It's February, the month of love. We all have the need to be loved. We all desperately want to feel loved. Yet far too many people never find the love they are searching for, because they are looking for a love that no human can give.
The country music singer, Johnny Lee had a hit song in 1980 titled "Lookin' for Love". The song spent three weeks in the number one spot on Billboards country chart before it crossed over to the pop chart where it appeared in the top five. Back then songs very seldom "crossed over" into other genres, but this song hit upon the human condition of needing to feel loved. (Wikipedia)
The lyrics to the chorus hit the nail on the head:
"I was lookin' for love in all the wrong places,
lookin' for love in too many faces,
searchin' their eyes, lookin for traces
of what I'm dreaming' of.
Hopin' to find a friend and a lover;
I'll bless the day I discover
another heart lookin' for love."
As humans we look for love in all the wrong places.
We look for love in our job, our accomplishments, our possessions. We think doing well at work will earn us the love of our boss. We think accomplishing great things will earn us the love of others. We think having lots of things will ease our need for the love we so desperately want.
As humans we look for love in too many faces.
We look for love in our spouse, our friends, our family. These are certainly all people from whom we should receive love. However, even when we receive love from these people, we still often feel unloved. That's because what we are looking for is something more than a warm fuzzy feeling, something more than a sense of fulfillment, something more than the feeling of belonging. What we are looking for is something supernatural, a soul deep connection.
Can we have this connection with another human? To a certain extent, yes. We all have those people we connect with in deep ways, people we call our "soulmate". The problem we run into in this looking for love is that we fail to realize no one person can fulfill all our needs. We fail to realize that an accomplishment cannot complete us or that a possession can never give us true contentment.
They can't because we were made for more. We were made for perfection. We were made for union with God. Our hearts were created by Him, for Him, to glorify Him. Far too many people feel lonely, unloved, and unlovable because they don't know God. Even those who call themselves Christians, who claim to follow God feel lonely, unloved, and unlovable.
In fact, US News reported in 2018 that almost half of the countries population feels lonely or left out. A study conducted by Cigna found that 46% of American's report feeling lonely or alone; 43% saying they feel isolated from others. The study reports these numbers are even higher for younger generations. (usnews.com Alexa Lardieri; May 1, 2018)
How can so many feel alone? Why do we feel unloved? What factors cause us to feel unlovable? A 2016 study conducted by the Harris Poll sited too much time on computers and mobile devices as a major contributor to loneliness and feeling unloved. The study called this the "invisible epidemic" saying that people's social media persona masked their true emotional state. (cbsnews.com Mary Brophy Marcus; October 13, 2016)
We all know the little squares we view each day on our social media streams show people at their best. We look at these high-light reels of other's lives and wonder why our life isn't like that. We begin to wonder why we don't have as many followers or likes as they do. We try to post the perfect picture or the most inspiring thoughts never understanding that what we are doing is "lookin for love in all the wrong places".
So where are we to look? Where can we find this love that fulfills our need to feel we belong? How do we overcome loneliness and begin to feel loved? How do we stop this invisible epidemic of loneliness? We begin by looking in the right place. We begin by looking into God's face.
Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God has "put eternity in the hearts of men". God created human beings for relationship with Him. When He created Adam and Eve they were perfect, they had perfect communion with God and with each other. When sin entered in that perfection was lost. Lysa TerKeurst says in her book, It's Not Supposed To Be This Way: "...our instincts keep firing off the lie that perfection is possible. we have pictures of perfection etched into the very DNA of our souls." (page 6)
When we are lookin for love in all the wrong places and faces, what we are really looking for is that perfect, eternal relationship with our Maker. It's what He made us for. Therefore the cure for this invisible epidemic is found only in a relationship with God. We are looking for the perfect love which can only be found in our perfect God.
And our perfect God is love. 1 John 4:15-19 says:
"Whoever confesses and acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment. so the one who is afraid [of God's judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God's love]. We love because He first loved us." AMP
God is love. God's love is perfect. God's perfect love casts out fear; yes, fear of punishment, but God's love can also cast out the fear of feeling unloved or unlovable. When we believe in God, accept Christ as our Savior, and abide in Him, then and only then do we find the love we are all so desperately searching for. Then we find the cure for feeling alone.
With God we are never alone because He has promised never to leave us.
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
Before Jesus was crucified He told His disciples: "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you." John 14:15-17
When we abide in our perfect God we have His Holy Spirit living within us; which means we are never alone. Can we still feel lonely sometimes? Absolutely. But when we do, instead of looking for love in all the wrong places, we can cry out to God and He will hear us. His Spirit within us will comfort us. In those times of loneliness and feeling alone remembering we have God's Spirit within us fills us with a sense of His presence.
With God we are eternally loved so we cannot be unloved.
"Long ago the Lord said to Israel: 'I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself." Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
Jesus told His disciples in John 16:27:
"...for the Father Himself loves you dearly because you love Me and believe that I came from God." NLT
When we abide in Jesus and love Him with all our heart, we are dearly loved by Father God. Can we still feel unloved at times? Absolutely. But when we do we can cry out to God and He will hear us. Then we can do as Psalm 107:21-22 implores us:
"Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about His glorious acts."
When we feel unloved, lifting praise to the God who dearly loves us helps us remain in His love, and proclaiming the things He has done for us reminds us of His great love.
With God we are lavishly loved so we cannot be unlovable.
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1 NIV
When we have a relationship with God and abide in Him, He doesn't see our imperfect, sinful self; He sees His perfect Son in us. He see us as very lovable and because He does He pours out His love on us. Can we still feel unlovable sometimes? Absolutely. But when we do we can cry out to God and He will hear us. We can be reminded that in Christ we are made new, everything unlovable in us has been traded for His loveliness.
"Now, if anyone is enfolded in Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new."
2 Corinthians 5:17 TPT
When we feel unlovable, praying for God to reveal how He sees us helps us accept ourselves just as we are.
Are you lookin for love this Valentine's Day? Will you look in the right place? Will you look into God's face? Will you cry out to Him for His perfect love to engulf you?
His is the love you crave.
His love cures all loneliness.
His love cures all feelings of being unloved.
His love cures all feelings of being unlovable.
His love is the cure for this invisible epidemic.
His love is the love you were made for.
Until next time,
God bless and keep you,