I was praying for someone the other day who had reported (not in so many words) that they didn’t feel loved at our church. It got me to thinking about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages and wondering what the primary love language of our church is – and whether people feel loved when their primary way of receiving love is the same as our primiary way of expressing it. Here is a brief overview of the love languages:
1. Words of Affirmation: I feel especially loved when people express how grateful they are for me, and for the simple, everyday things I do.
2. Quality Time: I feel especially loved when a person gives me undivided attention and spends time alone with me.
3. Receiving Gifts: I feel especially loved by someone who brings me gifts and other tangible expressions of love.
4. Acts of Service: I feel especially loved when someone pitches in to help me, perhaps by running errands or taking on my household chores.
5. Physical Touch: I feel especially loved when a person expresses feelings for me through physical contact.
If you want to try to figure out how you best feel loved in a church context, you might take Gary Chapman’s self assessment quiz for singles. That would seem to best fit how we interact with each other in a church setting (though, of course, not limited to a Sunday morning setting). You will have to give your e-mail address to take the assessment. If you want to give me the result, either in a comment on this blog or in an e-mail, I’d be fascinated to see it.
So what do you think is our church’s primary way of expressing love? What does this contribute to our strengths? What are the weaknesses of expressing love primarily this way?