Love Language of Receiving

He then realized that his wife’s “love language” was receiving. So he decided to give her something every day for a week, and then to give her something every week for a year.

John Ortberg mentioned as an example this story from a book called “Five Love Languages” or something like that. Disclaimer: I have not read the book.

But that example really threw me. A love language of receiving? I suppose that everyone likes to receive a gift. Even me, although I have few wants or needs. But, as a way of life?!

I have another word or two for that “language” or life attitude. Spoiled. Self-centered. Self-absorbed.

Maybe I’ve taken the illustration too far. Maybe there is a nuance I missed or that Ortberg didn’t mention.

It seems to me through observation and reading that one of the major problems of our times–and this isn’t only America–is just that self-absorption or self-centeredness. I’m amazed at the number of times in a day I can observe examples of people thoughtlessly unaware of others around them. (Oh, and you can tell a self-centered person by asking them–they’ll think that there is nothing wrong in the example I just cited.)

But there is a spiritual gift, agape, that entails giving. I don’t know what we learned about the wife, really, from Ortberg’s example. It is obvious that at least one person made the leap from self-centered to thinking of someone else.

For that, the apostle Paul would rejoice. He taught that many times.

Receive as a blessing; give to be a blessing.

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3 Responses to “Love Language of Receiving”

  1. kenajos Says:

    I respectfully invite you to read the book. I do agree with your evaluation of our selfish and self-centered culture and sometimes that mindset feeds a part of us that would be better left unfed. However, the love languges represent more basic human needs that vary across cultures and individuals. Some of it is learned, some biological, but either way it is a good place to learn how to better love your lover. My wife’s major language is “words of affirmation”, she needs words to let her know what she means to me. That makes her no more or less selfish than someone who needs action (recieving) to feel the same way. We’re unique in our expressions and each one is ok.

    I hope these words came out as humble and kind as they are intended.

    • Gary Mintchell Says:

      Thanks for the note.

      I wasn’t trying to review the book. The way Ortberg presented it took me by surprise.

      It is important to understand other people and how to relate to the different needs of each. Many people just don’t seem to notice other’s needs. Anything that breaks that distraction is a good thing.

      I’ll put the book on my list.

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