The Love of God is a phrase that gets thrown around often. But for those of us who have grown up in an abusive environment, the word ‘love’ may mean something very different to those who didn’t. In order to better understand the love of God, we need to be specific about what it looks like in a practical sense, keeping in mind what it doesn’t look like.
Several months ago before a therapy session, I compiled a list of ways God loves me as opposed to the ‘love’ I once received as a child. I’m glad I can share this with you now. Please read through each carefully and take the necessary time to reflect and pray.
God doesn’t need to tell me that he loves me.
I know he does. When I’m with him I feel perfectly comfortable.
God doesn’t get annoyed with me for being depressed.
He himself was a man of sorrows.
God doesn’t find fault with everything I do.
He blesses every effort I make towards right living.
God doesn’t use guilt to get me motivated.
He lets me rest when I need it.
God is very, very careful when he disciplines his children.
He never does anything out of anger or fear.
God doesn’t despise me for being concerned.
He knows I’m not ten feet tall and made of metal.
God doesn’t cut me off when I’m talking.
He actually listens.
God is not disappointed with me for turning out the way I did. He knows the challenges I’ve had to face in life and is working in me and with me to be the person he’s showing me that I want to be like.
God doesn’t compare me to his other children.
He loves me because I’m his child.
God doesn’t shut down the conversation.
He doesn’t give simplistic answers to detailed problems.
God doesn’t zone out mid conversation.
He’s always present and in the moment.
God doesn’t need me to hang out with him.
He isn’t needy and clingy.
God doesn’t blame me for being bitter.
This fact alone makes my heart sweet.
God doesn’t give sarcastic answers.
He’s always genuine and direct.
God doesn’t change the subject when things get personal.
He sits with me and gives me the space I need.
God doesn’t lose his smile based on what I ask for.
He’s glad I’m asking, and he enjoys giving me good things.
God doesn’t keep score of all the good things he has given me.
He gives with an open hand because he likes being generous.
God doesn’t keep score of all the bad things I’ve said and done.
He helps me to learn from my mistakes. He doesn’t hold them over me.
God doesn’t tell me I need to toughen up, man up, or get over it.
He understands my weaknesses and gives me courage through his promises and power.
God doesn’t expect me to carry him.
He’s the one who carries me.