In the late 90’s, the Christian book The Five Love Languages reached the height of its popularity, and seemingly spoke to a wide variety of people: spouses, women, men, singles, children and teenagers, to name a few. Though mate-less at the time, I pored over the chapters of the marriage-directed book, eager to find my own official love language, whilst pinpointing the languages of my college buds as well. Soon it became a holy contest of sorts, as our late-adolescent selves tried our hardest to love each other the best way our friends (okay, and our crushes…) might desire and receive.
Were we wrong in our efforts? Not at all – but as I read over Jesus’ words to his friends in John 15, I’m reminded that it doesn’t take a book’s five-step solution to make right a relationship. It simply takes the act of love.
Here’s the deal: for years I ignorantly believed that if I could just nail the other person’s love language, and then shower them in acts of service or gifts or words of encouragement, I’d be on my way. But as I read over the text again, this I realize: love’s originating source, Christ himself.
I know this. I preach this. I pray this. But have I lived it?
Loving others well simply means living from Jesus, the Fount of Love. Because he loved us, we love others. I find compelling that within these five verses, three words are repeated over and over again: “command” (3x), “love” (4x) and “friend” or “another” (5x). Is this not the crux of his message that He weaves in and out of, not only in this directive section of John 15, but throughout the Old and New Testaments? Over and over again, God whispers to us, I love you, I love you, I love you – now go, and love one another.
This is the simple profundity of the Gospel. Might we enter into it as Christ’s community, simply because He first loved us.
This post originally appeared on the DPC Prayer Connections blog; click here to read the post in its entirety, with scripture and attached questions.0