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Love Languages

“Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind.’ ” Mark 3:20-21

Many years ago I read a book by the author Dr. Gary Chapman, called The Five Love Languages. In this book Dr. Chapman talks about how it’s been observed that people give and receive love in five different ways: gifts, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation. He also observes that while we’re all capable of using all five languages each of us best understands, and therefore prefers, one of these love languages. The purpose of the book was to help us understand each other and learn to communicate effectively the love we have for each other.

Part of the fun of the book was identifying the love languages of Cheryl and myself. We quickly decided that Cheryl’s love language is acts of service. Which explains why taking out the garbage and making the bed is so important to her. It’s not just considerate and helpful it very clearly says, “I love you.” Words of affirmation was identified as my love language which explains why my whole life I’ve been like a little kid with a never ending queue of show and tell items. In people’s complements I hear the message that I’m appreciated and loved.

Dr. Chapman also observed that just a clearly as love can be communicated via these five avenues of communication we’re also able to be profoundly hurt one another by the misuse of the love languages. So if making the bed and taking out the trash says to Cheryl, “I love you.” Then if I start leaving the bed unmade and letting the trash pile up I’m saying, “I don’t care about you.” loud and clear.

In the Gospels, Jesus: touches, heals, serves, provides and affirms. His life was filled with profound acts of love in all five languages. But very seldom do we read accounts of his receiving messages of love. Far more common are the words and actions of sensor and condemnation, like the ones his family sent in our focus text. “He’s out of His mind.” Isaiah 53 prophesied that Jesus would be a man of sorrows, despised and rejected by those to whom he came to prove his love.

Humanity may have failed to be loving toward Jesus when he came 2000 years ago but today we can show our love for him in our worship and in our acts service toward those that he loves so much.

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