Many have heard of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages concept. That says we all show our love in different ways and, likewise, we all like love shown to us in different ways. God calls Himself the God of love. So, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I began to wonder: what is God’s love language?
In the most famous passage in the Bible, He tells us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” God’s love language is sacrifice.
When boy meets girl, one of the two has to make the first move. God understands that, and that’s why He made the first move. That was the sacrifice of the cross.
How do we look at this? Paddy might be a good example. He was one of the reluctant ones, who only saw the inside of a church when his wife dragged him there. One day, he was desperate for a parking spot. After twenty frustrating minutes, he looked up. “God, if you give me a parking spot, I promise to change my ways!” Immediately, a car pulled out, right in front of him. Paddy, with a big smile, looks up again. “Never mind, God, I found one!” Like Paddy, we think God will show His love for us by meeting our fleshly need of the moment.
God, being a big picture God, understands our biggest need, though, and that is the one He met, unasked and without any strings attached.
How do we show our love for the Lord? One of the key thoughts in the whole love language concept is that Ken shows love by mowing the lawn, while for Barbie love is having the car door opened for her. Until Ken wises up, Barbie will feel unloved, no matter if the lawn makes it to the cover of Home & Garden. Conversely, if Ken opens the door for Barbie, the lawn can look like a jungle and the two will still be in bliss. So… what is God looking for when we say we love Him? What sacrifice has meaning for Him? What do we have that He doesn’t have?
That’s a good question. How do you give a present to someone who has everything? Aren’t those just the most difficult people to find gifts for? Well, nobody has everything like God. So, what possibly could we give Him in His love language? Our Father has more money than we can shake a bank at, and he has legions of angels worshiping Him already. Even spreading His gospel: there, too, God has all He needs and, if it came to that, it’s easy for Him to add donkeys or rocks. (Please don’t misunderstand: those things are all nice and good, and I’m not knocking any of them; I do them myself.)
So… is there anything at all we have that He doesn’t already have? Surprisingly, there is: our free will.
God created us with a free will. Our free will is our most precious possession and attribute. We can surrender it to God or the one who controls the world and its enticements. If we surrender to one, we stop caring about the other. Who we surrender to shows in our check books and day timers, in our friends and our choices. God has laser eyes, and He sees our choices; He sees our hearts.
God loves, and He just wants to love and be loved. This is not about what we do or buy. It is not about guilt, like the Valentine’s Day ads aimed at men.
God is simply telling us what he’d like for Valentine’s Day: our surrender. Total surrender. He already shed the red, so now it’s up to us.
How much of your free will is there still left to give the One who gave everything simply to be with you? In the next week or two, each store you step into will be decked out in red hearts and Valentines Day goodies. That’s a good reminder to ponder that question. You can enjoy the chocolate and roses, all He wants is the hearts.