We are all born to love and to be loved as we live in relationships with God, ourselves and others. Love happens in relationships. Sadly, even though these are the places where love begins, these are also the same places where hurts originate.
You see, when we love, we make ourselves vulnerable to be hurt; not by intention but because we live in a fallen world, full of hurt people. Hurt people hurt God, hurt people hurt themselves, and hurt people hurt others.
This cycle of pain begins because there is an opening created in our lives when love is not experienced. This opening causes us to fall into such deceptions as: “God does not care. Why did He allow it? People don’t care. I don’t care either. etc.”
When we feel hurt we feel unloved. We feel rejected and reviled.
We feel the smell of FSH: Fear, Shame and Hurt. Fear for being hurt again; shame for feeling unworthy; hurt for the wound inflicted on to us. This vicious cycle then continues in our lives and shows up in our relationships with ourselves and with others. While this is happening to us in life, we are often left clueless and we gradually become more deceived, offended, angry and ultimately bitter.
“You shall love the LORD your God . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Where does this all begin? Supposedly, it begins with God. However, the first people in our lives that we have relationships with are our parents. They are the vessels used by God to bring us out into this world. My son, Jeffrey, gave me a poster frame he made with the words: “What God is to the world, parents are to the children- – – Philo” inscribed in it. We see God using the lens through which we see our parents. And no matter how good one may think our mothers and fathers may be, they still fall short of God’s love. How much worse would it be if we did not have good experiences with our parents? Let me emphasize that it is not what our parents did or did not do that matters the most here. It is how we perceive and how we respond to it that damages us even more.
I am blessed to have wonderful parents. Are they good? Yes, Absolutely! Are they perfect? No. Initially, I thought I had a perfect dad. But one day, he was hit by a taxi and that changed everything. His health dwindled causing him to be bedridden during my late teen years and eventually he died when I was 22. This caused us so much pain, agony and pressure as a family since he was the only breadwinner. Besides my mom, there were nine of us children to feed and support. I got wounded by feeling abandoned and felt God was responsible for all these things that happened to me and my family. Was it my dad’s intention to be hit, sick and killed? No. Was it God’s fault those things happened? No. However, my reaction was that I felt betrayed, abandoned and rejected by my dad for leaving me early at a young age. And since my father (along with my mother) was my first primary relationship, I had projected that God would abandon and betray me too. I held God in hostage to my unforgiveness and offense I carried for many years. I had this distorted view that I must not be worthy of being loved: God did not love me. My dad did not love me either. Thus, this created my internal message of “I do not love ‘me’ too”. It was easier for me to believe in those lies than believe in the truth that “God is love.” Instead, I questioned God’s love which consequently closed the door for me to receive love from Him. Unfortunately, there are still many people who have similar distorted views like I used to have. The situations may not be exactly the same as I experienced per se, but to some degree there exist similarities. It could be other forms of rejection from parents, like abuses such as physical, mental, emotional, sexual or spiritual, etc.
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible ” Matthew 19:26
My question is. . .
What about you? Can you relate to having some experiences of feeling unloved or not worthy to be loved? Or fear to love and be loved again? Begin to recall some memories in your childhood. Start in places as far as you can remember. What was your relationship with your mother like? What about your relationship with your dad? What was the happiest moment you experienced with either one or both of your parents? What was the most painful? Get in touch with your thoughts and emotions. Go deep into your inner core. Ask the Lord to give you some pictures or images of the root where it all began. If you see bitter fruits in your life now, there is definitely a deeper root where it started, or better yet, a bitter seed that was planted.
My prayer is for God to show you His love that can cover a multitude of wrongs, no matter how early it happened, no matter how deep it was inflicted, no matter how painful it was. God can heal! God’s “perfect love casts out fear.” Only God has the perfect love for me and you. Do not be afraid as God is a God of love.
I’ll close with a favorite verse: “Boast on how much God loves you versus boasting on how much you love God.”
by Joseph Prince