(In a recent post, I wrote a little about the Five Love Languages, as written about by Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. I explained how I found myself wondering if they apply to our relationship with God. This is the third of what turned out to be nine posts as I explored this topic. The whole list of posts is here: How God Speaks Your Love Language.)
Love Language: Words of Affirmation
Almost everyone enjoys it when others tell us they appreciate us, that they care about us, and what they admire in us. But for those who speak this love language, those words mean more than any other expression of love.
This is me. Many of my most precious memories are those when my husband, parents, and grandparents spoke to me about their feelings for me…and some of my most painful memories are times when a loved one told me I didn’t measure up, or failed to give me a few simple words of affirmation that I craved at that moment. Some examples…
I remember the time when, as a teenager, my father told me he knew he could trust me to do the right thing. I knew he was talking about the temptations teenagers face, and I knew at that moment that I would rather die than give him cause to take back those words. They stuck with me, and I don’t know if he realized what a powerful force those words were in my life.
I remember my sixteenth birthday, which happened to be an extremely busy day. We never did parties, I knew I wouldn’t get much of a gift, and neither of those facts bothered me in the slightest. Yet, by noon, I finally dissolved in tears in a hidden corner because no one had said the words, “Happy Birthday.” I could not conceive any reason why someone would fail to say those two words to me, if they loved me! Even now, my husband has realized the only thing he has to do to make my birthday a good one, is to tell me “Happy Birthday” when I wake up.
I remember the day I was feeling wretched about my failure to keep the house clean for my husband and three little kids. This was nothing new…I had been struggling with the feeling of failure in this area for years, and I still struggle with this. But that day I told my husband so. I will never forget the words he said: “But you’re a wonderful wife and mother!” I asked how he could say so, with an eloquent gesture to encompass the dirty dishes and dog hair and clutter. He looked at me, perplexed. “How clean you keep the house has nothing to do with how wonderful a wife and mother you are. I could not have asked for a woman who loved me more or was a better wife, and you are the perfect mother to our children.” He may have gone on to explain further, but I soaked up those words. In fact, those words marked a turning point in my life, simply because of the power they had for me. The affirmation I received in those two areas of my life gave me power to face my failures and fight them.
Do any of these spark similar memories for you? Do you cherish loving words that are spoken to you and remember them long after others have forgotten? Do you ever feel that you would do almost anything to hear certain words? If so, you just might speak this love language, too!
So…what words of affirmation has God spoken over us? I found quite a few, and many of these are my favorite verses in Scripture:
“I have called you by name, for you are Mine!” (Is. 43:1)
“I know every detail of your days, for I made you, and I am always thinking of you.” (Psalm 139:1-18)
“You are precious in My sight. You are honored, and I love you.” (Is. 43:4)
“Nothing can ever make Me stop loving you.” (Jer. 31:3)
“You are more valuable than the lilies and sparrows, which I provide for and have made beautiful.” (Matt. 6:26-30)
“You are more valuable than animals. (Despite what animal-rights activists say.)” (Matt 12:10-12)
“In fact, you are so valuable and I pay so much attention to you that I know how many hairs are on your head. (Matt. 10:29-31)
“I have good things planned for you!” (Jer. 29:11)
“I am always on your side.” (Rom. 8:31)
Tell me…what other verses speak to you, that tell us how God sees us?