“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).
During the 1990’s I was one of many, who discovered The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, a pastor and author. It opened up a whole new world about how each member of my family gives and receives love differently.
He lists the 5 love languages as:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
It was no surprise to discover that quality time is how my “love tank” is filled and depleted most quickly. When I have someone’s time, sharing life together over a cuppa, I’m a “happy little Vegemite!” (This is an Aussie saying meaning” delighted.”) When I was well and life became too busy for this, eventually I would feel low and unhappy.
When my middle son became very ill with several chronic invisible illnesses, I had prayed for helpful insights to love and care for him.
I was led to seek help from a friend, who is a Christian, doctor and counselor. She reminded me of Chapman’s book. Then she explained that when we’re ill our “love tank” empties faster, needing all of the love languages and much more often.
It made sense to me.
Over time the Lord led me to new and creative ways to love and care for my ill son. The sicker he was, the more of each love language was needed. He soaked them up like a sponge!
Since then, I too have become ill with several similar chronic invisible illnesses. God reminds me often about this journey with my middle son. It explains why I can feel so empty, despite having quality time with someone on a given day.
I’m now understanding why I’m needing words of affirmation and why the Psalms are speaking to me more lovingly than ever before.
Receiving gifts of graphics, emails and meals have ministered more deeply to me now than ever happened in the past.
When a friend comes to clean for me, in acts of service, I feel deeply loved.
I’m also craving physical touch and am hugging people at any opportunity!
I praise God for His Psalms. I also praise God for His revelations to Dr Gary Chapman, as a man of God, about how we give and receive love.
However, my biggest praise is for God sending His son Jesus–the ultimate “love-tank” filler. Thank You God!
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You have created us in Your image to give and receive love in different ways. Thank You for Your example of all of the love languages in Your Word. Lord, show me what love languages are needed, in those around me, and creative ways to love them. Fill me now with Your Holy Spirit, so that I may give of You. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
How have your “love languages” differed since you’ve become ill? What verses in God’s Word most quickly fill your “love-tank”?
Sometimes we see a friend hurting, who has been broken by the words of someone else. Perhaps that friend is you. “The Words I Would Say” is by by Sidewalk Prophets and has some touching lyrics. Imagine God singing it to you, assuring you that He will always be there to fill you up if the world fails you. -Lisa