Monday, July 20, 2009

God says you are...

(In a recent post, I wrote a little about the Five Love Languages, as written about by Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.  I explained how I found myself wondering if they apply to our relationship with God. This is the third of what turned out to be nine posts as I explored this topic.)

Love Language: Words of Affirmation

Almost everyone enjoys it when others tell us they appreciate us, that they care about us, and what they admire in us. But for those who speak this love language, those words mean more than any other expression of love.

This is me. Many of my most precious memories are those when my husband, parents, and grandparents spoke to me about their feelings for me...and some of my most painful memories are times when a loved one told me I didn't measure up, or failed to give me a few simple words of affirmation that I craved at that moment. Some examples...

I remember the time when, as a teenager, my father told me he knew he could trust me to do the right thing. I knew he was talking about the temptations teenagers face, and I knew at that moment that I would rather die than give him cause to take back those words. They stuck with me, and I don't know if he realized what a powerful force those words were in my life.

I remember my sixteenth birthday, which happened to be an extremely busy day. We never did parties, I knew I wouldn't get much of a gift, and neither of those facts bothered me in the slightest. Yet, by noon, I finally dissolved in tears in a hidden corner because no one had said the words, "Happy Birthday." I could not conceive any reason why someone would fail to say those two words to me, if they loved me! Even now, my husband has realized the only thing he has to do to make my birthday a good one, is to tell me "Happy Birthday" when I wake up.

I remember the day I was feeling wretched about my failure to keep the house clean for my husband and three little kids. This was nothing new...I had been struggling with the feeling of failure in this area for years, and I still struggle with this. But that day I told my husband so. I will never forget the words he said: "But you're a wonderful wife and mother!" I asked how he could say so, with an eloquent gesture to encompass the dirty dishes and dog hair and clutter. He looked at me, perplexed. "How clean you keep the house has nothing to do with how wonderful a wife and mother you are. I could not have asked for a woman who loved me more or was a better wife, and you are the perfect mother to our children." He may have gone on to explain further, but I soaked up those words. In fact, those words marked a turning point in my life, simply because of the power they had for me. The affirmation I received in those two areas of my life gave me power to face my failures and fight them.

Do any of these spark similar memories for you? Do you cherish loving words that are spoken to you and remember them long after others have forgotten? Do you ever feel that you would do almost anything to hear certain words? If so, you just might speak this love language, too!

So...what words of affirmation has God spoken over us? I found quite a few, and many of these are my favorite verses in Scripture:

"I have called you by name, for you are Mine!" (Is. 43:1)

"I know every detail of your days, for I made you, and I am always thinking of you." (Psalm 139:1-18)

"You are precious in My sight. You are honored, and I love you." (Is. 43:4)

"Nothing can ever make Me stop loving you." (Jer. 31:3)

"You are more valuable than the lilies and sparrows, which I provide for and have made beautiful." (Matt. 6:26-30)

"You are more valuable than animals. (Despite what animal-rights activists say.)" (Matt 12:10-12)

"In fact, you are so valuable and I pay so much attention to you that I know how many hairs are on your head. (Matt. 10:29-31)

"I rejoice over you!" (Zeph. 3:17, Is. 62:5, Is. 65:19, Jer. 32:41)

"I delight in you." (Is. 62:4, Ps. 22:8, Ps. 35:27, Ps. 149:4)

"I have forgiven you and will not hold your sin against you." (Jer. 31:34, Jer. 33:8, Is. 43:25, Is. 44:22, Mic. 7:18-19, Heb. 9:11-14)

"You are free!" (Is. 61:1, Rom. 6:7)

"I have good things planned for you!" (Jer. 29:11)

"I will never turn away from you. (Jer. 32:40, Heb. 13:5, Duet. 31:6&8, Josh. 1:5)

"You are My child." (1 John 3:1-2, John 11:52, Rom. 8:16)

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"I have made you My heir." (Acts 20:32, Eph. 1:11,14)

"You shine!" (Matt. 5:14, Is. 60:2-3)

"I am always on your side." (Rom. 8:31)

"You are an overcomer." (1 John 2:14, 1 John 5:4-5)

Tell me...what other verses speak to you, that tell us how God sees us?

9 comments:

  • bluecottonmemory says:
    Monday, July 20, 2009

    I am so a word of affirmation person. When I was going through boxes of pictures and "stuff" to make a picture video for my son's rehearsal dinner, I found the notes that came with my wedding gifts, and letters, precious letters from my mom, my aunt,and my grandmother. One letter that I had never seen was one my grandmother sent me while my grandfather was dying of cancer. They were commenting on a book of poems I had sent them (6th grade). My grandmother told me what my grandfather said. It was so beautiful. I sat in a pile of old letters, cried, and felt the love they had for me just hug me, all because of words of encouragement.

    I love your list of scriptures that encourages us to see the tremdendous love our Father has for us! Thanks!

  • Katie says:
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Thanks for commenting, BlueCotton! That really sounds wonderful to have found that! I know I sometimes happen across old birthday cards with hand-written messages inside, from loved ones who are gone, and I'm always glad I saved them.

  • Annie says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    WOA is my third language. I'm sorry ... I know I've probably not done the best in this category with you. I will endeavor to get better.

    What uplifting Scriptures those are! How wonderful to ponder how He truly sees us. It's amazing.

    Relating what your husband told you about being a good wife ... made me break down crying. I'd give anything to hear those words out of my husband. I hear the opposite. Just recently he told me I am not fulfilling my marriage vows because I don't keep the house clean. Sorry to dump that on blogland, but ... I'd rather be real. I'm so glad God cherishes our hearts and constantly fills them with life and encouragement. I am always amazed by Him.

  • Crown of Beauty says:
    Friday, July 24, 2009

    Dear Katie,
    What an honest post, and what a privilege it is for me to hear some personal stories about how your dad and your own husband affirmed you. Reminds me of my own dad and husband! I love the many scripture verses you shared on this post to show us just how much God affirms us!

    Thank you for taking time to do this post. It is so special!

  • David C Brown says:
    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    "ye shall be to me for sons and daughters"; and, yes, I'd better affirm that this is a fine post!

  • Crown of Beauty says:
    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    Hi dear friend,

    While asking God to whom I should pass on a recent blog award I received, your name was spoken to my heart.

    Please visit my August 2 post to pick it up.

    Blessings on your week!

    Love
    Lidj

  • Katie says:
    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    That's a wonderful verse, David! Thanks for sharing it, and for commenting!

    And Lidj...thank you for the award! I confess that I'm not sure what to do with blog awards and the whole passing-it-on-thing, as I feel led to keep this blog "on topic"...but I do feel appreciated! And I pray that I, too, may be led to give appropriate encouraging words in due season to you, and my other friends, both online and offline. ((((hugs))))

  • Julie says:
    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    Hey Katie,
    Thanks for your sweet words that you left on my blog. I came by for a visit here today and didn't leave you a message....

    Love your heart shared. It's a beautiful thing!

    Thanks for stopping by!!!

  • Tabitha@ichoosebliss says:
    Monday, August 10, 2009

    This post spoke to me as I am trying to inspire others to speak positive affirmations to themselves as well as those they love and care for. Your hubby sounds like mine. Great men.

    Speaking positive, love filled words makes a huge difference. I deeply enjoyed reading your words.

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