Unloved! We’ve all felt it. Even when it’s unfounded or untrue, it taunts us, ridicules us, at times, overpowers us. And though it’s a lie, we believe it. It validates our insecurities. It reaches those pieces of our hearts we try to cover or ignore. And it highlights all our flaws and failures—I am unloved!
Even as an adult there are times I need to fight against this emotion, rationalize in my head that my feelings don’t actually match my reality. That doesn’t make my feelings any less real but it does give me perspective. Perspective I didn’t have in my teen-aged years or even into my twenties.
I still remember vividly the heartache I felt and tears I shed over broken friendships, sibling rifts, and angered parents. Each left me feeling the same. Unloved. As a parent I now know that even when I don’t approve of my children’s behaviour, I still love them. It’s unconditional. As an adult I now know a simple disagreement between friends doesn’t affect our friendship. And as a grown sibling, I now know that sometimes, taking my frustration out on my brother or sister actually grows out of a place of trust and familiarity, knowing the relationship will return to normal once the situation or feelings pass. But this knowledge comes from life experience. From really knowing someone. From living in relationship with them.
And you know what? The same is true in our relationship with God. It’s so easy to feel distant or unloved by God. And it’s just as easy to think we have no feelings for Him in return. But as we get to know Him through His Word, understand His character and His attitude towards us, and see His love, compassion, and His no-strings-attached grace, an inkling begins to stir in our hearts. Small at first, but overtime it will grow to awe, amazement and love.
I’ve struggled with this in the past. Growing up I had a head knowledge of God’s love for me. I went to Sunday School, heard the stories, sang the songs—Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. I knew of His love, but I didn’t really know His love. Yes, I heard the lyrics, sang them, and even understood them, on one level. But I missed a key part of the message. The part that is essential to knowing His love—for the Bible tells me so.
To know His love and to love Him in return, I have to know Him. And the only way to know Him is through His word. You see, the Bible is a book about God. It tells of His transcendence, His sovereignty, His righteousness and His might. But it also tells of His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, and His love. Love that is infinite and unconditional. Love that does not depend on our worth or merit—He loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is.
God doesn’t love us because we loved Him first. He loves us, in spite of us. It’s who He is.
There has never been a day, a time, a minute where you have been outside of His love.
So ask yourself, do you know His love? If the answer is no, open your Bible and read about it. Pray that God would reveal Himself to you. Get to know Him through His word. And as you do, as you come to understand His great love for you, a love for Him will grow in return.