Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
When they were originally shared with me, I was told to become aware of which language was most essential to my wife so that I could work at expressing love to her in that language. And that makes sense, of course.
Lately though I’ve been thinking about how great moments of love likely, without really even intending to do so, speak all five languages simultaneously.
This can go for the “Grand Moments of Christian Faith” like the events surrounding the last time Jesus spends an evening with his disciples before his death. You know, “The Last Supper” witnessed in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and the foot-washing narrated in the Gospel of John.
Is there a gift? Yes, indeed. At the Meal, Jesus famously says that this is his body, his life given for us. He also says that this is his blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins. And the gift is given not only in spoken words but also in the tangible gifts of food and drink.
Is there quality time involved? You bet. This is, after all, understood by the church to be the final hours before Christ’s arrest.
What about words of affirmation? Jesus tells us in John, among other things, not to have troubled hearts and to know that in him his disciples will do even greater works than he has done.
Acts of service and physical touch? I think that washing feet covers both of those easily.
But, it’s not just in epic moments of faith that we can see such a harmony of love languages. It can also happen in the small, oft-repeated moments as well. Coming out of Mother’s Day, right now I’m thinking about a parent changing a baby’s diaper.
Is there a gift? Yes. In an act surely miraculous to the baby, each time the change happens, the nasty poop-defiled diaper is traded for a clean one.
Is there quality time? On the surface of things, it seems that there isn’t. But having changed my share of diapers, it is strange how special the time can often become. How peaceful and full of laughter.
Words of affirmation? Yes, and they are present in ways that seem absurd to an outsider. I recall often looking at a turd and then looking into Reese’s eyes and saying in my sweetest voice, “What a great, great job you have done here, Karyssa! Just fantastic work, sweetie.”
Acts of service and physical touch? Like with the foot-washing (but even more so), nothing more than “diaper change” needs to be said to cross these two off the list.
I guess I’m wondering about moments where all the love languages flow together because I bet when they happen such experiences impact us more deeply than we often realize
And, I pray that as individuals and as church communities we can help create moments (not only for those close to us, but maybe even for strangers) where love is multi-lingual, clear, and memorable. If we can, then there will be more opportunities for the love of God to surround and fill others.
I wonder what such multi-love-language moments might look like? In a family? In an office? In a neighborhood? At a school? In a church community?