Love languages: Quality timeLatest Issue, Where's the Faith? Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
As a progressive Christian, I believe there are many names for God and many ways to a loving God; this article reflects one of those ways. Take from here what works for you. Celebrate life with joy and peace!
Oh, “Love is a many splendored thing!” Thousands of songs have been written about the four-letter word called love; movies, books, magazines are all peppered with the word love.
Love is so important that Jesus declared: “By this everyone will know that you are my followers, if you love one another.”
Love is one of the most basic of human needs. We need it to survive. And for love, we will climb the highest mountains, cross the widest sea, traverse the hottest desert and endure untold hardships. What a powerful motivator.
The Apostle Paul even said that all human effort is worth nothing in the end, without love. It’s all “rubbish” if we don’t have love. We read in I Corinthians that even greater than faith, even greater than hope is love.
And we are all born with a need to love and be loved. We are happiest, most fulfilled, most productive and creative when our “love tank” is adequately filled. It’s when our “love tank” gets empty that we suffer the consequences in relationships and even our health.
Even though love is extremely important for our very existence, it’s a confusing word, isn’t it? We say we love hotdogs, and then our mother. We love objects like cars, boats and electronic gadgets. We love hobbies like fishing, surfing and shopping. We even “fall in love with love.”
And if that’s not confusing enough, we use it to describe behavior, “I did it because I love her.” The question then is what is “it”?
In studying The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman, I’m reminded that love speaks every language. Dr. Gary Chapman asserts we all have an emotional love language that is most meaningful to us. And in his research he’s broken them into five categories or five languages:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
No one language is better than the other, there is no hierarchy, no correct order; it’s about what speaks to us on a deep emotional level. Now, like any language, there are many different dialects. So it is with the languages of love, and the number of ways to express love within a love language is only limited by your imagination.
Dr. Chapman says, “If we want our partner to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in their primary love language.”
Let’s review Love Language No. 1: Words of Affirmation. There is power in your words, and verbally affirming someone can be actually life-giving. And what we say, and how we say it is so important. Our words can inspire courage to our loved one, helping them to succeed in an area where they didn’t even think possible. And remember, forgiveness is also an expression of love.
Today, let’s look at Love Language No. 2: Quality Time.
Maybe you’ve heard a conversation like this before: “Jason doesn’t spend any time with me. What good are all our things if we don’t ever enjoy them together?”
This complaint is common and it’s a cry for more attention; for spending quality time together. According to Dr. Chapman, quality time means giving someone your undivided attention. Not sitting on the couch watching TV together. No, sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, putting the cell phone down, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other and talking.
Time is a precious commodity. When you give that special someone in your life 20 minutes of your undivided attention, and s/he does the same for you, you are giving each other 20 minutes of life; especially if Quality Time is their primary love language.
We get so busy with life; it’s really all-consuming sometimes. We want to climb the organizational ladder, be successful, and that takes a lot of time and hard work; and when you get there do you want to be there alone? Who do you want to enjoy it with?
Quality Time doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time gazing into each other’s eyes. It means you’re doing something together and that you’re giving your full emotional attention to the other person. (Walking, gardening, game night can be quality activities.)
One of the most common dialects of the language of Quality Time is quality conversation. Dr. Chapman describes quality conversation as sympathetic dialogue where two people are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context.
There’s a beautiful song with the line in it, “I miss my time with you.” God also desires quality time with us. We are each given 24 hours a day; what we decide to do with them is up to us, and I pray you’re encouraged to create quality time with God and your loved ones.
I close with this anonymous quote, “When you take time with God and listen to God’s voice, God renews your strength and enables you to handle life.” Amen.
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