“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
I finally discovered a huge roadblock to my relationship with God. I mentioned it previously. I am struggling to comprehend the love of God and how anyone or God could truly love me. Now, I realize many things have blocked the way.
One, being sexually abused and assaulted, growing up not having the love shown to me in the proper way, has left me unable to accept and realize the love God has for me.
I have had my moments of beginning to understand God loves me, but I still struggle to comprehend how He loves me. What does “God loves me.” mean and look like?
Besides the obstacle of growing up not realizing love wasn’t things being done to you which you didn’t want done. Back then, love was all about what the other person wanted.
I have come to realize a second obstacle is church stands in the way of understanding love too. (Don’t get me wrong, we need church, but it can get in our way.)
Church can be very strict and harsh. Do this. Don’t do that. You are a sinner so you must repent and ask God for forgiveness. How often in church do we hear of God’s love for us?
We hear about Him dying for our sins, our terrible, horrible sins, WE committed, but not of the love it took for Him to die. We hear about His death for us, but not about the LOVE He had in dying for us. At least I haven’t heard it recently.
We talk about hell and Satan and sermons have “Themes” now, they follow. Have you seen a sermon theme lately on God’s love for you? Have you heard a preacher lately describe God’s love for you? Has anyone at church explained God’s love for you?
I’m not talking about saying, “God loves you.” I’m talking about really digging deep and talking about the why and how of God loving us. True love. Real love.
As Dallas Willard said, “Love is not a desire – it is to will the good of others.”
Our society presents a third roadblock because it looks at love as a desire. Almost drooling over someone or something YOU want and what YOU get out of it. Not just wanting good for someone else and what they need.
With all of these “false” definitions of love it is no wonder love is confusing. Especially when you realize we don’t have a frame of reference because of what was done to us.
We have no example to follow so it is understandable if we can’t comprehend someone’s true love for us; let alone God’s love.
I am currently reading a book I highly recommend if you are confused about love. Especially God loving you. It is called “He Loves Me! Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection” by Wayne Jacobsen (Click on his name to read his blog). A friend told me about the book, and my therapist also recommended it.
I attempted to read it before and put it down. I wasn’t ready. I picked it back up yesterday and started it again. Slowly, with a highlighter in hand. Taking time to digest each word as it began to cover my soul.
It was like water to the thirsty or sunlight after rain. Words I needed to hear. Slow explanations of God’s love…for me. For you.
It will take time for me to read the book. Time for me to allow God to work on me and show me His love, in many forms, as I long to experience from Him. Like a child running to her father.
He wants us to know His love for us. He longs to show us His love, because He IS LOVE. He is the ultimate definition of it.
I’m going to work with God to understand His love, and you can too.
There are so many things and people in this world trying to tell me what love is and what it isn’t. Help me to see You are the true picture of love, and work on my heart to allow me understand Your love for me.
My prayer for you today is also Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians…
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV
God Bless You!
What can you do?
Try thinking about what love is to you and what it means to you. Write it down in a journal or on an index card. Look up verses on love and memorize them. Ask God to make the verses real to you.
You can write and journal in Restoring the Soul Journal: For Encouragement and Hope found on Amazon.com.
© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.
Definition from: http://www.soulshepherding.org/2013/05/dallas-willards-definitions/
@waynejacobsen https://www.lifestream.org/blog/ – Wayne Jacobsen’s blog