Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
We celebrated Valentine’s Day several weeks ago. Whether married or not, many couples endeavored to show love to their significant other. Some people gave flowers. Others splurged on a romantic dinner. Maybe you bought a card. Someone, somewhere, might have written a song to their love.
Perhaps, you did not do anything because Valentine’s Day is a commercialized holiday centered around making money for Hallmark.
Whatever you did (or did not do), why did you show love the way you did?
We all have ways that we like to be loved. However, sometimes our lover does not feel love in the ways that we do. To show love sincerely, we must step outside our box and into his or her box.
Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages about this concept, detailing several ways to show love.
1) Words of Affirmation. These people want to hear praise and encouragement. If someone speaks critically, they will feel the criticism deeply. Many people feel awkward about verbally expressing love. However, those needing Words of Affirmation need those sentiments voiced.
2) Acts of Service. We love these by helping around the house or providing a hot cup of coffee. While this form of love can be straightforward to meet, those with busy lives tend to push acts of service to the side because they do not have the time.
3) Gifts. The gift does not have to be expensive, but it cannot be bought on a whim. The gift must have thought behind it: a reason that it was given. Some might consider the one needing gifts as high maintenance. However, a little gift can go a long way.
4) Quality Time. Love is when someone takes the time to stop their busy life and engage in meaningful conversation. They want the television turned off, and the cell phone put away.
5) Physical Touch. Research shows that physical touch is necessary for anyone’s health and well-being. These people want to hold hands, hug, or have a simple pat on the shoulder when talked to.
Each love language is valid. If we genuinely want to love someone sincerely, we should seek to love them in the way they need, for the glory of God and the good of our relationship.
Psalm 139:13-16 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
I call it “Celebration Season.” From the end of December to February, we celebrate five birthdays, including Jesus’ birthday. Thankfully, we like celebrating. We try to make a big deal, with special food requests and a fun cake. We might even throw in a trip to the Zoo.
Some might ask: “What’s the big deal? Why do you make such a big deal over a day?”
Great question! I will give two reasons.
First, we want the birthday person to know that they are unique and loved. To do that, we hit all the love languages at once during that day. If you do not know the love languages, look for a future article.
Second, we believe life should be celebrated. Birthdays should be celebrated because that day marks when a life has entered the world.
January is Right to Life Month. Many churches have hosted Right to Life Sundays. Some have traveled to Lincoln or Washington D.C. for Right to Life Marches. Calvary Bible Church collected a special offering to send to Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center in O’Neill to help young mothers keep their babies and provide healing for those who have chosen abortion.
We believe that God is the one who gives life. Every life that he provides is unique and should be fiercely defended. We believe that abortion is a violent ending of that God-given life and should be illegal. We believe that followers of Jesus Christ, having true life from Him, should be vocal about celebrating life.
One way of being vocal is Right to Life Month. Another way is finding normal avenues to celebrate, like birthdays, anniversaries, or simple, daily statements: “I love you and am grateful that you are in my life.”
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ