The Trouble with Love

God loves us, but most of us have no clue as to what that means.

When we think about love, we all tend to be on the same level – teens and adults alike. Love is defined by specific times, feelings, and actions. When a cute girl pays attention, the boy falls “in love.” The man who plans a weekend away with his wife is said to be showing love. Dating couples who break up explain that they just don’t love the other anymore. Married couples do the same. In all cases, “love” is restricted to times, feelings or actions.

The same is true in our life with God. In our seasons of struggle, we wonder if God still loves us. If He does, then why do we struggle? When we ask for God’s direction and hear only silence, we wonder if He really cares. We go through times when we are infatuated with God because his mercies are new every morning. Yet, we are fair-weather lovers when God doesn’t seem to be meeting us where we are.

David wrote desperately of his troubles in Psalm 13. “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?” We can relate to those times when we just can’t feel, see or touch the love of God. While David brought these concerns directly to God, He did not necessarily receive anything more than silence. Yet David concludes with this – “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD for he has been good to me.”

We all experience the roller coaster of life. We feel close to God in our highs and far from God in our lows. Sometimes we really only love God when He performs what we think is a loving action toward us. But our understanding of love is so messed up. The teens and children in our lives follow with the same skewed view of love. Ultimately, we think God loves the way we love.

Praise God He doesn’t. Rather, God speaks and tells us of His love, even though our lives are bent on ignoring Him (Romans 1:20-21). God gently directs us to Himself, yet we go our own way (Romans 3:10-12). Even while we were totally against God, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God loves us even when we don’t love Him back. And that’s not even the full extent of his love.

Scripture tells us that nothing will separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:39). God tells us in His Word that He will never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5). His love is faithful and constant. He loves us every bit as much when we sin as when we obey. From God we learn that “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). If we ever doubt God’s love, we need to return to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The more fully we comprehend His love toward us, the more compelled we are to love Him faithfully and constantly whether or not we feel His love in return. God loved us when we were (and still sometimes are) silent toward Him. In fact, we only know love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). When our hearts don’t feel love, we remain steadfast like David because “God is greater than our hearts” (1 John 3:20).

God loves us. The next generation needs to know how to faithfully navigate this life in terms of knowing and returning God’s love, but they learn it best as we model a life that is dead set on loving God no matter what.

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