How do you define love? Is it even definable? If we look to He who created love, we can begin to understand it. As we grow in our love for Christ, we can grow in our love for others. #IChooseLove
I Want to Know What Love Is, by Niki Krauss
How do you define love? You love your mother; you love your husband; you love your dog; you love a good New York-style pizza. How can the same word be used to describe a feeling that’s so different in each of these “love relationships”? Miriam-Webster lists twelve different definitions for love! No wonder people have trouble understanding it.
Love is oftentimes fickle. People fall in love; they fall out of love. How can it be so unreliable? Yet, unreliable or not, we continually look for it. Love isn’t perfect. That’s obvious if you’ve been in a relationship for more than, say, ten minutes. We’re broken, fallen human beings not even close to being perfect, so our love bears our imperfections. The love of another human being will never complete you—no matter what Tom Cruise said in Jerry Maguire.
So, then, is it hopeless? No. As imperfect as love is, it’s also wonderful and beautiful and worth seeking. But, there can be ups and downs and ebbs and flows. Sometimes there are conditions to love; human love tends to be based on something tangible: I love you because you ________. Fill in the blank. It’s hard for us to love unconditionally. What about when he drives me crazy? What about when this child continually chooses to disobey? What about when my feelings get hurt? I don’t want to love you then. Love can be painful in those kinds of moments.
If the love of another person won’t complete you, what will? Even in the best of love relationships, there is a void the other person will never be able to fill, and it can be disastrous to put that expectation onto the person you love. He’ll never be able to fill it because it’s a God-sized void, and only the love of God can fill it. That God-sized void is present in all of us. The sad thing is a lot of us don't recognize it. Until you've invited God in and he fills up that void, you likely wouldn't have even known it was there. It's only when he's changed everything about you and for you that you can see what was missing.
Unlike human love, the love God pours out comes without conditions. It’s not based on who we are or what we’ve done. God’s love is based on who he is. There is no other love like it. The Bible says we can’t even fathom how much God loves us. One of my favorite passages, Ephesians 3:16–19, explains the unexplainable to help us better comprehend the incomprehensible:
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Oh yes! Now that’s love!
About Niki Krauss
Niki Krauss is a Yankee by birth, a Southerner by choice, and a joy-filled lover of Jesus by grace. After twenty-four years of moving around the country as the wife of a Marine Corps aviator, she and her husband of forty years have settled in Charleston, South Carolina. Niki is the former assistant editor for the Marine Corps Gazette, the professional journal of the United States Marine Corps, where she wielded her red pen for fifteen years. As a sexual abuse survivor herself, her most recent passion is leading faith-based support groups for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Connect with Niki at http://www.nikikrauss.com.
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Read More From Niki in Little Girl Mended
No little girl should ever have to learn about sexual abuse at the hands of her father. But I did, and I survived. This is my story.
Little Girl Mended is both a story of abuse and a story of redemption, spanning more than fifty years. From the loss of innocence at age seven, through ten-plus years of abuse, forty-five years of silence, and finally—well into my fifties—coming to understand that healing is possible. My walk through recovery coincided with a deepening of my relationship with Jesus Christ. Through that relationship I came to experience the Father’s love—a love I couldn’t fully understand while viewing everything through the distorted lens of incest.
In this first-person narrative, I examine painful memories and difficult emotions, allowing myself to feel for the first time in my life. As I grapple with shattering hurt and long-buried pain, I come to realize there can be no healing without surrender. It’s not in my strength that I find healing, but in my complete surrender to Jesus Christ.
The power found in the pages of Little Girl Mended is there for you, too—whatever the circumstances of your own life’s story. Come along and claim it.
Get it here: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes