Thursday, February 16, 2012


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! And, I have to tell you; one of the best ‘educations’ I ever received was the one I got several years ago, reading a book entitled, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Whatever you are doing right now, stop and take time to go to their web site…. the same name as the book. It will be a valuable investment of your time, especially this week. In the book, the author makes a case for the fact that each of us has a dominant ‘love language.’ And that learning to ‘speak’ the love language of your loved ones is critical for those relationships to thrive. There is even a test for you to be able to discover your love language and the love language of others close to you.

What an eye-opener! I discovered that my wife’s love language is ‘acts of service.’ Our older daughter’s love language is ‘time.’ And our younger daughter’s love language is ‘gifts.’ Since my love language is ‘affirming words,’ I just assumed that was what these three women in my life needed most from me. Not so! I made necessary adjustments immediately [and have tried to sustain them through the years]. I started cleaning up the kitchen after dinner for my wife, making our bed in the morning, running the sweeper [occasionally] and asking her for the ‘honey-do’ list rather than having her chase me down with it. I started having long conversations with my older daughter, including unhurried reading with her at night. I started picking up little items, not expensive, just to let my baby girl know I was thinking about her through the week. [Since our son’s love language was the same as mine, he was easy. I just communicated to him the kinds of things I appreciated hearing others say to me.] I can tell you, this ‘love language’ thing was revolutionary in the Idleman household. Ever since getting a handle on it, I have become a ‘lover’ in the purest and best sense of the word…. and not just on Valentine’s Day…. but all year long.

Our greatest need as people created in the image of God is to give and receive love. The power and the will to do it are from above, from the Heavenly Father, who is Himself, love. But I have to tell you, at a practical level, I thank Christian author Gary Chapman for the wake-up call to focus God’s love flowing through me to the people I love the most on this earth.

Pray with me…. Dear Father in heaven, you are the one who created us and hard-wired us to respond to expressions of love from others and to extend expressions of love to others. We want to communicate our love to You by our faithful worship and obedience. And we want to love others in the ways that they understand. We want them to ‘get it.’ So, Father, perfect in each of us the heart to give love to others, packaged in the way they receive it best. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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