Letting God Love Me
January 21, 2021
Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:18 NLT
Did you know that your past relationships, particularly those with your parents, inform your relationship with God? It doesn’t mean we are hopelessly broken or deficient. It means we are normal, and we operate with the skills and thinking abilities that God has given humans. What we learn from one person, we anticipate finding in other people. For instance, complete this sentence: “The word I would use to describe my father’s relationship with me is ______________.” If you filled in the blank with “distant,” I already know this is a struggle you will have in relating with God. If you answered the same question about your mother with “hard to please,” it will be likely that you tend to always feel you fall short of what God wants from you.
If you have had a difficult experience with marriage, it is also likely that the rejection and/or struggles with your spouse have impacted the way you believe God accepts you. It’s hard to believe that Jesus wants to walk with you every day, to have and to hold—for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, forever and ever. If your experiences with your parents were loving and nurturing, and your marriage relationship has been satisfying and affirming, you are most likely miles down the road from many other people in letting God love you.
If not, you likely have a fear of closeness. You are afraid of rejection, lack of acceptance, and disappointing the One you have chosen. You may be afraid of punishment or manipulation and coercion. But that is not who your Father is. He is not too distant to be close to you. He is so invested in your life that Jesus died for you and rose again with the promise to be with you always. God is not waiting for a chance to jerk away your joy or show you how far short you have fallen. He is committed to you for all of time and after time. He will never manipulate you into something. He wants you to follow Him with your whole heart because you have chosen to believe and now have seen that He is always good, and He is always kind.
Your intimacy with God will grow and your life will glow when you recognize the barriers you have in your life that prevent you from letting God love you. Be still and ask why you think the way you do. Invite Him to join you wherever you are. Verbalize aloud, “I am deeply and unconditionally loved and valued. I am His much-loved child forever.”
Part of our emotional and spiritual healing is confessing our struggles to other Jesus-followers (James 5:16). Find a friend to work through this with you and pray with you. If you need professional counseling, go for it! God wants to challenge your past experiences and take away their power.