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Q: Morning Diva! … Now we all know God’s love is far superior to that of any man that can walk into our lives. And His love is amazing and really beyond words. God’s love covers all wrongs, and most importantly is unconditional. However, as a human, I am always baffled at how quickly I can become undone when there is just a semblance of human love given to me. Human love is far too fickle, full of way too many conditions and more often than not ends up just messing everything up anyways. So my question to God, lately, is why is it that we as humans and Christians too, seek the love of another human being so much? IF we already know no man can ever love us the way God can love us, why is it we still seek and desire the love of another human being, romantically?
A: Hi Bianca! Here’s what the Lord gave me to tell you about this excellent question. I’m answering in two parts:
PART ONE: Why Are We Wired to Desire Human/Romantic Love? We seek the love of another human being because we are supposed to! Many of us — those who don’t have the calling of singleness like Paul had (1 Corinthians 7:25-40)– are supposed to pair up and continue to populate the earth (Genesis 1:28). God designed us, men and women, to fit together in perfect physical ecstasy (when He is the center of your marriage, http://www.dcdistrictdiva.com/?p=1614). He desires that godly men find godly women, experience the happiness that comes from human romantic love (Read all of the Book of Song of Solomon), and have children in a stable, committed love relationship who can be trained up in the way of the Lord so the spreading of the Gospel can continue (Proverbs 22:6). We know that is what He wanted because He wired us to do these things, both emotionally and physically, and here is why:
Your husband (and, if you’re so blessed, your children) will be the ultimate exercise and challenge to your faith to love unconditionally, like Christ loves. Because he will be in your face daily, because you will have to submit to his decisions as the head of your Christian household (Ephesians 5:22
), and you will have to put yourself aside and serve him and your kids (Galatians 5:13
, 1 Peter 4:10
). As a wife, your Christian example can either spur your husband on to have a closer relationship with Christ (1 Peter 3:1
) or be a stumbling block to his faith. As a mother, your Christian example can either cause your children to want to rise up and call you blessed (Proverbs 31:28
) or want to be nothing like you. Having a husband and children will be such an awesome opportunity for the Holy Spirit to do serious work on your heart and bring you to the point of understanding Christ’s sacrificial love for you and to embody it yourself on earth, with full understanding of what it really means to love: to give unencumbered by expectation of reciprocity.
Romantic love is fickle — fading and reigniting based on circumstance. We largely desire that kind of love because that’s what Hollywood tells us we should want. But Christians should know that real love is obtainable only through relationship and understanding of who Christ is, what His sacrifice was, and what that sacrifice looks like for us on earth, daily. God desires that we show sacrificial love to each other, and rejoices in our opportunity to do that with a helpmate suitable for us (Genesis 2:18
PART TWO: Here’s where we as Christians go wrong:
Q: “But in two recent instances with me it’s been made super clear that man can never and will never be able to love me in the way God loves me.And this is not in itself a bad thing, but I still don’t understand then why we are wired to want and crave that intimate closeness, oneness and romantic love with a human when it’s more hurtful than loving.”
First, we have to understand the purpose of a human romantic love (as laid out in part one of this answer). The earthly love relationship is supposed to resemble
Christ’s perfect love for us (Ephesians 5:25-27
), not replace
it! A great way to think about this is the way the author of the Book of Hebrews lays out the difference between God’s old
promise to just the Israelites (that they could be forgiven for their sins if they sacrificed an animal each time they messed up) and His new
promise to all mankind (that through the one-time-only sacrifice of Christ’s earthly body, and His death as a substitute for us, we can receive forgiveness for our sins and regain closeness to God). The author of Hebrews says in chapter 10
“The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete [heal/save] those who followed it. No matter how many [blood/animal]sacrifices were offered year after, they never added up to a complete solution.”
So the same can be said of human love: no matter how much you want it to be, it will NEVER BE GOD’S LOVE! The human marriage is “only a hint of the good things” that will come when you are face to face with your savior in Heaven! On earth we have difficulty staying in the presence of God and just drowning in His love because this world is sinful and we are sinful and distractions come to take our mind off of our real prize, which is perfect relationship with God! There will be no boundaries or roadblocks to the full force of God’s love once we are in Heaven with Him. Our married life should stay in its place, as only a mere shadow of the awesome love of Christ!
We start having problems when we try to replace God’s love with man’s love. It is awesome that you recognize that God’s love is superior and should be desired over man’s love. That is step one, to keep each kind of love in its proper place.
Yet in our sinful, fickle human nature, we dangerously start to seek validation elsewhere. For some, they look for status/wealth/prestige to prove they are worthwhile; others look for human devotion and “undying” love (through a man or children) to feel they have a purpose or they are worthwhile. But all these earthly things pass away and can never give us the validation we seek.
We will use people to make us feel right, to justify our existence, we are trusting in other people to heal us, to validate us, to justify us, and restore our glory and save us. But here’s the problem: We are asking or expecting of people what they cannot do for us, and we crush them under our expectations. People can never give us the approval we desire, and we crush them under the weight of that expectation. If you look to broken people to heal your brokenness, for the restoration of your glory, you’re asking glory-deficient, broken people to give you the very thing they lack! It is futility to seek this glory from men. It crushes them and it leaves us empty.
You have to be delivered from your obsession to be loved and honored and be consumed with a greater desire for God to be loved and honored…and when you get liberated from your incessant need to be loved and honored, you can actually live with this new consuming desire to see God loved, to see God honored. So the ruling desire of your heart is to see the Father loved and exalted, like Jesus lived to see the Father loved and exalted.
Once we put human love and acceptance in its proper place — subordinate to our desire for God’s love and acceptance — then we can stop using people and merely calling in “love,” and we can get busy truly loving people the way Christ loves us.
Love is NOT an emotion, it is an action — a verb, not a noun.
When we remember that, love will not be more “hurtful than loving,” because we will find joy in sacrificing ourselves for others as God commands (“love your neighbor as yourself”). We won’t be hurt because we won’t be expecting something from a person and then not receiving it. We show love not to get love from that person in exchange, but because it is what God requires of us and it brings God joy and we get to be a part of God’s happiness!! Our reward in showing love is not received through other people or through the target of our love. Our reward is in right-standing with Christ for being obedient to His commands! Our reward is closeness with God Himself because we are living right and not separated from Him because of our sin. Our reward is God looking upon us and seeing how we’ve sacrificed ourselves for others/husband/children despite what they’ve done to us (good or bad) and saying “That’s MY daughter, Bianca! I am so proud of her!” (Matthew 3:17
To summarize: If you keep human love in proper perspective to God’s love and take the expectations off of human love and remember that your ultimate prize and validation is in closeness with Christ, your love life will flourish!
I know this is a SUPER long answer, but I hope this helped! Please let me know if I can provide further clarification on this or any other issue! Thanks so much for writing in!
God bless you, sis!
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