Love is a small word, only one syllable, and four letters. Yet there are myriads upon myriads of songs, poems, stories and movies that have been written and are yet to be written about that one word. Who hasn’t wanted to be loved? Who hasn’t experienced a broken heart? Love is as universal as it is personal. We can’t live without it and at times, it is difficult to live with it.
I started out as a kid who trusted my dad’s love. He was safe and comforting. Even though I was only one of his seven offspring, he made me feel as though I were his favorite. But then his suicide put the kibosh on what I’d interpreted as his love for me. I had to ask myself, if he’d really loved me, would he have left me like he did?
Then there was Mom. I don’t remember being on the receiving end of her affection. Unlike Dad, she was not tender, gentle, or an empathetic individual. She used that little phrase, “I love you,” more often after Dad’s death than before, but by then I was suspicious of what love really meant. Once, out of anger, she said, “I hate you, Terese.” Those four words reinforced my confusion and suspicion surrounding anyone’s fond and caring affection toward me.
My experiences with Mom and Dad left me wondering about love. Perhaps, it was safer not to allow myself to be loved. Keeping love at bay is crazy reasoning, but I know I’m not the only one who has ever tried crazy reasoning on for size.
Then, about the time I turned eighteen, I spied a most handsome man, a carpenter. Tall, lean, muscular, blue eyed with long blond hair. It was infatuation at first sight. Over the course of the next five years, he wooed me into marriage.
Marriage, I discovered, forces you to reevaluate your infatuation. Infatuation, I discovered, cannot bear up under the stress and strain of, “Till death do you part.”
With my past history; Dad leaving on purpose and Mom’s mixed messages; I love you, but I hate you, left me timid and uncertain about letting myself love, or be loved again. But with time and consistency, I’ve found to be loved and to love, even imperfectly, is not crazy reasoning.
Human’s need to love and need to be loved. But the most splendid and perfect love that I’ve allowed myself to experience is the love from my Creator, the One who created me to love and to be loved.
God’s love is a splendid thing. It is not forced. Instead, he waits for us to respond to his constant company. His love for us is honest, truthful and for our benefit. This kind of love always motivates toward doing something good and not evil, toward kindness and never brutality.
This kind of love does not invoke fear of any sort. Instead, it somehow lets us rest with ease.
God’s fond affection for us pulls us into a relationship which we can’t help but continue with because his love is so right for us.
Why bother letting yourself be loved? Though we may have a history of crazy reasoning, it is not crazy reasoning to be receptive to true love. God waits, with patience, to be wanted by you.