Jesus and the Five Love Languages
Updated: Feb 11
To light the world this Christmas I thought I could share the ways in which Jesus loves us. According to Gary Chapman there are five different languages of love. Each person responds differently to these love languages, and we tend to prefer one over all the others. A person will display their love language in the way they express love, request love, and accept love.
These five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving/giving gifts, quality time and physical touch.
When I learned about this I thought "Which love language is Jesus's?", and while in my opinion he scored highest on the Quality Time love language, I was able to find examples of him expressing himself in each of the five love languages. In the following scriptural examples Jesus shares his light through accepting, requesting, and expressing love.
Words of Affirmation
1) Accepting Words of Affirmation:
God the father always introduces Jesus as his beloved son, in whom he is well pleased. "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name - hear ye him."(3 Nephi 11:7)
2) Requesting Words of Affirmation: Christ tells us that in our prayers and at church we should worship him, and give thanks for the things he has done for us. (3 Nephi 13:6-13)
3) Expressing Words of Affirmation:
When Jesus visits the Americas he says a prayer for the people that is so moving that they cannot write it nor speak it. "And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father." (3 Nephi 17:17)
He is the loving father who runs out to meet his prodigal son who returns home, and then holds a feast to praise him in returning. (Luke 15:11-32)
Acts of Service
1) Accepting Acts of Service: Christ’s followers are often called his servants.
In the week leading up to Christ's crusifixion, Mary anoints Jesus with expensive perfume. His apostles feel that this was reckless, and that she should have sold her perfume and given the money to the poor instead. However Jesus is very happy the hospitality she gave him, and rebukes his apostles saying, "The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial."(Matthew 26:11,12) This shows us that Jesus prefers service that is meaningful and have been given much thought.
2) Requesting Acts of Service:
Christ requests that if we love him we will keep his commandments. (John 14:15)
He directs us to serve others because when we are "in the service of [our] fellow beings [we] are only in the service of [our] God."(Mosiah 2:17)
3) Being of Service:
When Christ washes the feet of his apostles he explains that he did so as an example for them to serve as he has served them, and explains one of the philosophies that governed his life. "The servant is not greater than the lord, neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him." (John 13:16)
He "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;"(Acts 10:38)
Christ answers the pleas of the faithful, and provides prayer as a way for us to make our wants and needs known to God.
1) Receiving Gifts
Christ is offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh as a toddler. (Matthew 2:11)
When a poor widow offers one mite to the church he commends her and remarks that she has given more than all the rich donors, because they gave of their surplus, but she gave all that she had to live on. (Mark:12) This story shows us that Jesus feels loved when the gifts that he receives are meaningful to him and the giver, and require some sacrifice on their part. He does not care much about the gift's material value.
2) Requests for Gifts: Jesus commands that the saints are to "pay one-tenth of their [income] annually" as tithes to him. (D&C 119)
3) Giving Gifts:
King Benjamin sums up the many things that Christ has given us in this plea for us to share with one another: "And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another."(Mosiah 4:21)
1) Spending Quality Time With People:
Christ blessed people one by one, spending personal time with each of them. (3 Nephi 17:21)
When Jesus goes to the house of Mary and Martha, Mary spends her time listening to the savior and spending time with him. Martha spends her time serving to the point where it is cumbersome, and asks Jesus to make her sister help her out. However instead of complying to the request Jesus responds "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41,42) In this story Martha displays the love language of service, and Mary the love language of quality time. Jesus accepts both of these forms of love, and defends Mary's decision to spend time with him.
2) Requesting that we Spend Some Quality Time with Him:
When explaining prayer Jesus makes it clear that he wants us to pray in secret, and to make our prayers meaningful, instead of using vain repetitions. (3 Nephi 13:6,7) These instructions lead us to spending more meaningful time with our Father in prayer.
One of his most common requests to the people around him was to follow him.
Christ asks his apostles Peter, James and John to stay awake and watch with him as he suffered in the garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:36-46) I like this story because it shows how much it meant to him to have them around to watch, and how disappointed he was when they fell asleep anyways.
3) Spending Some Quality Time with Us:
Christ is aware of each of us. He knows exactly what we are going through, he has gone through all of it himself for us. He answers your prayers, he tells all that will listen what is on his mind, and takes the time to hear us. (Alma 7:11-13)
1) Letting people touch him:
In several pictures depicting his atonement there is an angel hugging Jesus, or putting a hand on his shoulder. (Luke 22:43)
He was in anguish when, on the cross, he could no longer feel the presence of God’s spirit. (Mark 15:34)
2) Requesting that people touch him:
It was quite hard for people to accept that Jesus was the resurrected savior of the world. In an expression of love to the Nephites he invited them to feel the prints of the nails in his hands and to thrust their hands into the wound in his side. This way they could affirm their faith in him. "Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world." (3 Nephi 11:14)
Although he is not around for us to feel his hands and feet he invites us to gain a testimony of him and to live in a way such that we can feel his presence in our lives.
3) Touching others:
The Holy Ghost speaks to us through feelings, he comforts us sometimes with the feeling of a warm blanket, or of a hug from a loved one, and the feeling of peace. When we feel his presence strongly it is often described as being touched by him. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:23)
Many of Christ’s miracles happened when he touches someone. (Luke 8:45-46)
I hope that helps you to see the ways in which Jesus loves you, and how you can love him.