How Do You Want to Be Loved?

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.’” (Hosea 3:1 NLT)

When I think of Hosea, I think of a man who loved God more than he loved himself. How do I know that? Because he did what he wouldn’t have done, not to please himself, but to please God. He married a prostitute, knowing she wouldn’t be faithful to him. And after she was unfaithful, he paid a ransom to buy her back. Love always has a price.

The story of Hosea and Gomer is a picture of God and His “bride,” the children of Israel. It vividly illustrates how God viewed Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him, yet, His willingness to restore them and love them in ways that were very foreign to them.

Because of what Jesus did on the Cross, in paying the “ransom” for our sin, He illustrated a similar story in buying us back from the sin that held us captive. In my mind, love can only be understood as it’s demonstrated in real life, with real people.

We can tell someone how much we love them, but unless and until we demonstrate our love in tangible ways, it’s simply “lip service.” But the plot thickens because we give and receive love in different ways. Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled “The Five Love Languages,” seeking to show the different ways we express and receive love. The five “languages” were: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

What is your love language? Why is it even important to know that? Because many times our tendency is to love like we like to be loved. For example, if my love language is receiving gifts, it’s easy to assume that my spouse or person to whom I’m wanting to express love, will also love gifts, which may or may not be true.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

And you may be thinking: “who wouldn’t like a nice gift?” Which is true and the gift may be well received, but what if their love language is quality time? The likelihood is very high that they would much rather you spend time with them than buy them gifts.

Lisa Lakey, in a Family Life devotional I read said: “I not-so-quickly learned that loving my husband required respecting how we differ in both the fantastic and somewhat uncomfortable ways. I learned that waking up far too early on Saturday (without grumbling) to fish at a lake two hours away spoke greater love to him than breakfast in bed. I learned that loving him means being patient when he is a little grumpy after a 16-hour workday. It means being forgiving, humble, and gracious. Even when I don’t want to, which is often. I get one lifetime with this husband of mine. So, I want to love him well.”

Isn’t that our goal as believers – to love God well by loving those in our family and spheres of influence? Isn’t love the characteristic that enables us to be most like our heavenly Father? Yet, how we love, in some ways and on some levels, is more important than that we love. How so?

No one knows us better than God, so He loves us very personally. He knows our “love” language and loves us in ways that are not only seen but felt. He loves us largely by putting people in our lives who will either perfectly demonstrate the type of love we most need to experience, or who most need to be loved the way we love to love.

Beginning with our spouse and family, but extending to our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others with whom we have contact from day to day, let’s not simply be desirous of being loved by them in ways that will be meaningful to us, but may we set our priorities on loving them as they need to be loved.

Food for thought.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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