Have you ever had a song that just reached the depths of your soul? Have you had an album that was constantly put on repeat? While music isn’t my normal go-to for comfort or joy, God has certainly used lyrics to heal my broken places.
Mercy Me’s album, Welcome to the New, was one of those albums. With Valentine’s Day around the corner I was reminded of one of the songs on this album. Wishful Thinking speaks to a truth that we need to cement into our hearts.
Could it be that on my worst day
How you love me simply will not change?
What if it’s really not about
What I do but what you did, oh what if…?
Do you believe that someone can love you with unconditional love? Love that is not subject to any conditions. A love that is not based on what you have done or not done. A love that is just complete because they love you for being you. This is the Father God’s love for you!
The Love Chapter
1 Corinthians 13 is deemed the “love chapter.” We often think of it in the context of marriage, probably because it is often read at weddings. But did you ever think about the fact that these traits of love are based on God’s character? After all, God IS love!
What if you read it this way…
God is patient and kind. God is not jealous or boastful or proud. God is not rude. He does not demand his own way. God is not irritated and keeps no record of wrongs. God does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. God never gives up and never loses faith. God is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (Based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Do you believe that no matter what you do, God’s love will not change? Do you trust that He will be patient with you when you lose your temper once again? Do you believe that He is not keeping a record of all the times you failed to do the right thing? Quite amazing, isn’t it? I don’t know anyone on the face of this earth that is fully capable of these amazing gestures.
First Act of Unconditional Love
In John 3:16-17 we read:
“For this is how God loved the world; He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
As Olaf the snowman says, “Only the act of true love will thaw a frozen heart.” Or in this case save a person from death.
It is so important that we remember that God loves us for who we are, not what we do or don’t do. Let that sink in. He loves us because we are His kids (Ephesians 1:3-9). We all have sinned and deserved death (Romans 3:23). But God in His great mercy has given us a great gift-freedom and eternal life (Romans 5:8 and Romans 6:23). There is NOTHING that can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). NOTHING!!!
It is so important that we remember that God loved us first (1 John 4:7-8, 19). He loved us before we were born. He loves us even while we keep making mistakes. It isn’t about us, it is about what Jesus did on the cross to make things right! Allow the sacrifice of the cross to be enough. Allow what Christ did on the cross to wash you clean and give you a fresh start!
Remember that His mercies are new every morning! (Lamentations 3:22-23). He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, that is why He sent Christ. As Bart, the lead singer of Mercy Me, explained: “Rest in the power of the cross. Stop trying to do enough and start trusting Him instead.” We can start each day in His presence. We can remind ourselves that God never gives up or loses faith. That He always hopes and never stops loving.
Make it Real
As spouses and parents we have many opportunities to display the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love to our spouse and children. They, just like ourselves, have a sinful flesh that needs to be worked out. We have the chance to speak truth and offer unconditional love each time they fail or mess up.
It is our prayer that when our children leave our home they have a deep understanding of God’s and our own unconditional love towards them. So early on we asked the Lord how to display this unconditional love to our children. He gave us this amazing statement to say over and over to our children. When something occurs that our children need to ask for forgiveness, we use the following dialog to speak truth. We ask the questions and the kids give the answers
Parent’s Question Child’s Answer
- Parent’s Question: How much do I love you? Child’s Answer: 100 (which means 100%)
- Parent: What could you do to make me love me more? Child: Nothing
- Parent: What could you do to make me love you less? Child: Nothing
- Parent: Why? Child: Because I’m your son/daughter
- Parent: That’s right! I would love you more but that is the max!
- Parent’s Question: How much does God love you? Child: 100
- Parent: What could you do to make God love you more? Child: Nothing
- Parent: What could you do to make God love you less? Child: Nothing
- Parent: Why? Child: Because I’m His son/daughter
- Parent: That’s right! God would love you more but that is the max!
First things First
To be able to teach this to our children we have to believe it is true for ourselves! This might not be something that you have ever experienced, but it is a real thing! And you can experience it when you allow God to love on you!
“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.” Ephesians 3:18-19
If we could embed this truth deep within our heart and minds, think about the guilt and shame that we would no longer carry. We would know that our Heavenly Father will still love us, even when we mess up. We would know that if we come to Him He could mend our brokenness and make us whole again. Imagine the freedom and joy we could then experience!
God loves YOU with perfect, unconditional love. To quote the song again, “This ain’t wishful thinking…that’s just how it is!”
The gospel really is Good News!!