I’ve outlined and am teaching a class on spiritual temperaments- how we love and experience God- based on Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Pathways. As an introduction to the class we talked about some of the many personality typology systems that are used to map human behavior- Myers-Briggs, enneagrams, task/people-structured/unstructured grids, colors, etc. Someone in the class brought up the Gary Chapman book The Five Love Languages. Today we got into a brief conversation about individuals’ love language preferences- words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. I’ve never done the study, but one woman who had said that children are conversant in all of them and will respond to and use all of them until they begin to exercise a preference for one or another as they grow.
What occurred to me as she said that was what Christ said about the kingdom and little children….”Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17) Could that have been what he meant? That we are to love and be open to all of the varieties of ways in which real love is expressed to us by God and by those He has put in our lives? Hmmmmmm. Is that what God means by being “perfected” in love? Is “perfect” simply to be competent and conversant in all the languages of love?