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February 9, 2021 5:00 am
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We are in a love relationship with God initiated by him.
We did not initiate we love God because he first loved us.
Let's vibrant and alive and let's keep it vibrant and alive. Let's not criticize others who express love for God in a different way. But let us express love for God. Whatever we are going to be meaningful to us and to others.
Best, Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the best-selling series of books about the five love languages yesterday talking about how you can grow closer to God. I'm John Fuller and her hostess focused president and author Jim Daly Jon, I like the quote by the theologian, Augustine, and he said our hearts are restless until they find rest in God. And when I look at so many people that are flailing so often it's obvious that the holder trying to fill is the whole God wants to fill in your heart right whether it's some form of abuse. Whatever might be, and each one of us is wired to know God and we will find that true fulfillment in anything outside of him and you can continue your entire life fighting that but I think those that are found peace and contentment have come to the conclusion that accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and found that he fills that void in our heart and it's it's an amazing experience to know Christ in that way.
Sadly, many people struggle to relate to God in a personal way. Maybe you feel like you should have an emotional experience of church but that doesn't always happen and it's not on a regular basis. Or maybe your spouse loves to gather with other Christians to pray but you're not as comfortable praying publicly like that and if this is you, we want to encourage you today because God draws people to himself in very different ways.
For some it's a promise in Scripture that really strikes them for others it's coming to know Christ gradually by reading the Bible and gaining knowledge. Over time, but today our guess Gary Chapman will describe how God relates to each of us uniquely and he'll have some very practical advice to help you grow your relationship with the Lord and Dr. Chapman is a pastor, counselor, and as I said, author of the best-selling series of books about the five love languages send our conversation today is based on his book God speaks your love language how to experience and express God's love and we have copies of that book here at the ministry give us a call 800 the letter and word family or click the link in the episode notes Gary welcome back to focus. It's so good to have you here. Ever. It's always good to be so I do. I so appreciate you and your contribution to the kingdom the way lives been changed because of your work and I salute you for that Gary.
The five love languages has been such a stellar concept and I say this every time you're here. This is wonderful to watch the Lord anoint that person with some special insight and I do believe he's giving you that with the love languages and how were wired by him. Let's touch on them again just to refresh everybody's memory. What are the five and their brief description you five ways to express love and emotional level to meet that deep need for love puts all of the sale one is words of affirmation, just affirming them something about their personality or the way they look or something like done for you, but it's using words in a Proverbs 1821 says life and death is in the power of the tongue.
So for some people this is their language you give them affirming words they fill out another's acts of service, doing something for them. You know they would like for you to do in a marriage that would be such things as washing dishes, vacuuming floors, walking the dog, changing the baby's diaper. Still, that I still like you. Going back, this is my wife's lovely when I learned that I learned it well before I left the house to fly out here. The last thing I did was take the trash out good for you and you should look at that empty trash can inside man what a wonderful acts of service. The old saying actions speak louder than words. If this is their love language that's true and then there's gifts universal to give gifts as an expression of love. The gifts says they were thinking about me. Look what they got for me the gift doesn't have to be expensive. We've always say it is the fault that counts but I remind you, is not the fault lift in your head if it came out of the boat in your the husband right now and then there's quality time giving them your undivided attention. I do not mean sitting on the couch watching television together because someone else is your attention, you're sitting down big TVs all the computers down you're not answering your phone. You're looking at each other and listening and talking to each other or taking a walk down the road together but they have your undivided attention in the number five is physical touch. We've long known the emotional power of physical touch in a marriage that would be such things as holding hands and kissing embracing the whole sexual part of the marriage arm around the shoulder. Driving down the road you put your hand on their leg just affirming touches for some people. They really feel love and that's good and you do have a little quiz that will help direct people in that way to show you what your bent is obviously a question often comes up is my only one thing can I be more than one. What if I have some of all five. All five of the sound good to me, but I think we can receive love in all five none of us going turn away from any one of those. But yeah, I think for most people.
There is what I call a primary love language is very similar to spoken language that we all grew up speaking a language with a dialect and we counted our native tongue. So I don't notice any data speaking English with a southern accent but at any rate, most people have a primary but for some people.
A secondary can be very, very close it is to those really stand out for them and there are few people that I've met along the way so I don't just think they're all equal for me and to those people say, well, probably one of two things. Either you grew up not feeling loved and noticed you not quite sure what it supposed to feel like our you grew up feeling love because your parents spoke all five of them and now you're married and your spouse makes all five and so you feel love. But you don't know which ones import and I say don't worry about it like you feel love and that's a man was blessed dear let me ask you, you said something I want to tap them before we get into the book content which is God speaks your love language the idea of love being that core need, speak to that because I know when you look at the difficulties that some people are and whether that's drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pornography addiction. We started there so often they're trying to fill this void speak to that human need for love and help the common person not the psychologist understand what does that mean that is that really my core need. I don't feel it but it is yeah I think that most people do agree that the most fundamental emotional need.
We have on the human plane is the need to feel loved by the significant people in your life. If you're married, the most significant is your spouse, and if you indeed feel loved by your spouse. Life is beautiful and you can process everything else in life much better if it's a parent-child relationship.
The question is not to parents do you love your children. The question is to the children fill out because simply do not feel loved will grow up with many internal emotional struggles in the teenage years, they typically will go looking for love, often in the wrong place right and that's why many teenagers make huge mistakes. They don't feel love other parents. It's not that the parents don't love them but they never learn the primary language and given them heavy doses of the primary language so it's exceedingly important in human relationships and specially in family relations and that's what makes the concept of the five love languages so critically important.
And let's move now to this book, God speaks your love language. I guess the obvious question is what is God's love language. This is always the nice man when you're speaking on behalf of the Lord himself. So you better get this right. What we do. That is the question that led me to write this book kept saying to me during what is God's love language that make you uneasy. That would make me uneasy. Later the Scriptures okay and I said okay God. I'm worried not just going to go through the Bible again and to see so I just went through the whole Bible again and I just my notes every time I saw God expressing his love and I came out of the conclusion which I should've known start with God speaks, all that we are made in God's image and so God speaks, all five of these languages and so yeah I was a fascinating study from in and I didn't conclude obviously that one is more important to God than the other Bible describes God as love. God is love. That's part of his character. Let's get started with words of affirmation. How does God show his love to us through words when you know one of the one of things that really hit me when I was going through all of this because I was looking at two or three things I was looking first of all peoples conversion experience.
When I initially come to God. How did they come to God and I began to see a parallel between their love language and their salvation experience. For example Saul on the road to Damascus had a physical experience with God and he fell looking around his eyes were blinded got touched and I hear people today say you know I was just sitting there in the church and listen to the song and all of a sudden my body started shaking, and tears, kingdom, and I knew God to touch me not everybody has that experience. Yeah. And there are others just like words of affirmation which you are asking about their conversion experience was hearing a specific word from God either reading the Bible themselves or hearing a pastor say it. Thank Martin Luther for example, he was very religious and he was really trying to please God, but he had no sense of peace and he read in Romans the just shall live by faith not works but by faith.
And he said paradise broken my soul, he was drawn to God by those words and many, many people will tell you, you know, it's when I heard a particular thing that's when I responded to God, so for those people specific words from God and for example, Isaiah 4110. Fear not right with you. Be not dismayed, I'm your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous hand words of affirmation person speaks deeply to their heart absolute like I know every hair on your head. Yeah, yeah, he's so concerned about this that he knows is that intimately, let's move to quality time. How does God express that to us in terms of quality time. The person who has quality time as their primary language will likely come to God over an extended period of time they start perhaps reading the Bible, which maybe they haven't read before they pick up a Christian book and start reading a Christian book about what it means to be a Christian and they start talking to friends. I may even start going to church and one morning as their reading the Scriptures are reading a Christian book in a quiet place. They just I got I believe, I believe, but it was that personal time of interfacing with God and quietness that they were drawn to Christ and they didn't have a dramatic experience there body wasn't shaking. You know, and it was one particular word that spoke to them. It was just over a period of time, exposing themselves to the Scripture yet get this question before we moved to the other three and get God's perspective on that we tend to also judge each other's love language. Whether it's up or down right why do we play under that. Why can't people have what ever road that they come into relationship with Christ sufficient that's good enough. Yeah well that's one of the major points I make in the book is the fact that we do tend to judge each other and the physical person will say, for example, if you didn't have a dramatic experience like I had you didn't really get it right and I are you sure you say are you sure your site by the person he says I can't remember the day I really became a Christian I just know it was over a period of time exposing myself. The Scripture was no longer sure you Mr. your a Christian.
If you don't know the day you were born again through the night and feel that by nature. We tended compare ourselves week is by nature. We judge people, but that understanding this concept and seeing it in book I talk about how this is illustrated in the Bible of different experiences that people had in the Bible and church history and contemporary Christians that their experiences of coming to Christ are very different now. Our guest today on Focus on the Family is Dr. Gary Chapman and were talking about his book God speaks your love language how to experience and express God's love will encourage you to get a copy of it from us here at Focus on the Family 800 K in the word families are number or click the link in the episode notes that Gary, the third one is that idea of gifts and some people might think of that is a little trivial, I might be in that camp. Okay, it's a gift it's a gift card. Whatever, that's nice. And thank you so much or I'll give one or two occasionally, but we don't see that as a love language.
How do we need to really focus ourselves in that regard.
Well, for some people. If this is their language. They came to Christ when they began to realize what God was offering to give them as is his gift while and I remember a young lady said to me Doc seminar and was strung out on drugs and I went to a drug rehab place and happen to be Christian, and she said there I heard for the first time in my life that God wanted to give me forgiveness of all my failures and give me eternal life with him forever. She said I could not believe it. She said it just took me a while to put my arms around that no one accepted that gift from God. She said it was just absolutely incredibly life-changing for me. So for some people it is the reality that God wants to give us the gift of eternal life not you want to work for this believe that what he did on the cross was for you and you accept the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins.
So for these people. This is central in their turning their lives over to Christ. That's an amazing statement. It kinda blows me away. The way you just said that God yeah that's his his present to us his gift to humanity is the gift of eternal life, we tend to think of him as you know that old grandfather with the stick who beats us if we don't behave properly. That's not God that's not how you see acts of service, and God showing us those acts of service. How do people come to Christ through acts of service, I think, and you look the whole Bible look at is relook for example, the tremendous active service God duly brought them out of the land of Egypt in a man. Every Jewish child is all about that, but look at the New Testament and all the things that God is done for us, acts of service in Jesus life is described. He went about doing good. He was doing acts of service to everybody he encountered with the greatest active service, and this is what people focus on.
If this is their language. This is often how they come to Christ when they realize the reality that we are all sinners. We've all turned our own way and turned away from God and when Christ died on the cross he was paying for all of our sins and failures so God could forgive us and still be a just and holy God. So that was the greatest active service is what he did for us on the cross and they realize that we can't come to God in our own righteousness. We come in his righteousness, and this is what brought draws them to Christ.
That is really good to see God using those love languages that he created that you identified in the area physical touch.
What is that expression of physical touch. I think these are the people who do have an emotional experience of physically emotional experience.
When I come to Christ and I mentioned Saul on the road to Damascus and their other people in our day will tell you that you know I was just disregarding God with my life. But all of a sudden, I mean, I was struck down physically and got my body was touched and I realize movies I've never felt this before. You know I member God until he said I want to a church. He said it was kind of a holy roller church is that I didn't know what it was when I went there.
He said I asked people to come down the front and pray and he said my buddy said let's go so we went down there and thereby start praying at the same time and he said my body start shaking his start weeping, and he said I just got I don't know who you are, but it I want to give my life to you will not everybody has lack of experience, but if your physical touch.
God knows how touchy and he will because he loves you and I would I would guess that what you're saying is this is the inclination. If I can said that when other words, if you're person that appreciates physical touch in that physical. This you're more likely to experience God in that way. But it's not the only way and is not set in concrete in the Lord. In a speech in all kinds ways. You are right and I just want to make sure that's understood.
This is great to conceptually about your relationship to God and how God may have moved you in that relationship because you like words of affirmation or acts of service, as we said, but in the marital relationship. Maybe there's a little strife there between husband and wife because you're acting in that bent and your spouse doesn't get it.
Give an example of that. Yeah yeah you know it is true that once we become believers we often express our love to God and our love language. For example, one of the stores I share in the book is a husband who was monthly. He was giving money to all kind of Christian organizations and his wife was just got disturbed and she thought Eunice overdoing it with the gifts here you know. And then she read the book and and got this concept that once we become believers we express our love to God in our love language and she knew already that his love language was gifts and she's all that's why he's giving gifts and awareness for her. Hers was quality time and she expressed her love to God by her devotional time seem to spend 30 minutes to an hour every day in the Scriptures with God but her husband didn't do that, you know, and she was thinking. You know you need to spend more time with God in the Bible. Now he was spending time with God-given gifts. You know, but let me ask you in that way that friction can be created in the relationship and you know it's interesting that you both want to do the right thing that I think for Gina and I even in our parenting.
We had a bit of that friction because you she wanted a very formal devotional time with our two boys and I was going. I don't think that's gonna work that well with boys. Okay, let's sit down and do a 20 minute reading and have 20 minutes of discussion, but she's very you know she's she's very formula and methodically minded and I can appreciate that, but I could see the train wreck, yeah you like doing devotions. We need to do something actively. Let's go down the basement and you know to cut beef tongue and play with it and say what's the power of the tongue like something different you. She didn't like those ideas. But how do you come to that agreement and and understand each other and what you're driving at. Because of the way you're wired, but I think understanding this concept that we are different than we do express our love for God in different ways is important that I member the lady. For example, her husband would raise his hands in worship at church and it really embarrassed her. She does feel like you don't think I need yeah this is Philip. She felt uneasy, but his language was physical touch was that he was raising his sales and pricing you know and hurt. Hers was something else. But if you understand this concept you give your spouse the freedom to be who they are and express their love to God in their language. So to me that this is really important in a marriage that we understand the difference between these two.
We will likely express our love to God in a different way.
There's a difference between that expression of being demanding and then disappointment. And that's more of an internal thing where then you have this little disappointment about your spouse. We are not willing to worship the way you will know what you want.
How do you deal with that how you lay that aside, but I think once we understand the concept. We can talk about a personnel like and say to them embarrassed when you raise your hands. Worship stickers seems likely just as overly emotional, and then he can share with you know what will. Honey I'm just feeling inside so strongly I just that's my way of praising God. You know, you don't have to. I'm not asking you to do it. You know we work our way through that just like we do a lot of other differences in the marriage relationship. We we work are expressions of love to God out as we talk about Gary. Let me also touch on another issue that can really hinder our growth in Christ and that's that feeling like we were in a rut in that relationship with the Lord, and may be that we used to love serving in the nursery.
Are you know whatever that love language is that it just feels routine now it's lost its shine. How do we make sure that we don't fall into that right well I think the tendency is that we will fall into the right example, I give the illustration of the book of the person whose acts of service is their love language. They're the ones who will volunteer to work in the soup kitchen that you just name something needs to be. Then they raise their hand to volunteer. So 10 years ago they volunteered to go work in the soup kitchen and when they went down there every night and dip those beans and looked up in the eyes of the man in front of them. They saw Jesus because I remember what Jesus said you do to the least of these, you do it to me and it was a powerful experience for them. I was 10 years ago. Now they still go to the soup kitchen on Thursday nights. They still did beans, then I think about Jesus.
This is what they do on Thursday nights and and any of these expressions can become mundane routine for us and God never intends that someone a suggestion. The book is what you learn some new dialects of your language. Effects of services, your language, and even gone the suitcase unless things stop going to sit kitchen, but maybe you could go trim some shrubs for an older person who can't do it again afford to have it or maybe you could go you do something else serves some other way and awakens it up or maybe you could even stretch yourself and speak some of the other love languages. Maybe physical touch is not your language okay but maybe you could get on your knees and private instead of just sitting there at the desk and pray get on your knees and pray I would waken it up for you so you learn some new dialects of your own language or learn some of the other languages and it keeps your relationship with God vital in your worship to him is vital no and that doesn't great suggestions.
Gary so often the proof is in the pudding, so let me put the question to have the love languages impacted your relationship with God. You know my languages words of affirmation, so what do I do I do what many words of affirmation people.
I express my love to God and words written words. Look at the Martin Luther and all the books that he wrote all the things that he wrote except often you'll find that people who are writers, words of affirmation, as their language and their expressing love, the God by writing and also by speaking of course and personal prayer and praising God and thanking God so that's the most natural way for me to express my love to God is with words that I seek to speak some of the other languages also okay but what is most natural's are primarily, Gary. This is been so helpful and that people are going to be able to put this into practice is very practical and I hope you will do that. I thanks for being with us. Thank you, Jim always enjoyed being with you and especially talking about God and his love yeah amazing that let me turn the listener. We would love for you to get a copy of Gary's book, God speaks your love language and if you can send a gift to Focus on the Family for any amount that will send this is our way of saying thank you and that in addition to that, you'll be partnering with us to help focus do so much for helping marriages stay together helping save the baby's life and the list goes on and on. So be a part of the ministry here be a partner and that when you make that gift will send you the book to say thanks if you can afford it will get it in your hands. That's not the.
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All of this available when you call 800 the letter a in the word family or click the link in the episode notes and if you missed any part of today's show with Dr. Chapman. You can find today's broadcast archives in a large collection of other programming on the Focus on the Family app look for that in the app store or on Google play coming up next time author Julie Lowe will encourage parents to rely on godly wisdom instead of parenting formulas when I say learn and I am looking for the Lord to energy spirit to be at work in my child's life.
Actually have to be a part. I have a responsibility to respect not responsible for the behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting him back once more help and your family driving price you're asking people to define the word appreciate it's like when something goes up, telling someone they did a good job Focus on the Family invite you to give a gift, appreciate when you give a non-cash gift of stock mutual funds will avoid capital gains tax action and help families thrive for generations to come. Find out more about non-cash gift just as planned giving.com