It’s Valentine’s Day. And I want to share another love language with you.
Possibly you’ve heard of the “Five Love Languages” popularized by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book of the same name.
The five love languages Chapman identifies are: 1) gifts, 2) quality time, 3) words of affirmation, 4) acts of service and 5) physical touch.
But I believe there’s another love language, one that Chapman overlooks. And that love language is Jesus.
Sometimes when we think of sharing Jesus with others, we think of people we don’t know very well. Often, when we think of doing “mission work” our minds drift immediately to the other side of the world.
But what about the person who is right next to you, the one you love with all your heart, your “Valentine”?
“But they’re already a Christian,” you say? That’s OK. They still need a daily “valentine’s card” with the message of grace, mercy, love and the peace of Jesus. They still need to taste forgiveness and hope more than chocolate.
“They’ll never become a Christian and I’ve given up trying,” is your thought? Have you tried combining the love language of Jesus with one of the other five love languages? There’s more than one way to share the love of Jesus!
Yes, we absolutely want to share the “John 3:16 gospel.” We must! Otherwise there’s no way for our Valentine to know Jesus. We fully trust the power of the Holy Spirit to work through the gospel to change hearts.
AND, Jesus conveyed his love in many ways. So can we.
Jesus gave gifts. Jesus invested time in people. Jesus affirmed our status as children of God in words. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Jesus used the power of touch to heal. And as we see from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (and many others), he had a way of working the conversation gently toward the gospel message from there.
Sometimes when we obey the Great Commission and go, we don’t have to go that far in terms of geography. We just have to go farther in terms of love.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV).
Lord Jesus, help me to love the way you love, with all-out passion in every love language. Your love is self-sacrificial. Your love is caring and giving. Forgive me for the times when my “love” has been selfish and self-serving. Create in me a clean, new heart. Strengthen my by your Spirit’s power. I want to love the way you love.
Our Bible reading for Saturday, February 14, is Exodus 15:1 – 16:36, Matthew 28:1-20 and Psalm 21:8-13.
Header image based on "Happy Valentine's Day" by Jackie, CC By 2.0