Yesterday I was meditating on a bible lesson I had taught the previous night about failure. I sensed a great spirit of hurt in my group, some of it visible on faces.
It occurred to me that some in the room had been hurt while in love. Failing at love can cause you to never want to love again. The hurt can be so devastating that you imagine never recovering. A part of you does not want to recover because it means giving up. That’s only half-true; you may be moving on from a love lost forever, but you’ve not given up on love.
I want to encourage your heart in the middle of your hurt. This pain you feel or have felt means your love was real. It wasn’t a case of adolescent puppy love or a temporary crush; it was genuinely being in love.
So where is the encouragement in that you ask? It means you will be able to recognize love when it comes your way again. Solomon describes true love thusly:
“Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)
Solomon rightly describes the value of love; it cannot be bought or destroyed. Love has no pride, it knows no borders, and it can be eternal. Previous to becoming a Christian, I thought I knew true love and I did from a human perspective.
However, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, then I learned the true meaning of love, a love so deep that the vast expanse between heaven and earth could not keep love from us:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
I can understand this type of love now because it is sacrificial. Before my Christian conversion, my love was selfish even though I would have denied it at the time. But when I accepted Jesus and began studying the Scriptures, I learned what true love is:
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
I so love my wife that I would freely give my life for her; the same as I would do for my girls, son-in-law, and grandson. I would do so for my friends. I cannot say I would have done that before I got saved. Again, at the moment I might have said yes, but looking back on those times I was so engrossed in me that sacrificing for anyone or anything else would have been unacceptable.
In those times I fell in love three on different occasions. I used to tell myself they were just cases of puppy love. However, looking back with the knowledge I have today I realize it was true love. I think before I used to dismiss them as infatuations just to hide the pain.
Nevertheless, I am thankful for those times because I know how to recognize love. After I went through my divorce I never imagined remarrying much less falling in love again. The pain and sense of failure can be that devastating.
So I fell in love with Jesus. I felt love like I never imagined possible. I learned the meaning of true love, a love that is sacrificial and selfless. I needed to learn God’s love for me because He was preparing a gift for me; my bride Karen. I would have never recognized love again had I not had that time of preparation.
For those of you just coming out of a broken relationship or even in the middle of one, please never give up on love. You can have the steadfastness by loving “the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” as Jesus instructed us.
I’ll leave you with a passage of Scripture written from the hand of a man who knew love, experienced great heartache and tragedy, and was considered the apple of God’s eyes. If you are down, sitting in a cave of failure, unable to imagine moving on much less loving again, allow David’s words to soothe and strengthen you:
“Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:23-24)
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers