Many couples are into “love languages,” and even those who aren’t familiar with the term tend to be familiar with the concept: knowing what speaks love specifically to your spouse.
Some people feel most loved through quality time or conversation, others by acts of service, others by thoughtful gifts, others through physical touch, and still others through words of affirmation.
But, have you ever thought about what God’s love language is? God IS love, the Bible tells us. So He certainly is the One Who gets to define it, and He certainly gets to tell us how to love Him.
Scripture actually leaves no question as to what God sees as love toward Himself.
It isn’t passionate words about how much we love Him.
It isn’t singing and praising and basking in the emotional glow of worship.
It isn’t faithful church attendance and ministry.
It isn’t service and sacrifice.
It isn’t even reading the Bible, or time spent with Him in prayer.
All of those will be the natural outpouring of a heart that loves Him, and all are necessary— yes!
But one can do all of those things and not love God. And, more importantly, they are not how He tells us He feels loved. Here’s how:
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands.” (1 John 5:3)
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)
“To obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22)
So, what is God’s love language?
Hands-down. No question.
I’ll cut right to the chase.
It is very possible to talk a great deal about loving Jesus, read your Bible, pray regularly, be nice to people, lead women’s ministries, sing at church, you name it…
…but not accept what Scripture says to women. Not accept that God has some very clear and explicit commands for us to obey. And if you don’t accept God’s commands for what they are, according to Him, you don’t actually love Him.
I’m not speaking of women who embrace and love what Scripture says on the roles of women but don’t live it perfectly because “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
No, that’s true of the most obedient and surrendered.
I’m talking about ignoring, twisting, or “interpreting” Scripture your way because you don’t really love what it has to say there. “It can’t really mean THAT,” or, “This is my interpretation/how I feel about it.” Finding a Bible teacher who agrees with you and confirms what you wish to hear.
Of course, sometimes it’s hard to know what a passage is saying— there are some which are cryptic, or even the original Greek word in question has a wide range of meaning— but many passages are very straightforward.
Sometimes, it’s hard to discern the specific will of God for our lives. But there’s a whole lot of His general will very clearly revealed to us in His Word, no doubt about it. And if we pick and choose which passages we will obey, are we truly being obedient? If my children said, “Sure, Mama, I’ll obey you in this one area, but not this one over here. You can keep that one, because I don’t like it…” would we consider them to have obedient hearts? Of course not.
So, let’s be clear:
- God says wives are to “reverence,” not merely “respect,” their husbands. (Eph. 5:33)
- God says a woman is not to teach nor hold authority over a man, not just, “women can’t hold the office of pastor.” (1 Tim. 2:12)
- God says the older women are to teach the younger women to “be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God Be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:4,5)
- God says women are to be “obedient” and “in subjection” to their own husbands (Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5)
- God says women are to “adorn themselves with modest apparel,” as well as with “a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3,4)
- God says that a wife does not have the right to deny her husband sex. (1 Cor 7:4)
Are these passages the sum total of what God asks (commands) of us?
No, not at all!
These are just some of the ones written specifically to us women… the ones the church seems to dislike, argue, or ignore altogether.
I mean, we seem more than willing to espouse and try to obey the commands about other, more culturally-acceptable, less controversial stuff. Commands written in the exact same letters, to the exact same churches, as these doctrines and ordinances about the role of women.
We don’t throw out passages, directly surrounding these, on baptism or the Lord’s Supper or how husbands should treat their wives. No, it’s only these passages to women that we find so “controversial.”
But who made them controversial?
God didn’t. The early church didn’t.
The world did. And we did, as we were all too happy to follow suit.
So… how have we loved (obeyed) God today? How can we love Him through obedience if we won’t even acknowledge His commands?
Food for thought.