Thoughts on the Love of God

God is love. There is hardly a more meaningful sentence that short in the English language.

 

A while back I was reading C. S. Lewis about the love of God. He reminds us that for God to be love since before the beginning of time and creation, God has to be more than one person. Love is relational and requires at least two persons.

 

In fact, the Christian idea of God as three persons says that the love that the Father and the Son share is so substantial that it too is a person—the Holy Spirit. God wants us to make our home in his love as Father and Son in the Spirit.

 

Lewis also suggests we make a great mistake when we try to reverse this little sentence and say instead, “Love is God.” Then, we populate our idea of “love” with common cultural misunderstandings of love rooted mostly in feeling, romance and desire.

 

Love is so much bigger than these (and, of course, includes them). Feeling and romance can be unpredictable over time. When romantic feelings are the basis of relationships, and those romantic feelings wane over time, there seems little option other than to say, “Well, love is gone. I fell into love, but I’ve now fallen out of it. Since we all just want to be happy, I’ll just have to go see if I can’t fall in love again.”

 

The love of God is so strong that it can love even enemies. Romance and good feelings don’t have that capacity. I’m so grateful for Jesus’ beautiful vision of the Father’s love.

 

I remember and treasure the excitement and easy romance of our dating and early marriage years. I love those years. What a joy and gift they were! And I’m grateful that our love has not been limited to these experiences. This is not the standard by which our 35 years of marriage are measured. We are living in the love of God which is far more rooted and real.

 

  1. S. Lewis put it this way: Which requires more of us? Showing love to someone when you’re living in the easy romance and high emotion of a honeymoon-like early season, or showing love when those feelings and emotions have gone quiet for a time? Choosing another’s good in the absence of feeling romantic about it is a far more beautiful and noble thing. It is substantial. It lasts. It is sustainable.

 

Our cultural definition of love is why so few marriages last beyond the years of easy romance. I have come to treasure the fine wine of love that lasts for many more years than that. I really don’t want to settle for mere grape juice. And long-time love is all rooted in a reality that is rooted in eternity.

 

Again, you are, today, loved as much as God can love you exactly as you currently find yourself. It is God’s nature. It is God’s way. And let’s allow love to become more and more our way as well.

 

Reflection: 

  • In what ways are you sometimes tempted to let the culture’s assumptions about love shape your own?
  • In what ways are you more deeply trusting in and relying on God’s love for you, just as you are today?
  • What would you like to ask God about these things?

 

 

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