Photo Credit: Ben White.
Gary Chapman published a book in 1995 entitled The Five Love Languages. The idea behind this book is to know the “love language” of the people with whom you are in relationship. It can be applied to all our relationships, but it is primarily for married couples. The five love languages are; physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts and acts of service. Mr. Chapman teaches in his book that we all have a primary love language and at least one or two others which, not as important as the primary, still have significance. Most people have grown up with and still hold to the notion of “loving a person the way you want to be loved”.
The love language premise is exactly the opposite, it suggests that we love the other the way THEY want to be loved, and knowing their love language is the well from which that love is drawn. Most of us who are in tune with ourselves know what we like and what is important to us but may not be able to put it into words, the love languages give us the frame of reference and the verbiage to help us communicate our needs to our spouses and helps us to understand that what’s important to us may mean nothing at all to them. So, it helps to have more harmonious relationships when we each know our own and the other’s love language and each is speaking it fluently.
I am going to allow myself to be a bit presumptuous and say that I believe there is a sixth love language, and that is prayer. Prayer is an essential part of the life of every believer. We cannot successfully nor joyfully navigate through life without it. Neither can we have a successful and joyful marriage without it. Prayer in some form; pray, prayer, praying is mentioned in the Bible more than 500 times, so I think it’s pretty important. We are told that our prayers are powerful (James 5:16 NIV), that we should pray continually (I Thessalonians 5:17 NIV), we are even commanded to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44 NKJV).
If we are expected to pray for our enemies surely God wants us to pray for our spouses. As a believer, you can’t love someone and not pray for them. And I don’t mean that kind of prayer where you just sic God on them like He’s your spiritual pit bull when they are not living up to your expectations. I call that praying “on” them. But rather, pray “over” them; pray for their health, their safety, their career, their dreams and goals, their faithfulness to God and you, for men pray for their ability to lead the family with Godly wisdom and strength, their protection from the schemes of the enemy, that they will be surrounded with Godly friends who speak the Word and hold them accountable and most of all pray for their salvation if they are unsaved.
Pray for them even when, especially when you feel they are unworthy because they have hurt or disappointed or betrayed you. It’s not always easy, but I’m a living witness that in obedience to Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it is possible. So, call on our Abba father today and on behalf of your spouse, speak the greatest love language of all, PRAYER.