This is week two on our discussion on our concept of LOVE. Understanding the difference between the world’s view of love and God’s view of love, helps us to learn to embrace God’s love for us. I look forward to hearing from you all your thoughts on this topic this week.
(Excerpts from Healing for our Soul Gardens, written by Kristin Clouse, copyright 2017 by Kristin Clouse. All rights reserved.)
THE WORLD’S VIEW OF LOVE
Love. What is love? In our society and world today, the word love has become distorted and corrupt. For many who have walked in similar shoes to mine, love becomes about what I can give to someone else. Love is about sexual acts. As a counselor, I see many children, teens, and adults who act out sexually in various ways to please the other person so that they can feel love and acceptance from them. They feed into the distorted view of love the world gives, and the cycle continues because they were trained this is how you show love. Perpetrators are experts in deceiving those they abuse; that is part of the grooming process. Special favors are given—a false sense of love—in exchange for sexual acts. Perversion is rampant, abuse continues, and those who have been abused once as a child are often then abused by others. It is not uncommon for an individual who has been abused to experience sexual abuse from more than one individual.
When you have experienced abuse, often love has conditions. In reality, this is the world’s view of love. There are conditions and requirements to getting love; it is not given without conditions. You must give something first to get the love and acceptance we all desire.
GOD’S VIEW OF LOVE
God’s view of love is much different. God’s love is not about what we can do for Him. His love comes with forgiveness, acceptance, and no conditions. God turned the cycle around, and His love is about what He can give us. Jesus, His only Son, a part of Himself, was given, was sacrificed, so that we could have a relationship with God. God does not love us because of what we can give Him. God loves us because we are His. God’s love is pure and clean and for many, it is hard to accept or believe we are worthy of this type of love, so we go back to old ways to find the familiar feelings of love and acceptance. We hunger for and crave love, but we look for it through unhealthy means.
God’s love is the substance of what we all need. It is the balm of Gilead; it is the source of our strength, deliverance, and healing. The very thing we often put a wall up to ignore is truly what we need. As a child, teen, and young adult, I had a wall up to God’s love. I did not feel worthy of His kind of love. I was dirty, damaged goods, and thus, unlovable. Many of you reading this can relate to what I am saying. It is difficult to understand or grasp this kind of unconditional love. However, what we need is God’s love. His love is not the love that we know; it’s not the world’s view of love or man’s love. Because of our hurts, because of the damage to us by the world’s view of love, this distorted love, we have placed a wall to protect us from being hurt again, and rightly so. However, God’s love is our protection, not the wall. We can’t view God’s love through the eyes of man’s love because it is distorted and unclean. God’s love is the river of life, our healing, and our everything. God’s love is pure, clean, and requires no conditions to receive it. God’s love is what we need.
How do we find this love?
Or should I say, how do we accept this love?
The very thing that has become our shield is blocking us from fully accepting God’s love—our walls of protection. For many, if not most of us, our walls will not come down in one strike. Usually, it is layers and bricks at a time, coming down to where we learn to receive, accept, and believe God’s love for us. For us to do this, to take down our walls, we need to understand what God’s love is for us.
For more information on Healing for our Soul Gardens book click this link:https://restore-retreats.org/product/healing-for-our-soul-gardens-book/
Thoughts to Ponder:
- Do you find you view LOVE with conditions? Is so, are you able to identify them?
- Do you find you have walls of protection that interfere in your relationship with God? If so, in what ways is the Holy Spirit leading you to trust God?
- Do you struggle to trust God or others? If so, in what ways?
Kristin Clouse, a sexual abuse survivor, shares her story, her faith, and her professional experience as a licensed counselor, to walk with women through their healing process. Her story is one of redemption and restoration through Jesus. Kristin is an author, counselor, speaker, and mentor to women. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is the founder of The Restore Movement, which walks with women in their broken seasons into freedom and healing through bible studies, online communities, resources and conferences. Kristin is available to speak for your retreat or conference. For more information – www.KristinClouse.com and www.TheRestoreMovement.com.