Our society has a pretty messed up and warped idea of what love really is. Just turn on any television show, open a book, or even listen to the lyrics of your favorite song and you will see that it is all about sex. So much of what is being marketed to our youth is full of immorality and sex. It is no wonder we have a world full of broken jaded people.
I am in my 40s. I got married at 18, divorced at 38. I knew I wasn’t in love with this man, but we had had sex and I had been brought up with the knowledge that God created sex for marriage. So I felt like I had to marry him so it would redeem me of the sin I had committed by crossing the line and partaking of the gift God had created for a husband and a wife. I knew I didn’t love him and I knew he didn’t love me.
I tried to be loving in my marriage, even suffering through years of abuse. But that is not love, and that is not what God intended. I can’t say I didn’t know what love was because I did. I had an excellent example of sacrificial, unconditional love through my parents. Not just between the two of them, but in their love for each of us.
I remember as a child we used to sing the song Beloved, Let Us Love One Another. The song itself is the Scripture found in 1 John 4:7-8.
Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love. Beloved, let us love one another. First John seven and eight. https://youtu.be/-bbKRBTggo4
So what does this verse mean – he that loveth not, knoweth not God? For some time as a child I thought this meant that if I didn’t have someone to love I couldn’t know God. My music teacher set me straight on that and I know I am not doing his words justice, but I remember him saying something along these lines. God is love, as we get to know Him and learn more about him we love Him more. And when we love Him more we understand His love for us better. God is the example of perfect love, so we can love others.
I may not have experienced love in my marriage, but I have received God’s love abundantly. God’s love for me is pure and passionate, unconditional and holy. God’s love is beyond anything I can experience here on earth. He loves me through my sins, strengths, my past, and my future.
So I love God, and I love my children, I love my family, I love my fiancée and my friends. I love, not with a, butterflies in the stomach, breathless, anxious love, but with a recognition of my, and their flaws, and that is okay. The truth is, true love grows without fanfare, without butterflies and sparks, and without the anxious uncertainty that is presented in our society today.
Rest in the love of our Lord and Savior and know that through Him you can find true and lasting love.