Ah, love! What is love?
We must turn first to God’s Word, because it is Truth, and it says that God is love. Pay attention to what God says about love, because He is the Author of love, and He created us. His love – agape – is true love.
God is perfect; therefore, His love is perfect. He loves unconditionally: that means
- He loves you because He said He loves you (John 3.16) and God never lies.
- He loves you no matter what you do or don’t do.
- He loves you just as perfectly and unconditionally as He loves other people (so it’s no use comparing ourselves to anyone else and how we might think God must love them more because their life is prettier than mine).
- He loves you just as much as He loves Jesus.
Did you get that? God loves you just as much as He loves His only begotten Son, Jesus. How do I know that? Because God’s love is perfect, always. It’s always unconditional. It’s never less than any love He has for anyone or anything else. God loves you fully, with all He has and is. Because He is perfect, He cannot love less than fully perfect.
Unfortunately, we twist the meaning of love. We choose to think love is a feeling. Even if we think we’re showing love to another person, it doesn’t always work out, because we’re working from our own definition of love, not God’s love.
How do you love?
Many people think love is a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s not. Love is where you spend most of your time; it’s your priority. Even if someone thinks they hate themselves and are despicable, and cut themselves or think of suicide, they still love themselves most because that’s where they are spending their thoughts and their time and energy. It’s no coincidence that depressed people find meaning and joy when they start volunteer work: they learn how to think of others more than they think of themselves.
It is very important that you choose how you love, and how you perceive love, very wisely. Again, God is our model, our anchor.
A scenario: If the person you love does not love you and accept you, then, in your mind, you are not loved, you are not accepted; you are not lovable, you are not acceptable.
As much as I know it’s not healthy to be co-dependent, if someone I love doesn’t love me back, then (in my mind) I am totally unlovable: something is wrong with me, and I can’t fix it because the unlovable part of me is my person – who I am.
This is a tangled issue when it comes to family. A mother or father who does not love (or does not know how to show love to) a child is a tragic situation.
Be assured that God will show love to everyone, no matter the situation. He will bring His people.
God tells us to love one another. We can love because He first loved us. His agape is a pure, unconditional love. It involves forgiveness.
The healthiest One to be co-dependent with is God. He always loves me. He created me, and He created me in love. He knows my innermost thoughts, and nothing is hidden from Him. That’s why it is critical to put God first. My identity is in Christ, not in another person. He loves me, therefore I am lovable.
If love is a confusing issue for you, go first to God. Read His Word, speak with His loving Spirit, let Him speak to you.
And also remember to show God’s love to others every day. You never know when God is using you to show His love.
1 John 4.19 We love because He first loved us.