If you're somewhere around my age - which is mid-twenties - then you're probably familiar with the term "love language". There is a book about some of this stuff. I haven't read it. The term was introduced to me in my late teens/early twenties by some YFC peeps.
Lately I've been doing some thinking about love and love languages. I guess I should kind of spell out my understanding of love language. I interpret a love language to be one of the ways in which you speak love. For instance, touch is a love language of mine. I speak love to you through touch. Another way I show love is in details. I express my love by remembering little details - like that you really enjoy dark chocolate, or Golden Grahams, steak, long walks in autumn, gummies, cake, action movies, etc.
It is said that we love the way we want to be loved. At least for those of us who are free enough to express love. Those that aren't... well that's a whole are post. And if we love the way we want to be loved, then we want to be loved the way we love. *Shakes head in confusion* Right. My thinking about that has led to see that that circle has the potential to be, well, a bit selfish. It puts a big expectation on the other person/people. "Hey, you! I'm gonna love you like this. I hope you like it, but I'm not really gonna change if you don't. Oh, and can you love me the same way in return?" That doesn't sound right to me.
A friend of mine has been challenging me to look at the ways I love. If you've ever been a close friend with me, you can attest (and maybe set up a support group for yourselves) to how, um, intensely I love. Pretty much I go hard or go home. Eventually I settle down. But usually the settling comes after a bunch of me getting hurt. I love, love, love some more and then don't get it back, scare someone off and end up confused and lonely.
That was quite the little pity party up there, but still true. There are few people who've been able to ride the wave for very long. The challenge from the friend mentioned above was to figure out new languages of love, for the sake of me and my friends. How can I love without swinging around out on the limb? How can I figure out, intuit, listen, observe, how to love my friends how they want to be loved? I feel God is in there somewhere, or more specifically the Holy Spirit - how do let the Holy Spirit move me in ways of love that best suit the needs of my friends?
I guess we'll see.