In 1992, Gary Chapman published his popular book “The Five Love Languages.” He wanted couples to understand that people express and interpret love in different ways. One woman feels cherished when her husband buys roses, but another wife prefers help with the dishes. One husband feels most loved when his wife pays him compliments, but another man prefers hugs and kisses.
Chapman discusses his love languages in terms of human relations, but his ideas are also applicable to our friendship with God:
Words of Affirmation. God is God – with or without our approval. But words of praise communicate our love to him. The Bible says, “Praise the Lord! for it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting” (Ps. 147:1).
Quality Time. The most intimate way to spend time with God is to pray. In private prayer we can pour out our deepest feelings, completely trusting that the Lord will hear and understand. The man who loved the heavenly Father perfectly spent entire nights in prayer (Luke 6:12).
Receiving Gifts. The God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills can’t be sustained by material gifts. But we can offer him “the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb. 13:15), and we can give our resources to support his work. God loves a cheerful giver, and a cheerful giver loves God.
Acts of Service. The true God is no idol requiring transportation if his temple catches fire (Acts 17:24-25). But committed Christians understand that acts of service communicate love. The greatest men and women of the Bible called themselves servants of God.
Physical Touch. God is in heaven, and we are on earth. How can we possibly touch him? Simple. When we care for our brothers and sisters, Jesus takes the kindness personally: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt. 25:40).