Gary Chapman published The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate in 1995. He outlines five ways to express and experience love in the book. They are gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. If you were married after 1995 you more than likely own a copy of the book as it is a favorite wedding gift among Christians.
The book was written and intended for married couples, although all of the five love languages are applicable to almost any relationship I can think of. The one that grabs my attention as a parent is “words of affirmation” because as a parent it is the love language that I need the most. It’s where I experience moments of great doubt. It’s where I question myself the most. It’s where I feel the most pressure and it’s where I have the most questions about my abilities. I don’t know about you, but I need to hear that I am doing a good job as a parent. I need affirmation.
It is in those times of doubt that I am reminded of the baptism of Jesus. As the Lord came up out of the water, the heavens split and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and the father said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
I think about that scripture in my most doubt-filled moments because, in the same way that the father affirmed his son, he affirms me too. He has called us to parenting, he has equipped us for it and he affirms us in our weakest moments. We are not alone, we are dearly loved, and we bring the father great joy.
Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you for equipping me and thank you for affirming me. Let me always hear you say that I bring you great joy especially in the moments I doubt myself.
In Jesus name, Amen
“You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” – Mark 1:11 (NLT)
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