I was listening to the radio today when a song came on that I had not heard in a long time. Jars of Clay released “Love Song for a Savior” on their first album, nearly 20 years ago; yet the words today mean something completely different than they did to me as a child. I vividly remember being taken aback by the phrase, “I want to fall in love with you”. I asked my parents about it, because I always thought that “being in love” meant romantic love, and “love” was just love. At the time I could not imagine being in love with God, because I didn’t truly grasp its meaning; it took me almost twenty years to finally get it.
A few months ago I looked at my baby girl, staring at her perfect features and watching her breathe so sweetly and evenly, and out of my mouth came the words- “I am so in love with you.” I shocked myself. I stopped and pondered it then. Was it wrong for me to say “in love”? But I knew the moment that I felt it, before even saying it, that “love” would never ever encompass the depth of emotions that I felt for her. I finally understood. So when I heard the song today, I went back to that moment when I asked why on earth they would say that they wanted to fall in love with Jesus.
We’ve been taught wrong our whole lives. Children think that love is this amazing fairy tale, and that one day you find a prince or princess; you fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. But the Bible teaches us to love everyone. We learn to love family, friends, pets, but we reserve our “special” love for our spouses, the ones that we fell in love with. And even that love, in the minds of so many people, can be dissolved. How many times have you heard someone say, “I fell out of love”? You may have said them yourself at times. But I think we have such a false view on love and what it really is.
Love. It is commanded of us to love one another. To love our enemies. To love without judgement, with kindness and compassion, without prejudice. I’ve heard people say that love is a verb, meaning it is an action, a choice. I agree that it is. Love IS a decision that you make, which means that lack of love is also a choice. This is why Jesus told us to love one another. If we loved freely, without regard, we would have no trouble with loving people, even our enemies, but that is not the case; we honestly have to choose to love. Falling in love, however, is not a choice. Falling in love is when you have made the decision to love, and that love grows to such depths that it tears at your heart to get out. Being in love is not just romantic love, and although it can include marital love, it is not exclusive. Falling in love with someone simply means that you are tied to them by their soul, that life without them is barren.
Time and again you hear stories of couples who die hours apart, after a long life together. Even a few years spent with a loved one can change everything about you from your taste in music to your choice in foods. As you grow together with someone, you begin to be more like them; some couples even begin to look like one another. Love is such a beautiful thing, and it soaks into the fiber of your being and molds you to be more like the one that you love. Love is a changing, shaping, and correcting force; but change done through love is not coerced, and it is never an issue of slavery or obligation It is, rather, a subtle desire, often unnoticed by the one changing. True love sets you free of your fears, gives you freedom of self-expression, and allows you to grow in ways that you never thought possible without it.
We were made to love others and be loved ourselves. I believe furthermore that we were created to love God in a way that surpasses simple love, to be so far in love with Him that to live without His presence would be torture. When you read the loving words inspired by our Savior for us, it is hard to imagine a love as full, complete, and deep as His love for us; No height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39. Can you even fathom that depth? I don’t think our human minds can comprehend that love, an agape love, unblemished and undeserved.
My heart’s desire is to fall in love with Christ, not just to love him out of obligation, or even out of a thankful heart; I want to fall so deeply in love with Him that I live my life as He did, doing nothing that He does not lead me to, making no motion that He would not make. I desire that my heart would be changed through loving Him, much like a bride, so in love that my natural desires are curbed by my desire to please Him. This is how Christ sees us, as a bride, pure and righteous; so why not live our lives to honor Him?
Do you acknowledge the depth of God’s love for you?
Do you feel there is a difference between love and in love?
How can you deepen your relationship with God in order to love Him more?
by Lili Morris