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
Henri Nouwen, in his book In the Name of Jesus, gives an excellent explanation of unconditional love and why we struggle with it: “The love that often leaves us doubtful, frustrated, angry, and resentful is the second love, that is to say, the affirmation, affection, sympathy, encouragement, and support we receive from our parents, teachers, spouses, and friends. We all know how limited, broken, and very fragile that love is. Behind the many expressions of this second love there is always the chance of rejections, withdrawal, punishment, blackmail, violence, or even hatred.”
He goes on to say, “The radical good news is that the second love is only a broken reflection of the first love and that the first love is offered to us by a God in whom there are no shadows.”1
Some of you felt very loved in childhood whereas for others of you it was full of pain. For some, it is easy to understand that God loves you. But others assume since important people in your life did not love you, why would God? Still others of you are convinced God is disgusted with you because of your sin.
We are all promised in scripture that nothing—NOTHING—will separate us from the love of God. God does not always approve of our choices—some of what we do is sinful, and we need to take responsibility for that and repent and accept that we are forgiven.
But He loves you no matter what. You may turn away from Him, your love for Him may waver, but His love for you is unconditional no matter what. When unconditional love is on your plate, other things become less important. People-pleasing, success, self-pity, bitterness, pride, and the other things we have discussed become much smaller when you embrace the truth that you are completely, unconditionally loved by God.
1Nouwen, Henri. In the Name of Jesus (pp 25-26). Crossroad Publishing.
To Think/Pray About Today
Do you embrace that God loves you unconditionally?
Prayer Focus: Hearthstone Inn