift when she went back home several states away and spent time at a childhood river. I see the words of a poem gifted to me on my wall from both my hubby and also a friend. I love it when both the words and someone thinking of me are the gift. Plus, I love to send people stuff to let them know how much they mean to me. Good? Bad? I don't know. Sometimes maybe both.
But I think, instead, that I am going to land on "Quality Time" as my close second to "words of affection." Why? Because God kind of affirmed it for me this morning.
There are so many instances of why time with another feeds my soul. One of my favorite things to do with my hubby is to go shopping with him. We can talk while we slowly stroll down the aisles. We have deep conversations on which young men stocking late-night grocery shelves get to eavesdrop. Steve loves to grocery shop—I love time with him—so it's a win-win situation.
I have saved the napkin from my husband's and my first date. Why? It speaks of our time together and is so special to me. I have a 28-year-old candy heart he gave to me, disintegrating in my jewelry box, because he gave it to me when we were eating Valentine's Day hearts together on the way to church. He knew I had a "thing" for smiley faces and so he gave me one. [I should go check upstairs and see the state of dinosauric candy!]
Here's another. One of my favorite things is to go to coffee shops with people, but truth be told, I hate coffee. I always have. I love the smell but hate the flavor. Yet there is something about sitting closely together with another, hearing their heart, and sharing a cup of happiness [that's cinnamon tea—I might add] that just feeds my soul. It's the words mixed with time together, and violà—Aleisha is fed.
Phone calls. Walks together. Private messages back and forth. It all speaks love to me. But sometimes, it's harder to meet those needs, practically speaking. Busy schedules. Long distance relationships. Sickness. Hard times. Messy things. Life. It all happens. We feel ourselves begin to sink under its weight.
And that's the time we wonder if we are loved and can start to grow weary, troubled, and afraid.
But that's where Father met me this morning—precisely in that place.
My eyes fell on a Bible passage that I must have tagged during the night. I am not the best sleeper and wake up often. At one point, I must have heard a verse in my mind and typed it into my phone to remember. This morning I woke up and spent some time with Dad, just talking together about the verse I had heard.
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3
Eight words on the page jumped out at me. "Where I am, there you may be also." Then it hit me. This verse speaks of "Quality Time." By George, that's it! I have figured it out.
Instantly, I was given over to those beautiful messengers of tiny tears. Maybe you understand if you're a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) like me? They are the kind to affirm you have hit something that affects your heart in a way you could never explain. Well, since I'm a writer, or at least trying to be one, I'm up for the challenge, but I don't believe words can ever do it justice.
How many times do I just want to be where my husband is? Or with my kids? My friends? My people in general who I love, cherish, and admire? All of the time!
And here, I have the God of the universe saying that not only is He preparing a place for me [this was a concept that changed young Aleisha's life and a post for another time] but that I get to be with Him wherever He is.
I get to be with Father wherever He is!
You, too. We get to be actually where He is.
That's right now, my friends. Right now. In this very moment.
We have the God of the Universe living inside of us.
Sit on that thought for a minute. It's pretty profound. I think of the disciples in the story of the feeding of the 5,000. If you combine all of the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it is evident that the disciples did not understand or trust that the God of the universe with standing in their midst. If they had, they would have walked into the problem of feeding so many people with the joyful expectation that He could do anything.
Anything! It's who He is.
Do we walk with the joyful expectation of His fingerprints being all over our problems?
After all, we have the God of the Universe living inside of us, never leaving us and always allowing us to be in his presence. That's pretty amazing, huh? I think so.
I'm going to walk into my day trusting of that good, good Father whose presence lives inside of me in the person of Jesus Christ.
Might it change the outlook of my day? I certainly think so.
Will it change yours—into whatever you walk? I certainly hope so, too.
Let's remind each other who lives inside us both, for we live inside a messy world. Oh, how we both need this particular love language—whether it's our top one or not.
Father willingly gives. We gratefully receive.
And that's His love language I most love. It exists in a simple cross and the life only He can give.
I rather adore His love languages. Don't you?
What is your primary love language? Do you know? How do you feel love from your Heavenly Father? Let's talk!
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