In my small group, a dear friend shared her prayer request with us: “Please pray that I would feel God’s love. I mean, I know he loves me, but I guess I’m just not feeling it." My heart went out to her because I had felt that way before, and I really wanted her to feel loved.
Then something stirred in my Spirit, and I remembered the five love languages described by marriage counselor Gary Chapman. I remembered learning that if someone isn’t speaking your love language, they can love you, but you won’t feel it. I felt prompted to share this.
I gently started, “Maybe it is partly a love language thing? I know when my spouse speaks his love language, however true and sincere, I can still feel unloved, which is definitely not the way he wants me to feel.” If her love language is words of affirmation, I suggested, perhaps she could meditate on the loving verses in the Word and let God speak love to her in a way she might best receive. Or if her love language is quality time together, I said, “Maybe just spend time with God and hang out in his presence.”
After small group, I felt God nudging me to think more about his love and how people might best experience it for themselves. For example, if someone’s love language is receiving gifts, the focus could be on all the gifts God has given them—a job, a home, friends, food. If someone’s love language is acts of service, they could meditate on all God has done for them—dying on the cross for them, protecting them, providing for them. Or if someone’s love language is physical touch, they could look for ways God is trying to touch them, perhaps through a gentle breeze, a hug from their spouse, the feel of a warm cup of coffee in their hands, or the sun on their face.
I became overwhelmed by all the ways God tries to love us! He really is so creative and so all-loving and has wired us each so differently. I pray we all feel God’s love just a little more!
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:17-18).
The five Love Languages, as identified by Gary Chapman:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Giving Gifts
- Physical Touch