While visiting a church one Friday evening, I heard a Pastor sharing some ideas about what it means to be in a relationship. The first thing on his list was: You will never be able to love someone unless you know you are loved by someone. I thought this idea was right on target.
Most times, our ideas about love have been misconstrued because our past has been tainted by relationships, circumstances, and situations that gave us a counterfeit experience of love. In these instances, we may not understand how to love, let alone know we are loved. We cannot always see ourselves, and we may even have a distorted reflection staring back at us that can come in the form of a mirror or a relational image.
When we see this morbid image of ourselves, we try to grasp relationships, people, opportunities and more from the outside and pull it or them in, to become a part of who we are. It is as if you are trying to reshape your disfigured self because we seem to believe that what is outside of us, is stronger than what God has placed within us.
Even as Christians, we have a hard time realizing and recognizing the power of Christ that abides in and through our lives. We do not always understand that His power is love because He is love. When we enter a relationship with Christ, it is a union rooted in love. This covenant is where the one who created us is showing and guiding us through the simplicities and complexities of love. Abiding in the Lord, as He abides in you, is definitely a journey of great depth; it is indescribable, but yet so incredible.
What we practice and embody as vessels, is not always clear evidence of His love.
We are not displaying that we know we have been accepted and loved; And we are not displaying God's graciousness, mercy, and forgiveness. It is like our voice is silenced or muffled, which interrupts the flow life but more importantly love inside of us.
You pull from the outside to get love, instead of starting with you; you must learn to love who you are.
There is an audacious amount of strength, validation, and peace that comes with loving yourself; and this type of contentment arises because you know you are loved and are able to share in that love with others.
We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. (1 John 4:19-21 NLT)