I was recently having a conversation with a friend when the topic of past relationships came up. In this discussion my friend relayed to me how difficult it was to enter into a new relationship because of the lack of trust they had developed from past disasters. In the discussion we talked about walls that had formed around their heart inhibiting their ability to fully love someone and fearful that they could never heal enough to fully feel love again.
I shared the following verse that we are all too familiar with
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
There is a secondary truth that we can receive from this pillar scripture of our faith that can lead the way to healing of broken dreams, shattered hearts and bitterness from unfulfilled love. It is in the understanding of the power of love and all that it entails that we can see and understand how our wounded hearts can heal.
First we know that God loves us. We also know that we were made in His own image. God created humans so that He could have a healthy loving two-way relationship full of love and trust. That was the premise; the idea. But right from the beginning the Word of God tells us that despite being formed in the very hands of their Creator with the greatest love, Adam and Eve were unfaithful to that love.
The scriptures are full of stories of people who were unfaithful to the tremendous love given them by God. They were given a love so pure and unadulterated that there are not even words in the human language to describe it. Noah was drunk and passed out naked before his children. Jacob was a liar. Moses was a murderer. Samson was a womanizer. David had an adulterer and a murderer. Jonah disobeyed God. Peter who walked side by side with Jesus denied he even knew Him. The list goes on and on and on.
Never has a greater love been so mistreated, never has a greater love been abused, rejected, forsaken, and trampled upon than the love of our God. It is the love of God which we must look at in order to find an answer to dealing with our own love issues. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world”. God still loved after all the rejection by mankind. God still cared for us with a love so powerful that it had no conditions, had no restraint; it was in love that He gave His Son to die for our sins.
Looking at the situation from the human condition that would seem impossible. Year after year; decade after decade; century after century even stretching into millenniums, the human race was never faithful to God. Yet the love of God carried no bitterness, it harbored no ill will, it showed no restraint, but freely gave that we might be redeemed.
If God had reacted to all the unfaithfulness of man, and given love in the way that we do with our wounded hearts, there would be no Calvary; There would be no empty tomb; There would be no intercessor for our sins; There simply would be no salvation.
It is in the giving of love that we find the truth to heal. If we are wounded by past failures and cannot not fully give an unconditional, unrestrained love we cannot expect a good ending. If we enter into new relationships giving a measured amount of our hearts and love and withholding a portion of that love to protect ourselves, we are doomed for failure. If we give 50% of our love to someone, how can we expect a relationship to survive. How can we give 50% of our love and expect 100% from someone in return? It takes 100% of our love in order for a relationship to survive. We must follow the example given by to us by God and learn to “so love” that we give love because loving brings life.
We give because it is God’s example to us. We give because in giving love we receive love. We give because love itself has no restraint, it has no conditions, it is pure and powerful when released in truth. The word of God tells us of love
1 Corinthians 13:4-13: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
So if you are in a relationship and you are keeping a record of past wrong doings and you are with withholding some of your love to protect yourself, the Bible says that is not love. It is in the giving of love 100% that your are protected. Because if you give 100% of your love to someone His word assures us that love never fails. Now that does not mean that the other person will remain faithful to that love. We see that in our own relationship with God as we fail Him and are unfaithful to His love when we sin against Him; but His love remains constant. If we can learn from the example given to us by God and set aside all the things that restrains our ability to share our love, unconditionally and unrestrained we can discover the true healing power of love.
We read in Romans nothing can stop Gods love toward us; not troubles, hardship, persecution, famine , danger, war, 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. That is powerful stuff. Yet in our flesh we can have someone we love hurt our feelings and we began to try to control our love, holding it back and sometimes even using it as a weapon. This is not love as defined by God.
So do you want to live a life fulfilled? Do you want to be happy and live in a healthy loving relationship? Follow the example of God and so love that you give, because love always gives. Giving defines love, but you must give all of it because there is no such thing as 75% love, and when given away correctly is will heal all the pain, bitterness and wounds of a hurtful past.
Proverbs 10:12: ‘Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.’
Here we understand that carrying bitterness and hatred in our hearts will always bring unrest in a relationship. But when we can truly and freely give away the love provided to us by God, it will cover all wrongs both past and present. In giving love freely we are imitating and reproducing in our own lives the pardoning love and grace of God, which covered all the sins of humanity with the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, and it can and will right all the wrongs in our life.