The Five Love Languages, from the popular book, seem to be all the rage these days. This makes perfect sense, as understanding someone’s love languages allows you to understand them and love them in a way that makes them feel fulfilled.
So how do these Love Languages tie in with God? After all, it seems like many of them aren’t compatible with a relationship with God, especially when it comes to things like words of affirmation or physical touch. How does God love you in how you love best? How can you love God in the way you love best? When we remember that God is present in everything and everyone, the answers become clear.
Acts of service
God is constantly serving you. Through the sacrifice of the Mass, we see that he is constantly offering himself for you – for your pains and sufferings – and is doing what he can to ease them. God’s presence in your daily life serves as a constant string of help. God is cleaning the demons off of your path. God is helping you be effective when washing the dishes. God is constantly, continuously serving.
You can show your love to God in so many serving ways. As Jesus says in Matthew 25:40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” The Spiritual and Corporal works of mercy are fantastic places to start when offering your acts of service to God, along with everyday acts like holding open doors for people or doing a little extra housework. Everything you do for those around you is also something you do for God.
Words of affirmation
God is constantly telling you he loves you. That you are amazing. That you are his beloved, wonderful creation. Although you usually cannot hear God telling you this in a vocal way, he has plastered his words of love for you all over the world. Every time you get a sense of wonder at looking at the stars, this is God saying he loves you. Every time someone compliments you on your beauty, God is reminding you that you are beautiful. And his reminders are scattered throughout Scripture as well, just as it says Psalm 139: “I am wonderfully made.”
And God wants to hear that you love him as well. As he said to St. Theresa of Avila, “I would create the world again just to hear you say you love me.” Say to Him that you love Him. Tell Him how amazing he is. Sing his praises. If you need somewhere to start, Job 37 is a favorite of mine.
Look around you. Are you reading this on your laptop? Your phone? That’s a gift from God. Do you have on shoes? Or maybe your favorite pair of socks? That’s a gift from God. How about the air in your lungs? That, too, is a gift from God. Everything you have, everything in the world around you – your phone, your clothes, your best friend—is a gift from God. But above all else, God has gifted to you Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus. God has given you everything you have and everything that he has.
How do you give back? Give to others. Give to the poor. Give to the Church. Take everything that you have and give. As Jesus tells the rich young man in Matthew 19:21, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow me.” Another beautiful way to give back to God is fasting from your phone or your favorite soda or the snooze button and offering these things back to the Father. Give your entire self to him as he calls you to, either by letting go of things that are yours or going above and beyond to give to others.
You know that awesome hug you share with your best friend every time you say goodbye? Or how you love holding hands with your significant other? Or how when your parent kisses you on the forehead, you feel safe? Every encounter with someone is also an encounter with God. He is present in all of these actions—in every bit of that sense of love and fulfillment. The most intimate form of physical touch with God, however, is undoubtedly receiving the Eucharist. In that moment, you are literally touching God in a tangible way. He is reaching out to hug you, to hold your hand. As Jesus said in Luke 22:19, and as we reiterate in every Mass, “This is my body which is given for you.”
In return, we offer ourselves to God. Just as God is offering His love to us in every touch we give to those around us, so are we offering our love to him. Every time we go to Mass, we are offering ourselves in union with Christ, and we are united in a physically present way.
God exists all around us, in the very existence of every piece of creation. Every moment of your life is God giving you His time and attention. Psalm 139 says, “If I ascend to Heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” God is always there, waiting and wanting to spend time with you.
And how do you reciprocate this? Easy. Pray. Of course, time with the Eucharist in Mass or Adoration is ideal, but you can pray any time. After all, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are reminded to “pray constantly”. Make time for God. Talk to Him while you’re driving to work. Tell him when you’re excited or nervous about something. Incorporate conversation with Him into every aspect of your life.