The Five Love Languages In Our Relationship With Jesus
All the way through Scripture is this continuous nuptial relationship between God and His people. Jesus will always be our first love. Yet, to prepare ourselves to truly love Him as He deserves, we must first understand our relationship to Him, as His bride.
Preparation For The Betrothal:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” — Ephesians 5:25-27
In Ancient Judaism, the soon to be husband and wife would traditionally be immersed into a bath known as the Mikvah. This purification ritual symbolised a spiritual cleansing. Likewise, in preparation for the marriage feast of the Lamb, the waters of baptism now cleanse and sanctify us.
The Betrothal Ceremony:
As opposed to merely an engagement, the betrothal ceremony ensured that the couple was legally married. The couple would give their consent in front of witnesses and would declare their love for each other through covenant vows. Although the betrothed couple would live separately until the marriage was to be consummated, the marriage was still binding and irrevocable.
At Calvary, the betrothal ceremony of the Lamb was inaugurated around the crucifixion, which was Jesus’ ultimate declaration of love. Christ, the bridegroom gave Himself totally to His bride, having pledged His love for her. The relationship between Christ and His Church is most beautifully expressed in the words of St Augustine.
“For, as he suffered and died on the Cross and was struck by a lance, the sacraments which form the Church flowed forth from him ... As Eve came from the side of the sleeping Adam, so the Church was born from the side of the suffering Christ.” – (Augustine, Exposition On The Psalms 127.4)
The Betrothal Period:
After the betrothal ceremony, the husband would leave to prepare a place for his bride. He would then return to take his wife into his home, to consummate the marriage. As the bridegroom, Christ alludes to this betrothal period.
"In my Father's house, there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be." — John 14:2-3
In his absence, the husband would then send gifts to his new bride. The gift that Christ promised to give His Bride, the Church, is the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us prepare ourselves adequately for His return.
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” — John 16:7
The Final Marriage Ceremony:
In Heaven, we consummate our marriage with God. Heaven is nothing other than an eternal exchange of love. Yet, if we want the fruit of His sacrifice, we must be prepared for Christ’s return by clothing ourselves with the fruits of our sanctification.
"Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her, it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure"— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." — Revelation 19:7-9
It is through faith that we become the Bride of Christ, yet it is through faithfulness that we remain righteous enough to be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. In devoting ourselves completely to Jesus in the betrothal period, we prepare ourselves to be committed to Him for all of eternity.
The Five Love Languages:
“For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.” — 2 Corinthians 11:2-3
We cannot be half devoted to Christ. To develop a strong and healthy relationship with the Lord, we can apply the five love languages to our relationship with Jesus.
Words Of Affirmation:
Gratitude is key. When we appreciate the little things that God has done in our lives, we choose to be thankful for our blessings. When we praise and worship God, we glorify Him and express a kind of love that is only for Him.
“This is my body, which is given for you.” — Luke 22:19
When we receive Communion at Mass, we receive the physical Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. It’s a moment of pure intimacy as we allow God to dwell physically within us.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” — Romans 12:1
Jesus gave us the gift of salvation, so that we may offer and devote ourselves completely to Him, as a gift in return. True love involves sacrifice, which includes giving up our will and submitting to God’s will.
These are moments where we pour out our hearts to God, through uninterrupted and focused prayer. It’s also about intentionally taking the time to study or meditate on the Word. God speaks to us in the silence of our hearts and we need to be prepared to listen to Him.
Acts Of Service:
According to Matthew 25:40, when we serve others, we serve the Lord and bear fruits of love, kindness, and generosity. If we desire to cultivate the virtue of humility in our lives, then we must place the needs of others before our own, by serving one another.
As believers, we should naturally desire to grow in intimacy with the Lord. We have a choice to either commit spiritual infidelity or to give God our undivided devotion. For, it is only through our faithfulness in loving Christ now, that we prepare ourselves to love Him for all of eternity...