Obedience: God's Love Language
A number of years ago Gary Chapman wrote a book with a lot of insights into men, women, and relationships. In his book, he describes 5 specific love languages of which every person functions in at least one of them. They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. What does it mean to have these love languages? It means that either through someone speaking words of affirmation to you, spending quality time with you, receiving gifts from someone, someone doings something in some way for you, or physical affection may make you feel loved.
In my own experience, this does appear to ring true. My wife needs physical affection (hugs, a kiss, being rubbed on, etc.) to really feel loved; using words, receiving gifts, etc. don’t make her feel loved the same way. If I want to make my wife feel loved, I do the physical affection, if I want to be mean or even if I simply get caught up in life and am not as affectionate with her, she feels less loved. Acts of affection for my wife would, as Dr. Emerson Eggerich (author of Love & Respect) would describe it, as my making deposits in her “love tank”. When I’m being unloving, she draws on her love tank to still feel loved; if I’m being affectionate I make some big deposits in it. Giving her a gift may fill her tank a little bit, but being affectionate is a major deposit.
I’ve seen the truth of this in my own life as described above with my wife, but what about applying this on a larger level, with our Creator, Yahweh. We are created in His image; we have love languages, so it makes sense that He would have a love language as well, after all, God is Love (1 John 4:8). Digging into God’s word revealed that He may have a love language, something we can do for Him to show that He is loved by us. I believe His love language may be obedience. To borrow Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages, obedience can be defined as Acts of Service.
My own thoughts and theories are not enough, so I had to test the theory. Here’s what I found spread throughout God’s Word:
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commands;
21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
23Yeshua answered him, “If someone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.24Someone who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words — and the word you are hearing is not my own but that of the Father who sent me.
10 If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love.
1 John 2:5
5 But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with him.
1 John 5:3
3 For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome,
22 God removed him and raised up David as king for them, making his approval known with these words, ‘I found David Ben-Yishai to be a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want.’
“Therefore, you are to love YHVH your God and always obey his commission, regulations, rulings and mitzvoth”
“So now, Isra’el, all that YHVH your God asks from you is to fear YHVH your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve YHVH your God with all your heart and all your being;
13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
1 Samuel 15:22
Samuel said,“Has the YHVH as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the YHVH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Reviewing these verses reveals that Yahweh wants us to follow His ways, His laws, His commandments; simply put, obedience. If this wasn’t enough to show Yahweh wants us to obey him to show our love, I checked out what Yahweh said about those who do not obey Him.
Mark 7:6-8 quoting Isaiah 29:13
6 Yeshua answered them, “Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites — as it is written,
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far away from me.
7 Their worship of me is useless,
because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’
8 “You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition.
1 John 2:4
4 Anyone who says, “I know him,” but isn’t obeying his commands is a liar — the truth is not in him.
It seems that loving God is inexplicably linked to obeying Him. Aside from the obvious importance of following Yahweh’s command, a higher perspective seems to be showing what Yahweh expects from us and what it “does for” Him, our love for Him. Let us not forget the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your heart, soul, and strength (Matthew 22:37). If we take the time to make those of the flesh feel loved, how much more should we take the time to learn our Creator’s love language so that he knows we love Him!?! God so loved you that He gave His only begotten son to be sacrificed that you may live. Doesn’t it just make sense to show Him how much we love him back? To best do that, we need to know what He expects from us, what makes Him feel loved by us, in essence His love language, obedience. Are you loving Yahweh how He desires or your own way?