When I started dating my wife, I wrote her long love letters. I poured out my deep emotions in poetic prose. I waited to see the look on her face as she opened the card. To my surprise, she usually responded kindly, saying, “Oh, that was nice.” Then she set the card down and moved on to something else.
That was before I read Gary Chapman’s best-selling book The Five Love Languages. Although this classic is about 30 years old, it continues to show up on Amazon’s best-seller list. The book is based on a simple premise: Each person has a primary way that they experience love. And although we tend to show love to our spouse/significant other in OUR primary love language, we need to find out how they feel loved. And then we need to do that!
I gave it a try. Because I found out that my wife’s primary love language is acts of service, I ditched the love notes and cleaned the kitchen instead. And guess what? She came alive! She glowed with appreciation and thanksgiving.
Maybe you need to hear this today. Maybe you have a friendship that is waning. Find out how your friend feels loved and do that. Maybe your marriage feels lukewarm. Well, maybe you need to pay more attention to how your spouse experiences love. And then go do it. (Now, I’m speaking to people who are married to emotionally healthy people. If your spouse is abusive or a narcist, there’s not much you can do to open their heart to your love.)
You see, love is an action. It is not just something we feel toward someone. It is what we do for them. It is the sacrifices we are willing to make to help them feel loved, secure, and appreciated.
That’s exactly what Jesus did. His love for you was not just a feeling in his heart. It was a concrete action he took. He did not come to be served but to serve and give up his life to bring you into God’s family (Mark 10:45).
I pray you would imitate your Savior and act. Don’t wait. Don’t think about it. Buy that gift. Set up that date. Give that hug . . . without any expectation. Fix that creaky door. Do whatever it takes to make that special someone experience love. And through your act of love, they will experience God. For God is love.