The most difficult lesson I have ever learned is, of course, love. All humans crave love. This desire manifests in all sorts of strange ways, even through diabolical means. Ever seen the show taboo? One man’s disordered love affair with balloons, or maybe Volkswagens, downright weird stuff. I think many of us do the same only in less taboo ways.
I had a love affair as far back as I can remember with something actually worth loving–God. I can remember as a boy having this great affection for God that was quite naturally intense for me. I could not hear evil or see evil as a child without cringing inside. One time I remember a kid, a Catholic kid at that, say as a curse word, “Jesus Christ on a crutch!” It really hurt my feelings.
I was somewhat popular without even being aware of it. As the hormones kicked in, my orientation went from God to girls. I would get into a relationship starting in eighth grade and you’d think I’d gotten married. I had three love affairs before meeting my wife, a disordered orientation toward the love of a woman or in my case a young lady or two, and I’m still feeling the effects two decades later.
My taboo, I was looking for love when I had it right before me the whole time. Every relationship finished with my heart a bit more broken every time. I loved these women for my own sake as a need for internal satisfaction. Disordered love not for the sake of the King Himself, but for my sake apart from God. In fact I’d say every one of them was a sort of idol in my life that always brought sorrow.
So here’s the deal, is the love of a woman bad? Not at all. But to replace the love of God with anything most certainly is! Christ Jesus is our true love, our hero, and our husbandman. His beauty, loyalty, faithfulness, commitment to you, will never be lacking. His love is fierce, true, and will never betray you.
When we begin to know this as our life, we then are capable of loving others, not so much for what they can give as much as we can give them. We can love God for our sake but more importantly love others for their sake. To make another a god in whom you place your hope is a fool’s game, which I played all through my teen years that left nothing but private wreckage.
Jesus Christ is the lover of your soul. In Him we discover true love, and in Him we discover every need of the human heart. Jesus I love you, never let me part from your side. And if human love finds me let it always be in subordination to my love for you.
After all the years of my life lived well and not so well, I am always brought back to that little boy. That little boy had more wisdom than I care to admit. He loved freely the good, the true, the beautiful, with ease unaware of how pure of heart he was.
Let me be that little child again, Lord, that loved you so freely, so simply.
I have had a wife for two decades and twelve children later this truth remains unquestioned. Jesus, I love you. You are my everything. Without you I’m alone. Never leave my side, precious Lord.