I’ve realized how conditional I have thought love to be.
That being loved is based on what I do right, how I succeed, how fit I am and if I serve others whole heartily.
I’ve grown up seeking love in all the wrong places because I did not understand what it was.
I thought I could attain love through a man, getting an A, or through trying to be perfect when I am far from it.
I thought of it as a feeling as the Disney movies showed.
I thought it to be how much my parents adore me.
And I have realized at how far off I was from what love truly is.
For I was seeking love from another person, rather from the very source of love Himself.
Because we cannot give the love one another needs, we cannot seek others to fill that emptiness within our hearts. Because we do not know the love we need, how can we give the love others need? We will always fall short, we will hurt one another and we will always miss giving what one another needs.
But that’s okay; because we are able to be loved by Him who our soul longs for.
I trust I am not the only one to have though of love as conditional and only given when we meet the standards of the person(s) we are seeking it from. We see love as acceptance, as being rewarded, being needed or wanted.
When actually love is given, not earned.
I have missed the true concept of love and what is funny is I even named my horse Agape which is Gods deepest, unconditional love and yet still missed the point.
Until the other day.
I was looking at her and wondered why she was being so bad. She was hard to catch, not walking with me but actually planting her feet and pulling back. I looked at her, disappointed in what she was doing.
Yet in the silence of the moment, in my heart the Lord spoke.
“Do you still love her?”
Without even thinking, it was a yes. Of course I still loved her. It was because I loved her that I was disappointed in how she was acting.
“Just because she may seem as though she is failing, you still love her?”
And that is when it clicked in my mind. Even through our failures, the Lord loves us. Even through the bad choices we make or the things that we don’t do, His love does not end but remains.
All those times I walked away from my family or hurt my parents through my actions and rebellion, I realized they never once stopped loving me. And it was through their discipline that they truly showed there love. For the loved me enough to stick with me through all the hard times, they choose to not abandon me but to pursue me and try to bring me back to who they knew I could be.
Because that is love-a willingness to see past the flaws and brokenness of the other person and accept them as they are for He has accepted all of us, in our complete filth and brokenness. He sees us as worthy of His love although out of our own strength we aren’t, by His grace we are. For He is love. He does not leave or forsake us, yet remains with us, encouraging us to not be discouraged or loose heart. Even when we walk away from Him, He pursues us and yearns for us, because of how deep His love is for each of us.
Just because I see Agape as failing in things, my love for her is still deep because I love her for what she is. Even when she runs away from me in the pasture, I still love her although I may be frustrated with her. My love is not based on her performance but rather how I feel about her, that she is worth my love.
That is how the Lord has begun to reveal His steadfast love for me. That although I see myself as a failure or unlovable, He still loves me and pushes me to see that. And He is doing the same with you.
The first message I spoke in front of people was about Peter.
For some reason he has always caught my attention.
He was bold and had heart. Even though sometimes he sank, he was still willing to go after the Lord and be bold for Him. He was a man of passion and love. He is also a man who shows me how deep our Fathers love, redemption and grace goes for us.
To those of us who are so willing but sometimes fall short.
To those who long to trust yet sometimes allow the fears of the world to pull us down.
To those who are nothing but people who want something better for our lives.
For Peter was just a fisherman when Jesus came to him. He was nothing special, probably with little education or wealth, yet Jesus came to him.
He came to a boy on a fishing boat, simply fishing and called to him to follow Him, the Son of God,
and that gives me hope.
For I am someone who fails, messes up and is nothing special yet I am seen in the eyes of God and chosen to be something…to be someone, to Him.
You are too.
You are loved and chosen. For there is nothing in which our Fathers love cannot reach (Romans 8). For my life until recent, I’ve seen love as conditional. That others will only love and accept me if I succeed, am in shape, smart, or seen as wonderful in the eyes of others. It is easy to see love as conditional but that’s not love. Love is who God is and He has chosen us out of the dirt, because He see’s the gold in us, even if we don’t see it in ourselves.
You see love is not having a self-righteousness about ourselves thinking we have all these things which win us love. Love is not deserved, it is not won, rather it is already given to us because of Gods grace. He loves us for all the things we feel would make Him turn His face away from us. He loves us for the things that other people may turn there face from
God came for the least of us in the eyes of the world. He came for those who know our great need for Him, not because we are perfect but because we are humans who need a saving grace.
And just because we have grown up in a world where love isn’t represented how it ought to be, doesn’t mean we should let it be that way.
For the more I saw love as conditional, the less I thought I deserve love…because in reality, I know me and I don’t deserve love, and probably neither do you
Because we grow up in a world where love may not always be seen as how it ought to be represented.
I am learning that we are loved beyond our failures and just because we fail does not stop Gods love for us.
I was asked a question when I went home about someone who is not perfect and makes mistakes still, and how I saw them.
And I replied that I actually loved them more because of their flaws. That I loved them because they are not perfect.
For I am not perfect and I am flawed. I fail and my failures do not stop Gods love, I believe He sees us just as He saw Peter and still chooses us.
He choose me from the life I was in.
And He set me apart, and I am thankful for Him and also for His love for Peter,
As it gives me hope.
It has given me hope that even through my failures and mistakes, my lack of faith at times, fears and worries;
That He still loves me and has great plans for me.
For even when He knew Peter would deny Him, He spoke to the Twelve Disciples at the last dinner and said,
“You are those who have followed me through my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a Kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” Luke 22:28-30
He still chose Peter to sit with Him and He still chose to die for Peter even when he would deny Him. For Jesus still went to the cross for Peter, and He went there for us. He went there knowing we would make mistakes and fail, yet He went so that we could know that our value isn’t placed on how many times we attend church, how much we tithe, or how holy we are.
I am thankful for Peter because I am able to see that I am loved even through my mistakes and still chosen.
That gives me hope.
I am able to see that God loves me enough to speak to me through a little horse and He loves you enough to speak to you right where you are. Through your regrets, your hurt and pain, He is here waiting for you to look to Him and listen.
He choose the foolish people in the world to bring forth His story of redemption, grace and unconditional love.
He loves you, for all your flaws and imperfections. For He see’s us in our filth and mess and loves us.
May you have a revelation of the Fathers love for you, may you learn to seek Him and focus your eyes onto Him so that when He speaks you will be there to listen.
No matter who hasn’t shown you love or who has left you, God has shown you how deep His love is for you through His Son Jesus and has promised to never abandon you. You are loved and even through your failures, you are chosen and redeemed.