Do you wrestle with the truth that God loves you? I mean, really? God’s love for you? Are you completely comfortable with knowing that God loves you and accepts you one-hundred percent as you are? Not as you want to be or “should be,” but really, just as you are today. Yes, I know it’s pretty remarkable to reflect on the truth that God loves you unconditionally for who you are, but in our busy lives, I for one, don’t stop to consider this enough. (Painting-Jacob & the Angel by Wayne Forte)
I’ve met many people who wrestle with God’s love. It’s kind of like getting wrapped around a truck axle in a spiritual sort of way. There are so many people who hunger and yearn for unconditional love, peace, and a deep sense of spiritual freedom. Yet, it often seems so elusive. So I wrote a story about it…
It’s an idea I played around with in my marriage book, I Love You Unconditionally…On One Condition. My basic premise is that until we understand the power of God’s love in our own lives, then we’re going to be pretty powerless to share the truly transformational power of unconditional love with others. No input, no output. I’ve observed many people, myself included, wrestle with love in their primary relationships like marriage and parenting. I wrote this story a number of years ago. It’s about my beloved son, Aidan. He’s bigger now, but the truths here are timeless. Just like God’s love for you. I hope you’re encouraged…read on.
(You can click here to download the whole chapter for free: Wrestling with Love-Free PDF.)
Aidan is my youngest child. Four years old. There are many days when I wish I were Aidan’s age. In fact, on some days, I think Aidan has a better idea of who he is than I do. I’d be a happy camper just to get a daily nap. I know God loves me, but as a child of God, I wrestle with love. His unconditional love.
Aidan doesn’t wrestle with being a child of God. He doesn’t even have a problem being a child of Joey and Krista. His needs are simple. Give him waffles for breakfast. Let him swing on his swing and play with Delaney down the street. After lunch, he’ll do everything in his power not to take a nap, but once his soft blankie touches his cheek, he’ll be out in minutes. He’ll explore his inner artist and color on the wall when Mom or Dad isn’t looking. Flannel jammies and a prayer at bedtime. And he’ll wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.
Aidan isn’t caught up in the hurries and hassles of living in the valley. Me, I’m all wrapped up in the business of everyday life. I wrestle with my choices and the limited nature of my conditional love. I wrestle with trying to allow God’s love to change me from the inside out. I need a nap.
Not Aidan. He hates naps. He’d much rather be wrestling. Aidan has never seen much WWF wrestling, but I’m convinced he has Hulk Hogan DNA. All Aidan cares about is wrestling. With me. The moment I walk through the door in the evening, Aidan runs at me, screaming, “Wet’s wrustle!”
If I say no, not right now, Aidan collapses to the ground in a heap, as if every bone in his body has dissolved. Without his steady fix of wrestling, he’s completely discombobulated. His grief is overwhelming. All-consuming. Akin to an Irish keener. I’m almost positive there are support groups for these kinds of problems.
All Aidan wants to do is wrestle with Dad. This is all that matters in the grand sphere of life when home is the center of the universe. To not have his wrestling need met in his time frame causes a major collision in his cosmos.
One night way past bedtime, I told Aidan it was too late to wrestle. As he protested with everything in him, I scooped him up over my shoulder, hauled him off to bed, and laid him on his dinosaur sheets.
“You don’t wuv me,” Aidan moaned from deep in his blankie.
“Yes, I do, Aidan,” I said, trying to reassure. “You know I love you.”
“No, you don’t. You don’t wuv me. You won’t wrustle with me.”
Aidan longed to hear his daddy say yes. Oh, how all of our hearts long to hear yes. From the moment we’re born to the day we die, our very existence hinges on hearing the voice of God whisper his unconditional yes into our hearts. Everything in us hungers for the yes of God.
Knowing who you are as a beloved, chosen, loved and accepted child of God is the core of spiritual identity. Spiritual identity begins with responding to God’s yes with your yes. Your voice responding to the Voice who calls you in love. It is the marriage of two wills as real as the day you stood at the altar and said yes to the one you love. And it is only by responding to the yes of God that we begin to understand what it means to say yes to the kind of unconditional love our spouses crave in the deepest part of who they are. Your yes to God enables you to keep saying yes to one another as you continue your journey together through the peaks and valleys of life.
In writing to the Corinthians, Paul painted the yes of God in this light:
But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:18-20)
Questions: Do you wrestle with God’s unconditional love for you? Of…how has God’s love changed your life?
Click here to download a FREE PDF of Chapter 4: Wrestling with Love
2 Corinthians 1:18–20