11 Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Words of affirmation are one of the five love languages that some of us carry in our lives. Affirmation is using wordsto encourage others. If you have never heard of the five love languages, then I would encourage you to google it (https://www.5lovelanguages.com) as it would help you best understand how to reach out and show others the love and support you yourself desire to have.
When first learning of these, many are able to see the need to understand them, and utilising the five languages in the area of marriage. Yet they fail to see the importance of them in the areas of other relationships like family, friends and colleagues. It is often for this very reason we miss the mark in being able to walk alongside one another – we try and speak (showing love) in a way that doesn’t resonate with those we wish to reach out to.
Some people receive their love and encouragement through touch (a hug, a tap on the back, holding hands, etcetera); it’s their way of knowing they are loved and would walk away feeling encouraged. But if I try and show this same type of love (touch) to someone who much more enjoys words of affirmation (well done, thank you, etc) I would only irritate them, causing them to walk away.
In the end, I would have failed in my ability to reach out to them and to walk a journey alongside them. It’s why people often pair up or gravitate to those who understand them. Imagine, for a moment, if you were able to know exactly how to show love and encouragement to the various people around you. You would have an incredible grouping of people surrounding you.
This journey we are on works best when we understand exactly how to encourage (show love) those we come in contact with. This is what makes our Lord and Saviour so incredible to walk alongside – He knows exactly how to show us the love that we are able to identify with.
It is for this reason that we gravitate towards Him – more than those around us, He gets us. While He might not be able to give us a physical touch, He places men and women around us who are able to show us this type of love. He uses others who are able to speak a word at just the right moment to uplifts us when we fail to hear it directly from Him.
My friend, there are many who wish to know that God loves and cares about them, and the vessel he wishes to do this through is you and me. If we would listen to the Lord, allowing Him to place us around the people who need to know Him better, we will find ourselves walking alongside those for a good part of their journey.
Each and every one of us desires to be encouraged in our journey. God has made sure that you receive that by placing others around you.
Today, find out exactly what type of love resonates best with those around you and you will be able to be an encouragement to them. The journey to walk alongside them starts by getting to know exactly how to love and encourage them.
Lord Jesus. How wonderful it is to know that You know exactly how to encourage me on my journey. Help me better understand those I find around me today that I may encourage them in a way that resonates the love of God in their journey. I pray this in Your mighty name. Amen.