Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com)
The Languages of Love
We have entitled our series "Fireproof" from the awesome film on the circuit right now on relationships in general, and marriage in particular. We are focusing on relationships because we have realized that the river of fulfillment flows out of healthy relationships or it does not flow at all.
Last week we spoke together about Waffles and Spaghetti. We laughed about the fact that men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti. Men think in boxes, one box at a time, and women are like spaghetti, winding their way through life making many, many emotional connections as they go.
[Claret interrupts me speaking Spanish and I answer in Afrikaans]
How many of you could follow all of that conversation? Nobody! Why? Because one of more of the languages we spoke were foreign languages to you - you could not understand them. Is it not true that no matter how kind the words that are spoken, no matter how beneficial the advice that is given, no matter how deep the love that is expressed, if you cannot understand the language that is being spoken you will probably completely miss or even misunderstand the message that is being given?
Now - have you ever considered that there may be different love-languages - and that you may be speaking very passionately to your spouse or child or parent or friend and may be saying, "I love, you, I love you, I love, I love," but they may be completely missing or even misunderstanding what you are saying because they speak a different love language to you?
Gary Chapman has written a profound book exploring this concept entitled "The Five Love Languages" and that is what I want to talk with you about this morning - "The Languages of Love." I have be using him rather extensively in my research and study this week.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus made this profound statement that we all know. He said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Why is that command so important? Because core to our sense of happiness in life is the basic need to be loved - and the only place where love can possibly be experienced is in the context of relationships.
So think about it with me if you will. No matter how much I tell you ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’ if you do not understand what I am saying, you may not even know that you are loved at all. And that is one of the most common problems in relationships. Couples, though they are loved deeply, may feel isolated, alone, unloved and that their love is rejected simply because they are speaking in a love language their partner does not understand.
Because opposites attract most people marry somebody who speaks a different love language to the one they do, and that marriage is inevitably in danger of producing two people who have no idea how much they are actually loved. Why? Because we naturally love others not the way they want to be loved but the way we want to be loved - but it does not mean to them what it means to us.
There are millions of marriages that end every year, due to isolation - and many a time isolation started simply because they did not understand the other person’s love language.
And legal offices become the over populated graveyards of marriage, and the first ‘Valentine’s card is simply the start of a paper trail that leads to divorce. What happened? We did not understand love, and we did not understand the languages of love.
You see, I believe that the deepest human need is the need is to be spoken to consistently in their love language.
May I say that again? The deepest human need is the need to be spoken to consistently in their love language.
So what are The Five Love Languages? Good question, I am glad you asked.
1. Words of Affirmation
1 Cor 8:1 "love edifies" - To build up with words.
Eph. 4:29 "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
Mark Twain once said, "I could live for 2 months on a good complement."
For many people the difference between feeling loved and not feeling loved is simply words of affirmation. To ‘affirm’ something literally means to confirm its truth and to strengthen it. Solomon wrote; "The tongue has the power of life and death." Many couples have never learned or realized the tremendous power of verbally affirming – that is strengthening each other with words.