Most of you have probably either read or are familiar with the concepts of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Interestingly enough, I had really only heard of the books but had never really investigated what their premise was. Well, I recently read Chapman’s The Love Languages of God and I learned something that I really wasn’t expecting to discover.
Just in case you aren’t familiar, Chapman’s 5 love languages are as follows:
1. Quality Time
2. Physical Touch
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Words of Affirmation
Chapman’s hypothesis is that we all speak 1 of these languages better than the other 4. The challenge in his original book is for us to recognize our spouse’s love language and become more adept at speaking that language in our relationship.
In the book, Chapman discusses how God, our creator understands which of the ‘love languages’ we are individually hard-wired to speak and He will speak to us in that ‘language’. God also understands that our response to Him will most often be in the language that we speak as well. As in his other books, Chapman challenges us to become more adept at speaking the other languages in our relationship with God.
I’m not sure if the lesson I learned is one that the author intended, but regardless, here it is.
As a worship leader, (one who grew up in a Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition at that) I would tend to look for a response from the group that I was leading in worship. I often found myself frustrated when I wouldn’t see a physical response that I felt was appropriate. While reading this book, it hit me. What if the group of people I’m leading contains more ‘quality time’ or ‘acts of service’ people than it does ‘physical touch’ people. A physical response may not be reasonable for me to expect. I began to become much more aware of the simple fact that not every Christian responds to God in the same way that I do.
I don’t pretend to have mastered this concept in my life, but I know for a fact that I am much more respectful of someone’s ‘worship language’ and I no longer expect everyone to respond to God my way. It’s a very eye-opening and humbling point of view to have, but it has enhanced my own personal worship as I am challenged to learn these foreign languages in my own walk.