Why is it so hard for us to accept real, unconditional love?
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had this conversation with people. It’s so hard for us to believe that someone might actually love us – the real person we are, flaws and all.
Honesty hour: I’m in my first year of marriage, and it’s still hard for me to believe that my husband actually loves me sometimes. I feel a little crazy even typing this, but there have been so many times I have let the enemy convince me that my husband doesn’t actually love me. I’ve even fallen into the trap of believing that he is cheating on me. It happens more than I care to admit. It makes me act paranoid and guarded against him and when he asks what’s wrong, I finally cave and tell him what’s been fogging my mind. You should see how hurt he is every time I allude to the fact that he hasn’t been as devoted to me as he vowed to be.
You know that’s the look Jesus has when we fess up and tell Him the same thing, right? Or when we act in a way that a person loved by Jesus shouldn’t act? When we let the enemy convince us that Jesus couldn’t possibly love us, that He loves someone else more, or that He has overlooked us — it breaks His heart because He made a promise to love us unconditionally and He is a God Who has never broken a promise.
For me, I can trace it back to probably every guy I dated before my husband. I bet you can trace it back to at least one person, too. And it likely wasn’t even all their fault. Sometimes we put so much pressure on someone to be the one when the One is the only One and no one else can replace Him — so maybe He allows something to not work out to remind you of that. AND He is hand-picking a husband for you – wouldn’t you rather Him pick than you? I know I’m glad He had the final say.
I tried to make a lot of guys “the one.” I even tried to date a freshman when I was a senior in college and BLESS HIS HEART. (I’ve written about him before and totally freaked him out already so it’s fine, really.) (Hopping back in the parentheses which are like whispered side stories to tell you that I’m very Taylor Swift when it comes to guys because I’ve written about all of them and freaked them out, but my husband is WAY chill with me writing about him and always has been and that’s reason 2427482 why I love him with all my little heart.) (Ok let’s get back to the main conversation, I swear I’ll stop the whispers.) I was so desperate for love and affection and was searching for a guy to give me that when it was always, only God all along Who could satisfy my heart. I scared a lot of people away – guys, friends.. You name it. Because I wanted to be loved so badly. And all I had to do was look up and dig into what He had for me. But instead, I was looking all around.
I saw a girl from college shortly after I got engaged and she said, “Yeah we were all texting when we saw that you got engaged and we said, ‘“FINALLY! She found someone.’” Ouch. No matter how she meant that, it cut me deep. Had it been that obvious that I was THAT desperate? I sure hope it’s that obvious how desperate I am for the love of Jesus every single day – I want it written all over my face.
Since I set so many people up to let me down, I just knew I was unlovable. So when I met my now-husband, I could not possibly believe he wouldn’t let me down just like the rest of them. Through dating, engagement, and marriage, I have let myself go back to the dark where I believe I’m too much and not enough at the same time, where I’m not as good as the girl he could have married, where there’s no chance my life could have turned out this well with someone who loves so well.
Have you been there, friend? Have you self-destructed in a relationship because you run backwards down a road you were meant to move forward on? Stop. Run the other way. Toward the Truth.
The fact of the matter is we can’t accept the true love we deserve from a human until we have fully accepted the true love we don’t deserve but are freely given from our God.
And maybe you have been hurt by someone who wasn’t faithful. But please don’t let that stop you from being loved again – by someone who needs your forgiveness or by someone else. And please don’t let that stop you from loving yourself.
What about your friends? Are you convinced your best friends don’t really even like you that much? Like maybe you annoy them? Maybe they talk about you when you’re not around? Ding ding ding! ANOTHER lie from satan himself.
He wants you to be alone. He wants you friendless and isolated. But Jesus wants you in community and with friends who love you like He does. And if a friend loves Jesus, chances are she loves you like He loves you. She might mess up and let you down like every human will, but she will never not love you for the exact you that you are when you are at your best and worst.
You deserve to be loved abundantly.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
That abundant life includes abundant love.
Realign your thoughts with thoughts that come from Jesus and no one or nothing else. He is the ultimate example of how to love because He IS Love. Let Him love you and all your broken pieces and see how easy it becomes for you to let your people to love those broken pieces, too.
Don’t lie awake one more night with anxiety over the lies you have believed. You are loved. You can be loved. And you deserve to be loved — so much so that the God Who created the universe chooses to love you 24/7.
Let’s start accepting the love we deserve so that we can turn around and give it right back to everyone around us — because everyone deserves that kind of love, right?