Identity Found in God
The Father and His Child
The Family of God
The Father of Compassion
The Love that Endures
The Heavenly Home
Living as a Child of God
The Love that Endures
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:12
I’m pretty sure our youngest child, Jesse, gets what it means to be loved unconditionally. I remember two conversations that reflect his security in our love for him. The first one went something like this…One day he was responding to a situation by fussing, and well, yes, I guess it would be called a fit. At one point I asked him, “Jesse, would you act and respond like this if you were in school?” “No,” he replied as if saying, “I would never do that in school.” To that I asked, “Well, then why do you choose to act like this at home?” His answer, once I let it soak in, made some sense, “Mom, you’re my family!” At first I thought that should make him want to be nicer to his family. But then, like I said, once I thought more about it, I think what he was saying was that because we are family, he can let it out, and he knows that at the end of the day, no matter what, we would still love him and be his family. Which led me to our second conversation.
This one started by discussing the behavior of another child (not to judge but to observe and learn – you know, those teachable moments?) We talked about how they were responding probably wasn’t the best choice, and then talked about other possible ways they could have acted instead. Next came Jesse’s wisdom, as well as his way of bringing up a prior teachable moment we had. “Well mom, even though they are being bad, we should still love them. Remember, you told me that no matter what I did, even if I be really really bad, you would still love me. You told me you would love me no matter what!” Well there you have it. This is the type of unconditional love that God has for each one of us, each child, each member of His family.
While this is true – I love Jesse no matter what – I found another opportunity to take it a bit deeper. We talked about how my love would never end, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t strive to make good decisions. Jesus loves us right where we are, right in the middle of our mess. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to stay in that mess, but offers us clean water to be washed in. His love offers us a way. A way to feel accepted. A way to confess and repent. A way to be comforted. God’s love for you and for me is unfailing. It will never fail. The description of God’s unfailing love is all over the book of Psalms. The kind of love that He has for us can be described in so many ways: sacrificial, enduring, unfailing, unending, wide and long and high and deep. It’s a love like no other!
There is a promise tucked in Romans 8:35-39 that confidently describes the unending, inseparable love of God,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I used to have the mindset that in order to BE loved I had to do something first. That IF I do this or say that, or become this, THEN I can be loved and accepted. But that’s just not the way God works. He loves us. Period. He loved us first. We live in a world where the concept of love is so distorted, sometimes so much that it is so overwhelming to consider God’s pure, genuine, unconditional love. It is unfathomable; we feel unworthy. How do you bring yourself to receive the love God has for you? Fact is – He loves you – so the challenge is to find ways to receive His love.
If you are struggling with feeling loved, read through the Psalms, look up passages that reveal the love of God, read and re-read the Romans 8:35-39 passage. Set aside time when you can be still and imagine Him loving on you. He is love. He loves to love! He loves you!
Write down what you sense is the definition and characteristics of God’s love. Imagine what God would say in a love letter to you.