Building strong marriages and relationships, Part 2

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Loving God, Loving one another- The 5 Love Languages

Jeff Needleman, Lead Pastor, New Beginnings Church

Last time we introduced the 5 Love Languages and took a look at Words of Affirmation. Now we get into Quality Time! Quality Time is simply being together- doing something or doing nothing. Its only requirement is our full and undivided attention, void of postponement, interruption and distraction. Which pretty much means… the phones are in the other room in Do Not Disturb mode.

Anybody remember the scene in Field of Dreams where Ray is talking to his dad? His dad gets ready to leave and Ray says… hey dad… want to have a catch? His dad says, yes, I would like that. And that my friends is… Quality Time!

Words of Affirmation focus on WHAT we say, but Quality Time focuses on being together. For those whose love language is Quality Time, multi-tasking and allowing distractions to draw away our attention equates to failure to launch and depletes our Brownie points! Again, Jesus as our example in Quality Time, as was the early church that followed His lead! Here are some Quality Time scriptures.

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Lk 22:14-16 TLB …all sat down together at the table; and he said, “I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.

Jn 3:22 MSG After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there.

Jn 17:24 NLT Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.

Ac 2:46-47 NIV Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

In Quality Time we listen to comprehend, not to respond, or prove how much we know! And men listen up; it means no free advice and no fixing allowed- even though that’s our nature! So, don’t use the words like, “You should do this”, “Have you thought of that?”, “Try this!” and “You know what I would do?” Statements like I understand, really?, and wow, say that you’re tracking closely and that you care!

Now, how do we express back our love to the sovereign God of the universe in Quality Time? Quality Time translates into spending time with Him by reading His Word in the Bible, by talking to Him in prayer, listening to Him in meditation, and by spending time with His favorite people… us!

Next- Question… what is our greatest gift? Just like kids learn in Sunday School, Jesus is always the right answer! Jesus is our greatest gift, and receiving gifts is Chapman’s next Love Language. Receiving gifts is not a matter of materialism to the one who feels love this way. It’s not a greed thing, or a gimme, gimme!

Gifts as a Love Languages isn’t about the money spent, but rather feeling loved. A candy bar, something homemade, a little note, a rose from the garden or a left over donut from the office can be a homerun! Remember that old MasterCard commercial- knowing that somebody cared enough to buy you something? Priceless!

It doesn’t have to be expensive to send a powerful message of love! As Alice, my highly paid editor, was expressing her love to me by editing this message, she wrote: “I always appreciated the sweet gesture of bringing me treats home from the office. It was always endearing to me and reminded me that I am never far from your thoughts!”

God too gives gifts, and we’re never far from His thoughts. He gave us the gift of His son Jesus Christ, the gift of salvation and the gift of the HS! Let’s read some Scripture!

Jn 4:10 NIV Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Ac 1:4-5 NIV On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

Mt 7:11 TLB And if you hardhearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them?

Lk 6:38 NLT Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Jesus wasn’t just talking cash here folks!

If your Love Languages is receiving gifts, you thrive on the tangible and visual symbol of love expressed by the time, thoughtfulness, effort and consideration spent by the Gift Giving! And Gift Givers- the gift needs to be something that the receiver likes, not what you like! Random and thoughtless gifts and missed special occasions will make take points away faster than you can earn them!

Young children understand the Gift Giving concept! They give all sorts of gifts because they naturally understand that gifts are an expression of love. On several occasions, kids from church have presented Alice or me with their colored drawings or crafts. There is nothing as sweet as a child picking a flower for mom, even if it’s a stinkweed!

And even animals get it… Many of us have cats who gift us with a barely dead mouse or slightly flapping bird! But just so you know, I do break my cat’s hearts and discard them. What are some examples of gifts we can give without financial cost?

So what kind of gifts would the sovereign God of the universe who has everything want from us?

Believe it or not… there are gifts He’d love from us! You might have heard this before, but we can sum up those gifts as Time, Talent and Treasure all wrapped up in a bag of skin- that be us. He wants us to gift Him with our obedience, our tithes and offerings, our abilities, and… our very selves.

I want to re-emphasize that understanding and practicing the Five Love Languages will enhance all our relationships; with God, our spouses, our kids, and maybe even our in-laws. But for some it can be tough to figure out another’s Love Languages, and it can be difficult to even figure out our own LLs, so here are some hints!
Just as with Alice and I, people usually express their love to others using their own Love Languages! So that can be an obvious clue for us! Likewise, a dead give-away of unfulfilled emotional needs is when we hear or when we ourselves say; We never do anything together, Why don’t you say something nice for a chage? You never bring me anything! You never do the dishes! We never hold hands anymore.

Let he or she who has ears, hear. In other words, listen up and pay attention! The answers are out there!

And please understand that if we’re feeling hurt, unloved and unappreciated in our relationships, it’s because we’re starved of our own Love Languages. It’s all too easy to be unaware that the lack of feeling loved creates slow relational deterioration and/or growing resentments.

Over the years, while counseling others, I’ve found this to be true over and over again. If you seriously want to develop a stronger and more loving relationship, if you want to transform your marriage, your relationships and your life, then strive to become aware of the Love Languages of those you care about and practice, practice, practice filling the needs of others!

So far we’ve learned about Words of Affirmation, Gift Giving and Quality Time. Next time we’ll look at the final 2 Love Languages. If you have an opportunity, watch this short video from the Five Love Languages web-site; just click! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQsBwRrbS78

So, if we’re speaking the same language, we’ll love each other more! The Love Languages are a practical way for us to demonstrate our love for God, and for each other. Scripture gives us a plethora of examples, and Jesus modeled them for us… let’s be Christ like and do the same!

Until next time!

Jeff Needleman
Lead Pastor
New Beginnings Church
www.NewBeginningsFernley.org

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