We had an interesting discussion today on chapter 12, Yahweh Shalom, and praying to the God of Peace. As this is the time of year when we think of Peace on Earth & Good will to Men, it is especially relevant to consider the depth of the word Shalom, Peace. It means more that we usually think of; more than a sense or feeling of quiet, more than a lack of conflict. Part of it means wholeness and completeness. While we find our spiritual completeness in God, we must seek Peace in our relationships. One tool several of us have found extremely helpful is understanding "love languages" as defined by Dr. Gary Chapman. You may be showering your spouse or kids or parents or friends with love but they don't receive or don't seem to respond. It is probably because they speak a different love language than you do! In his book The Five Love Languages, he expands on the following:
What are the 5 Love Languages?
1. Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
2. Quality Time: In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
3. Receiving Gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
4. Acts of Service: Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
5. Physical Touch: This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
To take the 5 Love Languages Quiz click HERE.
John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Philippians 4:7New International Version (NIV)
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.