While I was writing last week’s soapbox post, my mind went off on a tangent. You see, my mind isn’t a nice orderly community with neat and tidy neighborhoods and houses that hold “families.” Some people have perfect little residential neighborhoods in their minds. You go down “Family Way” and there is the Grandma house, the Cousins house, the Brother house, the Great House, and so forth. One street over you’ll find Educational Drive and at 123 is the Math Family and so forth. My mind is just a random junction of rabbit trails… kind of like this introduction to why I’m writing what I’m writing in the first place.
So, as I was writing about “Do unto others” and kindness last week, my mind went skipping down another bunny trail… Love Languages. How do love languages fit in with do unto others. See, obviously, Matthew 7:12 isn’t an option for a Christian. Jesus said it. We do it. It’s pretty straightforward. So, I started wondering how that fit in with the idea of love languages. As I remember it, the point of the book is fairly simple. Find out how someone “feels” loved, and then show it in that manner. On the surface, it sounds like living out Matthew 7:12 in this specific area. But then I started wondering… is it really?
See, it says, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
The verse seems to imply that you can sum up the whole law of God and all the prophets taught by simply “doing unto others.” I don’t even know if that’s what it really means, and I’m not going to investigate right now. I am just wondering if this verse backs up the idea of “love languages” or negates them. Or, is it totally irrelevant. My guess is the latter. However, I had to think about it.
On the surface, it seems as if it’s contradicting the love languages idea. It simply says, “whatever you wish others would do to YOU. Do it to them.” So, if you wish people would tell you when you did a good job, you should tell others when they do. If you wish people would remember special days in your life, you remember theirs. If you wish people would pick up after themselves, you pick up after yourself… or maybe even them! My personal inclination is that this is the basic rendering of this scripture.
However, it is possible that the scripture could be applied to say, “If you feel most loved when people figure out how you feel most loved and then show love in that manner, then do the same for them. Figure out how they feel most loved and show them by demonstrating your love in that fashion.” It could definitely mean that, but that seems awfully convoluted for Scripture. Scripture tends to be pretty straight forward.
And, I can’t ignore that BOTH could be valid expressions of the principle of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Maybe neither is! It’s fascinating isn’t it?
By the way, I don’t think that the “love languages” books are bad things. I’m not trying to “debunk” them. I just had a thought and ran with it. What do you think? In regards to that scripture and love languages (which aren’t exactly spelled out in scripture but neither does that negate that you often can see them in others), how do they apply? Are we to assume that we do the former… always behaving toward others as we want them to behave toward us in a direct manner, or do we take that scripture to mean we want others to look into our hearts and souls and find what makes us tick, so we want to do that for them as well? Neither? Both? Inquiring minds want to know.
Meanwhile, now I’m puzzled by the whole law and prophets thing. Oh well… ever learning…