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To live is to love!


Hasanlu loversTo really love another is to really live. I was reflecting on these words that seemed to sprout in my mind today along with some other questions. What does it mean to be loved? What does it mean to love? And what roles do loving, and being loved play in my life?
As I asked these questions, the Holy Spirit was whispering His answers to me. “To love is to live!” was His reply. How true this is. God so loved the entire world that He gave His only Son, that who so ever would believe in Him should have everlasting life. That life is somehow found in that we, then love God back.
There are many scriptures that speak to this point. “They shall know we are Christians by our love”. 1Jo 3:14 says it even more clear, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” And so, if it is true that there is life in loving others, where does ‘being loved’ fit in?
The need to be loved and to feel loved often seems to be the more powerful longing of my heart. The longing to be loved seems so demanding within me that it often shrouds the more important need to love others. Now, as I write this, I realize that we only love, because we are first loved by God (1John 4:19). It is important to remember that our longing to be loved must be fulfilled by our Heavenly Father, God Almighty Himself. The reason that this is so important is because He is the only one who is fully able to love us with the compassion, patience, tenacity, and fullness that is absolutely essential to our souls and bodies. He is the only one who can meet all of our hearts needs. That doesn’t mean that He won’t use people to reach us. Many times He does that, but it doesn’t change the fact that He is the soul source of perfect, manifest love, regardless of how it reaches us.
Because He is the only one who weilds enough ability to love us with the perfection that our hearts demand, He is the only one who can handle that responsibility. Only when we are willing to transfer this responsibility from the ones around us, are we fully released to love. This is most difficult with those in our lives that we most deeply love. We expect that they will love us back and when they don’t we ussually experience a sense of rejection and pain that will cause us to withdraw. This withdrawl is a holding back of our own love and it saps our strength and life.
Releasing the loved ones in my life from this charge to guard my heart own love actually frees me to be able to love them. Otherwise, they will undoubtedly feel the weight of their responsibilities, and experience the pressure to love. This kind of pressure can suffocate one, and make it much more difficult to love freely and sincere.
This principle is something that I’ve experienced in my life. There are many areas of my life where I have experienced pain and rejection and these have undoubtdedly left scars. Often, I think that I put upon Rachel the responsibility to love me in a way that heals these scars. She too has a desire to be loved but, often when she senses that her love is not enough to heal the scars in my life, she is crippled with the hoplessness of the situation.
What I am continually realizing is that the life that I need is in loving her and others. I am already loved with the love that is stronger than the grave and powerful enough to heal those deep wounds within me. Now, it is time for me to allow the unconditional love of God to flow through me as I love and minister to others, especially my wife.
Somehow, in this love, with which I am loving others, God imparts His love into me. Maybe it’s that as He is allowing me to feel His heart of love for others in a real way, I’m experiencing His heart for me. Or maybe it’s just that loving others reminds me of His love. Regardless, there is life in loving and to love is to live. Thank you Lord for loving me!

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