Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Are you "Multilingual?"

During my journey to weight loss, I began thinking about the food we eat in America.
 I have come to realize that we all eat for different reasons.
Some far more legitimate than others, obviously, based on the soaring obesity rates we are seeing in this country.

So when I came across an article entitled:
So I stopped eating

I was intrigued.

But I found something far more profound than the story about the girl who gradually succumbed to
anorexia.

"Also, I had cried when I’d gone to kindergarten, so Mum had brought me home, ordered books, and vowed to teach me. That kind of thing was supposed to tell me she loved me, but I didn’t feel it; because to me, love was words and gifts."


Did you see that?  Did you SEE what she said?
She said that what her mother did for her in wanting to homeschool her was her mother's way of saying,
"I love you."
But she didn't get it.
The girl didn't understand.
It wasn't HER language.
Love, in her language, was "words and gifts."

I have been reviewing a book on my personal bookshelf, the bookshelf in my bedroom, entitled

In this book, the author lays out five "languages" of love understood by most people.
He theorizes that many communication issues between spouses are caused by not understanding how your spouse interprets your expression of love to him/her, and vice-versa.
According to the author, the 5 different languages of love are:

1. Giving of gifts
2.  Physical touch
3.  Quality time
4.  Acts of service
5. Words of Affirmation

Everyone is different.  Everybody speaks and understands their own language (naturally), 
but it takes some time and study to learn what your spouse's language is.

It's the same with our children.

My oldest daughter is a gift-giver.
She has always been the one who couldn't go to a friend's house without something to give them.
Even if she gave something of her own.
She would wrap it up and was just as excited to watch them open the gift as they were to receive it!

But if I try to tell her that I love her by guarding the types of media I let her watch,
or by washing all her clothes for her every other day,
or by protecting her from some of the humanistic philosophies that she would be exposed to in a formal school setting
and sacrificing my time and desires to homeschool her....
I'm pretty sure she would misunderstand what I was trying to communicate to her.

See, she doesn't speak my love language.
Even though she is my own child, we don't always understand each other.
It's the same in my marriage.
I need to learn to be fluent in another language.
The language of the one I chose to marry.

It's a different language than my daughter's too.

Sometimes, it's really hard to learn a new language.
Sometimes I wish we all spoke the same language so it would be easier.
But then, wouldn't that be boring?
Wouldn't that be awfully monochromatic?
Should I be resentful of someone simply because they don't speak MY language?

Shouldn't I be willing to study and communicate in the most effective way I can with those I love the most?
Isn't that what our Heavenly Father did for us?

He knew that as mortals, mere humanity, we would never be able to fully grasp the endlessness of His love for us.
That we, as simple human beings are not capable of truly comprehending Who He is?
How CAN we know if we've never seen Him or heard Him?
We have our own very finite definition of greatness, of holy things, of things that never end.
But it doesn't translate into the God of the universe, the Almighty, Elohim.
So He spoke to us in a way that we can understand.
Through the spectacular varieties of species of all animals and plants, of land forms, cloud formations,
temperatures, weather patterns, human races, languages, stars, planets, galaxies, 
and the simple complexity of the human body!

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
and night unto night shows knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard."
~Psalm 19:1-3

As mere finite beings, we can understand the language of creativity and of a force much
greater and wiser than ourselves to have started this marvelous world we occupy.

Yet, the Holy One knew that even some would not understand Him through the language of nature and creation.
So He wrote down His thoughts for us.
He put His thoughts into written form.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God...."
2 Timothy 3:16


"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction,
that through perseverance and the encouragement of Scriptures we might have hope."
Romans 15:4


"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
in order that you may know that you have eternal life." 
I John 5:13


Yet, humanity would still not "get" it.
Many of the things that were written down were a mystery to those
confined to an earthly existence with earthly limitations.
And our loving Father knew we needed a visual.
We needed to be able to SEE His Word in action.
What love really looked like.
What a servant's heart really looked like.
What humility really looked like.
What grace really looked like.

So He wrapped Himself in skin.
He became one of us, so that we could understand Him in the simplest of terms.
He willingly imprisoned Himself in a human body because He wanted us to get what He was saying.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory,
glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace 
and truth."
John 1:14


"For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved."
John 3:16,17


Don't my children deserve what my Heavenly Father has extended to me?
To understand my love for them?
Shouldn't I be willing to keep trying over and over
until they get it?
Shouldn't I try to reach them in the most effective way possible?
Am I willing to learn THEIR love language?


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