How do you like to be loved?
Is it through words of affirmation? Maybe some quality time spent with your beloved?
Gary Chapman wrote a popular book called The Five Love Languages about understanding that people that we are in relationship with have a distinct language of love that speaks most profoundly to them, and about how important it is to seek to learn and to practice the love language of those we care about most.
It seems, Chapman says, that we respond to several love languages, though one might be prominent.
When God created the human person, he wrote the need to give and to receive love right into our hearts. He made us relational. But He did not create us, and then withdraw Himself from us! He remains mysteriously present in the universe He created, and most especially in the immortal hearts and souls of persons made in His image. And that image is perfect love relationship in the Trinity.
So our relationship with Him must come first! From Him we learn the languages that we need to hear, and the ones we can offer to others.
We can try loving on our own….grasping and clinging to others and to things in order to fill that gaping place in our hearts that need love. But we find we are never fully satisfied.
The love languages of others, not matter how often or accurately they speak to us, will never completely fulfill our desires for love. And it follows that we cannot “speak” to others without first receiving instruction ourselves.
God offers to teach is how to hear love. God offers to teach us how to speak love.
And because God speaks all love languages, knowing our hearts better than any person could, all our desires for being cherished and for belonging to Someone are met.
Then filled with the graces of many aspects of love, He gives us to one another in friendship, marriage and family.
“As the Father has sent me (to teach you how to hear and speak love), so I send you.”