God the Father loves you — and His love is unconditional.
That is a mind-boggling concept, considering how conditional our earthly loves seems to be. Earthly love comes and goes with our mercurial emotions and circumstances. Only when we consider the love we have for our own children can we get a tiny glimpse of God’s love for us.
He wrote us the most beautiful love letter ever written in the form of His Holy Word.
“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
God’s love is eternal — that’s another hard-to-grasp concept. Forever is a really long time. But when we consider that God always has been and always will be and He had us in mind before creating the world (and loved us then!), we ought not feel the least bit hesitant to come to Him as we are — broken, ugly, messed up, late in the game or empty-handed. God loves us and He has waited for what seems like forever for us to be here.
Use your time on earth wisely and get to know Him while you can. All of eternity will play out this decision.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will.” (Ephesians 1:3-5)
God’s love is personal. It’s easy to believe God is all of those things for others and even to think He could possibly love you on your very best days. But to really know in your heart that God the Father loves you and wants to have a very real friendship with you is a different matter altogether.
It wasn’t until I had a rather surprising encounter with Jesus in the Adoration chapel that I came to know the true depth of this love for me. He longs so desperately to have a relationship with us that He comes down and takes the form of bread and wine in order to enter into us physically so that we can be one with Him. That is about as personal as one can get! We truly become One flesh — One Body. Amazing. And on top of that, He wrote us the most beautiful love letter ever written in the form of His Holy Word. Read it and weep.
“That he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:16-19)
“That he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self …”
Once we have this encounter with God and allow His deep, unconditional, eternal and personal love to pour into our hearts, He wants it to overflow into all of our relationships, especially those we have with our family.
Husbands are told: “To find a wife is to find happiness, a favor granted by the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22). Here, husbands are encouraged to always see their wife with the eyes of love — as the one God gave them to bring happiness. What are the good things about her you appreciate? How can you make her smile? Surprise her!
Wives are told: “The glory of the young (men) is their strength, and the dignity of the old is gray hair” (Proverbs 20:29). If your husband is young and strong, enjoy your youth together, have fun, be in love and adore him for the good things you see in him. Look harder if you are having trouble finding those good things. They are there.
If his hair is getting gray, praise God for his dignity and find new ways of appreciating and building him up. A man needs to know he is your hero, no matter his age. Take him on a date and tell him.
Your relationships with each other will only improve as you find your deepest need met in the Lord — the need to be loved unconditionally, eternally and personally. Then that love will overflow in every area of your life, because that is the best-kept secret in the world.
“Now to him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).
I want to know Your secret! I want to know I am deeply, unconditionally, eternally, and personally loved by You. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that You —Almighty, sinless and Holy God, could love me, even on my BEST days, much less on my worst. And yet, Your word says You do. I pray I can trust in Your word, not my own understanding. I pray I can open my heart to Your love and then pass Your love onto my friends and family and especially my spouse. You say You have given them all to me as a gift. Help me appreciate and love them more. Open my eyes to see You and them in a new a way, and help me to pass on the best kept secret in the world: Your love for all.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Melissa Overmyer is the founder of Something Greater Ministries in Washington, D.C., and has been teaching the Bible for over 30 years.