God speaks your love language (by Gary Chapman)

I read 'The Five Love Languages' by Gary Chapman about nine months ago, and enjoyed it very much. I had dipped into it before and discussed the theories, but on doing the questionnaire and reading the book in depth, I was slightly surprised to find that my two preferred 'languages' seem to be touch and quality time, although the one I seem to 'speak' most fluently is acts of service.

Pondering this, and discussing further with other people, I was intrigued by the idea that we relate not just to our spouses and children using our favourite 'love languages', but to other people, and also to God. How, I wondered, could anyone possibly relate to God using touch, when He is intangible by definition?

So I bought this book, 'God Speaks your Love Language', and have been reading it over the past couple of weeks. I found it thought-provoking and helpful. The book was well written, with a chapter about each of the different preferred 'love languages' (words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch) after an initial introduction. Then there are further chapters looking at love language as it relates to discipline, and speaking other 'dialects'.

It was reassuring to see that my reluctance to use certain styles of worship or prayer - such as words of affirmation - may simply stem from the ways I express love. It was also useful to understand better how other people can relate very differently. As I read the chapter on physical touch, I was relieved, and pleased to find that while I don't relate to all the suggested uses of this 'language', I do certainly find some of them very relevant. The same is true, in a lesser way, for quality time; less so for the others.

The author encourages everyone to listen for all expressions of love, whatever the language, from God and other people, and also to learn to speak in ways that other people better understand.

I can't say it was overwhelmingly inspiring but I enjoyed reading it, and would certainly recommend it to anyone trying to understand God - and other people - better. It's probably best to have read one of the other books about love languages first, but not essential.

Still in print on both sides of the Atlantic.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 20th December 2009

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