“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NLT)
Yesterday, millions of people throughout the country declared their love in some form or fashion. Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and children, and close friends may have exchanged gifts such as flowers, candy, stuffed animals, or some other means as an expression of their love. As sweet as these things sound, I wonder how many of these relationships will still be intact by this time next year.
We humans have a severely flawed way of loving. To many, love is based on the warm, fuzzy feeling we get when that someone special is around or when the behavior of our loved ones coincide with how we think they should be. When the warm fuzzies fade or the person commits what we deem an unlovable act, our feelings of love toward this individual tend to get weaker. This type of “love” is based on feelings. When we love someone based on our feelings, the love is never going to last because our feelings fluctuate. Husbands and wives can get on each other’s nerves and not feel like being married any longer. Boyfriends and girlfriends may feel like their relationship has reached a dead end and so has their love. Children and parents can have a disagreement about various things that will cause a permanent strain on their relationship. Given the right circumstances, close friends can become best enemies. These situations and more can lead to sayings like “I love him, but I’m not in love with him,” or “I’m going to just love her from a distance.”
This is not to say that our feelings of being upset or hurt by someone are wrong. God made us as feeling creatures. We have to accept emotions as part of our makeup. However, we cannot be led by our emotions because they are subject to change at any time.
The love that God has for us never changes in intensity or volume. He doesn’t love us because we’re smart, pretty, giving, etc. He loves us. Period. No strings attached. By “us,” I don’t mean only Christians, but rather mankind. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16 NLT). Whether or not you believe in God, He loves you. Whether or not you serve God, He loves you. Whether or not you love yourself or others, He loves you. He will never stop loving you. (See Romans 8:38).
True love isn’t based on feelings or characteristics of the person whom we love. It simply is. It is possible to genuinely love others, but not on our own accord. We don’t have the ability to love flawlessly without the help of our Heavenly Father. Allow Him to work through you. More than anything, I hope you accept the love that He has for you. When you accept His love, also accept the gift He gave to you in Jesus as an expression of His love.