As I was pondering the simple ways I could shower love on Tony, my one and only Valentine, and even our children, I thought about our precious Lord Jesus, the One who is Love. Many of you have probably read the book entitled, The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to check it out. It is a very insightful book and helpful in building relationships. Dr. Chapman lists several ways in which we communicate love to those closest to us. There is physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, and quality time. Each play a significant role in every relationship, but he shares how we all have one or two particular languages that speak love the loudest to us.
I often use this to evaluate how I am expressing love to those around me in order to ensure that I am communicating love to them in the most effective way possible. We all desire for our relationships to be rich and refreshing, and we know that in order for this to happen it takes diligence and dedication. It isn’t something that just naturally happens, but rather it requires that we be intentional in cultivating these kind of relationships.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says,“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” As I was pondering Valentine’s Day, I considered my relationship with God. Not just where I stand with Him, but how I love Him, and more specifically, how I communicate that love to Him. I cannot help but think that even Jesus has a favorite love language. Don’t get me wrong, similar to my own marriage, every love language is valuable, however, the reality is that we each have a particular love language that, when expressed, it shouts loud and clear, “I love you!” I believe we express love for God when we serve Him, when we sing praises to Him, and when we give our gifts and offerings to Him, but I cannot help but think that His primary love language is quality time, savoring the gift of His presence.
Think about the story with me of Mary and Martha. You remember the account in Luke chapter 10, when Jesus is being hosted in their home. Martha is serving Him, preparing a luscious meal for her Lord. Mary, on the other hand, is simply sitting at His feet, giving Him her undivided attention. Jesus didn’t reprimand Martha for serving. He knew she loved Him and was attempting to express that love through her service, but what He did do was clearly express that which He felt was best. I am sure he enjoyed lunch that day, and I can’t help but think that he expressed gratitude later for the meal Martha prepared for Him. However, what brought Him the most joy and expressed love to His heart the most? What did He say was most valuable? Take the time to check it out for yourself. You will find it was the quality time and attention that Mary offered Him, sitting at His feet.
In this culture, it’s something we all have to fight for, this most valuable gift of time with Him. We must practice His sweet presence throughout our busy days, choosing to stay focused on Him and acknowledging Him in the details of our life. We can all get stuck in the whirlwind of acts of service, that are fueled by a deep desire to express love to our Savior, and all the while He is quietly whispering to our spirits, “I just want some time with you”? Are we offering Him our talents and our treasures materially, but withholding the time and attention He so passionately desires from us?
He is God, and He knows our hearts, but as we express our love to the special people in our lives today, for Valentine’s Day, let’s make it a point to consider the One who is Love. Let’s take the time, make the necessary adjustments in our schedule, and guard that time with Him, not just in the morning, but all throughout our day. Give Him that which He most enjoys, sweet, intimate fellowship. Speak His love language, if you will. Sit at His feet, hear His heart through His Word, acknowledge His presence even more throughout the day, and then, out of an overflow of that precious intimacy, we will find ourselves speaking the other love languages clearly, and our lives will exclaim to the world around us, “I love the Lord”!