Summary: Is love something you only look to receive, or do you give it to others?
I don’t remember very much about my life as a young child. I do have some recollection of things, but not very much; and what I can remember seems to be mostly “feelings” or kind of like snap-shots. I don’t remember conversations from then at all. Of course, that still happens.
But even though there are a lot of things that I can’t remember from my early childhood, it seems that there is one, I guess you’d call, “theme” of memories that stands out.
Whenever something would happen that would make me feel uneasy; whenever something would happen to make me feel emotionally uncomfortable; whenever something would happen to cause me to feel afraid, I always ran to my mother’s arms. I knew she’d comfort me; I knew she’d protect me; I knew she’d love me. And it helped me to feel safe.
Can you think back to when you were at that age? Do you recall similar experiences? Maybe it wasn’t your mother. Maybe it was your father, or your brother, or your sister, or aunt, or uncle, or grandparent, or just anybody that you knew you could go to and be comforted and feel loved.
I can’t speak for everyone, but as for me, I still need the same thing as I did then: someone I know I can go to for comfort and love. You see, to me that’s very important. It seems like the more people I know love me, the more I thrive. Think about yourself. Aren’t you the same way?
Now let’s turn things around just a bit. Let’s still consider the need for love, but now instead of us receiving it, we’re the ones who are giving it.
Married couples, what kind of a marriage would you have if your spouse didn’t need your comfort and love? What if, to him or her, the fact that you love them was unimportant?
Those of us who might be dating, isn’t your need to have your love accepted a high priority in your relationship?
Parents, how would you feel if you realized that your children had no need of you whatsoever other than to take care of their physical wants and needs?
In the early seventies, a group called The Doobie Brothers came out with a song called “Long Train Runnin”. I’m sure that some of us are familiar with it. For those that aren’t, I want to tell you about it. Don’t worry. I’m not going to quote you a lot of song lyrics; only one line, and, in my opinion, the most profound line of any non-spiritual song ever written. It was written in the form of a question, and that line is this: “Without love, where would you be now?”
Have you ever thought about that? What would my life be like if there was no love in it? No love to get. No love to give. I can’t even imagine!
How blessed we are to have the Creator of the universe, the God of love, to help us learn to not only receive, but to freely give love, as He gives freely to us. Remember: John 3:16 says “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”.
In fact, God’s love for us is immeasurable and is expressed in so many ways. Listen to what Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: Eph 2:4-8 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
“The gift of God”. But, what is this gift? In the context of what we just read, it’s grace. But digging even deeper into the question of this gift, we can ask: from where does it originate? If we go back and look at verse four, we see that it comes through the love of God for us. And if we can testify and truly believe that God has so much love for us, people who don’t deserve His grace through His love, how can we, who have made a covenant with God to do His will and do His work and be His representatives on this earth, withhold our love, the love that was given to us and commanded for us to share by our Savior Himself?