Falling in love. What is it?
People often scramble around wondering what it means—what it feels like—to be in love. The reality is humans are really bad at love. Why? Because we are unwilling to fully receive it. Regardless of what we may think, falling in love with someone has a whole lot to do with whether or not we are willing to receive the love somebody is giving to us. Being in love with somebody requires love flowing from both ends.
Why do we often run away from love?
It seems foolish to reject something as wonderful as love, so why would any of us ever do it? Deep down many of us are guarded, because we believe we are unworthy of love. We have experienced rejection, neglect, and know our own shortcomings. We avoid falling in love, because we cannot fathom how someone could fall in love with us. We are ultimately avoiding getting hurt.
The Difference Between Knowing Something and Believing Something
Many Christians have heard that a relationship with Jesus is the cure our hearts need. We have heard that our flaws and others’ perceptions of us do not matter, because God deeply loves us. We know about God’s love and understand the concept of it, but there is something keeping us from fully believing it. Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things. We only accept the love of God to the extent our hearts believe in it.
The Walls We Put Up With God
Falling in love with God is one of the most beautiful experiences on earth, but it is hard to experience. Why? Just as with people, we have walls in our heart preventing God from completely pouring out His love onto us. We project the rejection from the world onto the image of God. We cling to other things to fill us, because we fail to recognize Christ is trying to fill us if we would let Him.
The hard thing about being in a relationship with God is we must accept the truth about ourselves. We must be willing to come to terms with the fact that we are imperfect and broken. The problem is too many of us stop there and feel shame; and so our reaction is to run away from God (Genesis 3:10). Our shame makes us feel unworthy of God’s love, but God does not want us to feel shame. He wants us to lay our shame down at the feet of Jesus, so He can fill us with His grace and love as we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Why are we worthy of love?
The narrative should never be “I am not worthy of love, because __________.” The narrative should be “I am worthy of love because I am made in the image of God, I am deeply loved by God, and God paid the ultimate sacrifice for me.” Our worthiness is not because a human decided we were worthy—or even that we are a good enough person deserving of love—it is because God made us worthy and has sacrificed everything to show us we are worthy. Throughout the gospel we see Jesus demonstrating love to those most cast aside in society. He loved those who people deemed unworthy (lepers, prostitutes, etc.). God’s love has no bounds.
My Love Story (Sorry for being cliché)
Over the past month or two, I prayed to love God with all my soul, heart, and mind just like in Luke 10:27. I thought that I was not good enough at loving, so I needed to pray to love better. Recently God revealed this to me: The key component keeping me from falling entirely in love with God was not about my ability to love. I wasn’t falling in love with God, because I wasn’t allowing God to fully love me. I needed to break down the lies in my heart saying I was unworthy of love, so my heart could actually receive God’s love. Once those walls were down I was so completely overwhelmed with God’s love in my heart that I could not help but fall in love with Him. (1 John 4:9-11)
Jesus fell so deeply in love with me, every inside and outside existence, that He died so we could spend eternity together (John 3:16). By the grace of God, I have had the walls in my heart torn down (Psalm 147:3). I have fallen in love with a God who has never left my side (Joshua 1:19), who has pursued me with passion (Luke 15:14-17), who has paid the ultimate sacrifice just so we can be together in eternity, who knows each and every part of me (Psalm 139:1-4), who has never forgotten me (Psalm 139:17-18), who always appreciates my honesty (Proverbs 24:26), who loves me at my worst (Romans 5:8), and who loves me unconditionally everyday.
And while my journey was unique, the ability to experience this love is not. God is patient with all of us, pursuing us, and yet giving us the freedom to reject him if we so decide (2 Peter 3:9).
So Back To The Original Question
Yes, falling in love is possible. The good news about falling in love with God is it’s always reciprocal and His love never fades. It’s no wonder life long romance is something people want so badly. It’s the closest thing to God’s love we can find on earth. And it’s no wonder so many people are repulsed by the idea of romantic love, because human love will always fall short. All forms of love on earth are just a tiny reflection of the love we already have from God. The important thing to recognize is falling in love with a human only goes to the extent to which each party is willing to receive love (which often reflects the love they have already received). (1 John 4:7-8 )
We all must grapple with these questions to experience love: What lies am I believing about my unworthiness to receive love? What walls have I built up in my heart to prevent the love from coming in? And even more deeply, what am I trying to fill myself with that is preventing God from being able to completely fill me? For we cannot fully love—or be in love—without letting others love us. Every single one of us is worthy of love.