I used to think that love is all we need in order to heal other people’s hurts. I used to think that if we could only give that love to the very best we could, we’d have the power to change other people’s lives for the better.
But why is it that after giving everything we could, we are still met with pain and frustration? Why is it that after so many years of trying to prove our love, wounds are still hurting and people remain unchanged?
Can’t love really heal our hurts?
My daughter (son), you are not yet a strong and prudent lover. Because you abandon what you have begun at every little adversity which you encounter, and too eagerly seek consolation.-Imitation of Christ
How strong must we be? How persistent must our love be? In our exhaustion, we say in defeat that our love could never be that strong enough. If the only hope for healing left is love, then it couldn’t be the kind of love that we have. Our love is not the kind of love that heals.
What then is the love that heals?
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Only God’s love can. For in truth, God Himself is LOVE
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
All our greatest strivings fall short of God’s Perfect LOVE for us, a love that is sufficient unto itself and neither needs nor asks for anything in return. Who among us could love like Him unless He empowers us to do so?
God’s Unconditional Love
Have you ever wondered how only God can love us unconditionally? It’s because only God is perfect and doesn’t need anything from us
We can’t love like that. Our love, however good is still conditional. We want something in return because we are not perfect, and we try to get from others what we lack.
We expect something back, whether it be the praise of the one we love, his presence to soothe our loneliness and emptiness within, the feeling that we’re needed, the fulfilment of our childhood ideals, protection, financial security, or his characteristics that we yearn for but don’t possess such as a strong identity, childlikeness, excitement and strength.
This is the reason why Jesus told us to love God first for in truth, it is a command to allow God to love us, to be so embraced and ensured that we couldn’t ask for anything more. In that way only can we love others as God has loved us.
This kind of love is therefore not waiting for any condition or reward. This love is also not boastful, self righteous or looking down upon another person because it knows that whatever love it can give has come not from itself but from God, like the moon reflecting only the light cast upon it by the sun.
A Love That Heals
God’s perfect love is the kind of love that heals. Whether we receive it directly or through the people He chooses to help us along the way, only God’s love has the power to change us and to heal our hurts.
If we are to be channels of His love, we must stop relying upon our own strength and goodness and begin tapping unto God’s endless reserve of mercy, power and grace. Know God’s love and how different it is from the kind of love that failed us in the past.
GOD’S LOVE IS:
Benevolence is silent goodwill. It is like the sun shining on hard ground, softening the earth, melting the ice, but with no design or intention to heal. It is a state of naturalness which is why it works because the ground feels no debt to the sun. In the same way, to be on the receiving end of benevolence is to be receiving something for which there is no return. Not even a pressure to respond – which is why one does, so easily. – Inner Beauty
God’s love is just like that. GOD’S LOVE just IS. Even without our appreciation, even without our gaze. God’s love needs no permission nor recognition in order to shine through and give its warmth to all. Only He has that kind of benevolence.
There are times when we also feel as though we’ve already given so much kindness. But if we could really be benevolent in the same way, why do we feel so much pain when our partner leaves us or betrays us? Why do we hear ourselves say, “I’ve done everything for you all these years and this is how you will repay me for everything?”
It is not that we shouldn’t feel bad in any way. It’s but natural to be disappointed with infidelity and with things that break apart our love. But in our weakness, we fall into the temptation of making our partners the very center of our lives, the source of our joy, the meaning of our existence. God is not like that for He is not dependent upon His creatures for His happiness. He loves us but He is the Giver, not the one who expects from us something in return to fill Him back.
The only way we could somehow imitate such benevolence is when we’re able to connect to God. When we’re filled with His goodness, we’re able to give the same to others without expecting anything in return.
God’s love is so strong that even if we fail Him again and again, His love remains steadfast and unaffected by our changing desires.
His love is also strong enough to join us not only in our happiness but even in our pain. It is not afraid to see us in our weakness and our failures. It is strong enough to allow us to make mistakes, to hurt, and to learn from them. How very different indeed from our human love that expects perfection from one another. We’re afraid to feel our loved one’s pain and so we meddle with their decisions and keep them from being responsible for their own lives. We’d rather that they remain as babies who never grow up rather than risk falling as they learn to walk on their own.
We know God has no hidden agenda and only has our highest good in mind. He never lies to us and His words can be counted upon.
How different it is with people who often lie to us and betray us, people who keep us guessing whether they really love us or only care about themselves.
For those of us who have been hurt so deeply that we find it so difficult to trust again, only God’s love heals because it may just be the only love we’d be able to TRUST for a time.
God respects our freewill and does not force us to do His will even if it be far better than our desires. God is powerful but He does not manipulate us. God is everywhere but He doesn’t always reveal His presence if such will not be good for us.
With people however, we often try to control others, especially our loved ones if we have come to believe that we know the best thing for them to do. We exert upon them our authority, or even use emotional blackmail just so they would do as we want them to do even if they don’t truly believe in our plans.
We could always reason that we only intend the best for them. But could it be that we’re also depriving them to learn in their own way and time? Could it be that we’re just showing them how we can’t really trust them to run their own lives?
God knows far better than we do and could surely accomplish a lot of things on His own, but He honors us by acknowledging the strength we have and what we can do for ourselves. He doesn’t want puppets who can do His will but who can’t appreciate and believe in His wisdom.
The kind of love that heals is the kind of love that is able to respect the dignity of the person, one that is able to touch but not intrude, to help but also honor the person’s ability to help himself.
God’s love is filled with wisdom. It knows and does what the beloved needs, not what she wants, if what she wants wouldn’t be good for her in the long run.
We in turn may be tempted to merely please other people. We think that by always doing everything others wanted us to do, we’re already loving them. A love that heals is never blind. It sees beyond what the person asks to what a person really needs.
God’s love is so gentle that it could touch us in our frailty without causing us farther harm. Other people’s love seem strong, but unless gentleness be present also in that strength, we may feel threatened or even afraid to receive it. In times when we can’t even look up and extend our arms, what we need is a quiet love that merely shelters us in our moment of need, like a tree that provides just enough shade to protect us from too much rain or sun.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
God’s love is infinite. There’s always something new to discover, something fresh to surprise us and to keep us awaiting His presence. He could never bore us for there is no end to knowing Him. The more we know about His love, the more we yearn to comprehend His greatness.
One reason why many relationships fail is because people also fail to grow. If we really wish to offer the best for our loved ones, we should constantly seek to improve ourselves, to grow and to become better kinds of people from day to day.
God’s love comforts us because His love remains the same, He is as reliable now and in the future as He had been in the past.
It is true that there is always something new to discover about Him, but He does not take back what He has already revealed about Himself.
“I am the Lord, and I change not.” – Malachi 3:6
The beauty of God’s love is so alluring that it gives us joy. Can we ever find something more beautiful than His love?
The kind of love that heals is a love that is given out of the beauty of one’s heart, not out of one’s fears, guilt or emptiness.
We may not be able to count the number of times we wept because the love we thought we’d always have suddenly fades. Separation, abandonment and death broke our hearts and we couldn’t understand why something so beautiful had to end.
In truth, the love that we have right now is only a taste of the greater love we’d enjoy in eternity. With God’s love, we need never be afraid anymore because His love is eternal and has no end.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Such is the greatness of God’s love that has been made available to all. We may not always be able to reflect that love to others, for we are all but hazy mirrors of His love at best. In times like that, let us not feel defeated for we know God can always continue His work for the people we love in ways we could never imagine for now. Only God’s love is infinite, wise and trustworthy. His LOVE shall never fail!