When another person begins to express love to us and they accept us, pay attention to us, share intimate information about themselves with us, we usually respond in like manner. We may feel safe with this person and trust and faith in the relationship grows. We draw close and a mutual love relationship may develop. Ahhhhhhhhh! All is well. Or is it?
What happens to our feelings of love and trust when that person that we value breeches our trust? What happens inside us when they disappoint us, hurt us or betray us? The answer will vary, of course, person to person and situation to situation. However, when storms come to the relationship if the foundation is weak, perverted and self centered it takes great effort to prevent its collapse. Like quick sand our love hunger can devour what we believe to be a loving relationship and our feelings of love and affection can wash away in the flood of emotion created by the storm and leave us destitute wondering how this could happen. This can also happen in our relationship with God. Have you noticed?
In Matthew 7:24-27 at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the following:
Vs 24: “So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them (obeying them) will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock. Vs 25: And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house: yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Vs 26: And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand. Vs 27: And the rain fell and the floods came and winds blew and beat against that house and it fell – and great and complete was the fall of it.
Now go back and read these verses only this time substitute ‘relationship’ for house. Obviously the rain, floods and wind represent the storms of life that come to every relationship. What has been your experience? Have you succeeded and failed in your relationship experiences? Most of us have. So obviously then, if we want sound, life giving relationships, we want to build them on the rock. What is the rock? How many opinions can we get here? Is it Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, law, rules, obedience or performance? What do you think? I tried law, rules, obedience, and performance for the first 20 years of my Christian walk and it was disastrous to my life and those around me. The love I had for Jesus at my salvation disappeared in the muck and mire of what I had to do (performance) in order to be a good Christian. Fear became the dominate motivator in my life; afraid I would ‘break the rules’ or not ‘measure up’ to God’s standards. Therefore, I became a slave to the law, rules and performance required by the church with total obedience my goal. I did not realize this was idolatry. I was not developing an intimate, loving relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit that would have been life giving and move me toward my destiny in God. Instead, I was developing a destructive relationship with religion that was not life giving at all. My rock became religion, but in reality religion is not the rock at all. It is a façade, a fake. It is idolatry. It is sand!
In my opinion the rock that we must build on is unconditional love and there is only one true source to be found. That is in intimate, loving relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There the power of our love hunger is broken and the freedom to love and be loved becomes a reality. It is true; life-giving love empowers our relationships to withstand the onslaught of life’s storms.
If love hunger is an issue in our lives, it represents a foundation of sand. Love hunger amplifies the storms of life and the focus is all about self and what self needs and wants. Love hunger teaches us to love with a hook on it. In other words, our love or commitment in a relationship is based on what self gets out of it. We give to get. This is not God’s love in action. The truth is that the power of life’s struggles is diminished by God’s unconditional love because it is love that produces faith, humility, self esteem, peace and security. With this foundation, our love experience will defang, defuse and eventually destroy our love hunger at its root, so when the storms of life come against us in a relationship we are not consumed or defeated. We have the privilege of remaining safe in Father’s arms; remaining secure in our legitimacy in Him while we walk in faith and humility toward resolution in the storm. Our foundation is not moved even though we may struggle at times. Discouragement finds no place to land on us because of the power of our love experience with God.
Learning to live loved is one of life’s greatest challenges because it means confronting and defeating our unresolved issue of love hunger. Love hunger’s negative consequences fight against our ability to have loving, intimate relationships. Love must be able to get in if our love hunger issues are to be satisfied but more often than not, we have built walls of self-protection and self-determination that keep love out. Thus, we ensure the continuation of our love hunger rut and its dire consequences. Father’s unconditional love is life giving whereas love hunger is life defeating. Father’s love opens the door to our purpose and destiny whereas love hunger insures a diminished life experience with the fullness of our potential never realized. It is sad that many of us life this life to its conclusion but never experience life in its greatest potential; and that is living loved.
Father is offering each human being and opportunity for a personal, intimate, loving relationship with Him. Even though we are His kids, it seems many of us are not on His channel, so we do not receive His programming. Instead, we seem to be on a shopping channel and we are pursuing a better job, better living conditions, a better automobile, money to pay the bills, a spouse, a vacation, healing or some other priority need. We pursue Him for what He can do for us instead of honoring Him and desiring a personal, loving relationship with Him. Then when He does not provide what we want or feel we need in the time frame we have established, we are disappointed, discouraged, resentful, depressed and even offended with Him ensuring a distant relationship. He does not withdraw from us; we separate ourselves by our attitudes. It is obvious in this situation that what we wanted from God is more important to us than having relationship with God Himself. Sadly, many of us treat Him like a concept rather than a Person and that is not an atmosphere for developing a relationship. It keeps us on the outside looking in wondering where God is.
Therefore, what is the foundation of your relationships built on – the rock of unconditional love or the shifting sands of love hunger? If you are looking for peace, rest, harmony and contentment in your relationships, then you need look no further that Father’s love for you. If you are suffering from chaos, confusion, dishonor and disrespect in relationships, then you need look no further than your unresolved issues of love hunger.