For I am God, and not man; The Holy One in the midst of thee…(Hosea 11:9 KJV)
It would appear human beings are always searching for love—whether actively or passively. And this trend shows no signs of slowing down or reversing anytime soon! However, do not assume this is merely an issue of romance, where men or women seek “true love.” It permeates every aspect of human relationships, including love between the parent and the children, siblings, friends, and especially between God and people.
What is the issue with love? The secret lies in the four-letter English word “need .” In any of its expressions, love is a fundamental and deep human need. Our needs constitute a real difference between God and human beings. Essentially, a need is something we require to be whole or satisfied that we must receive from outside of ourselves because we cannot provide it. Human needs are met by someone or something: The very idea of needs means we need someone or something to satisfy that need!
Furthermore, human needs exist in different degrees of depth, from superficial, deep, deeper, and deepest. For example, clothing is a superficial physical need of our bodies, just as food. Beneath these superficial needs are the deep and deeper needs such as happiness in life or a sense of security. However, amongst the deepest of all human needs is our need to be loved or to love. Few things excite humanity as romantic love, but few things equally shatter human hearts as broken romantic love. Also, children’s hearts yearn for their parents’ love; just the parents long for the love of their children. As such, few words shatter a parent’s heart like “I hate you” coming from their children.
And here is the mystery about love: although God is “all we need,” He does not directly satisfy all our needs. For example, though God’s Word is our life, we still need physical food to stay alive here on earth. Similarly, though God’s presence was abundant in Eden, He said it was not good for Adam to be alone; consequently, He created a woman!
Since love exists in the context of relationships, we find the highest fulfillment in life when our relationships—marriage, family, friends—are healthy. Though an illicit sexual relationship might be thrilling and exciting at first, Solomon says this unhealthy relationship is like hot burning coals to the feet of those involved( Proverbs 6:28). Furthermore, as a child craves for the love of the parent, so our hearts desire for the love of God, whether we are aware of it or not. And just as God Himself did not take Eve’s place in Adam’s heart, we cannot replace God’s place in our hearts with any Eves, Adams, wealth, success, fame, etc.
What aspect of love needs help in your life right now?—romantic? Familiar? Other?
Apply the Word
You need love to be healthy, whole, and stable in life. Maybe the love you need right now is the love of God. Or maybe God’s love is in your heart, but something is missing—brotherly love, parental love, or even romantic love is strained. Cherish love by attending to your relationships. Fix your relationship with God if it is broken. Invest in your marriage or heal broken parental relationships or friendships, etc. Celebrate love! Celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Thank the Lord for the blessing of love and ask Him to help you receive and give love in the context of healthy relationships.