Do you know in your head that God loves you, but you long to feel it in your heart?
For many who have endured a loveless marriage or a childhood home void of much needed love, it can be difficult to feel God’s love. And if you’ve ever been with someone who says they love you but you just don’t feel it, it can be a challenge to your trust.
Many Christians know that God loves us, but this is more head knowledge than heart knowledge.
And if we’re truly being honest, this lack of love rattles our trust in God more than we’d like to admit.
I am going to be cliché for a moment and tell you that God really does love you. But I get it—you don’t want to hear that God loves you, you want to feel it down deep in your heart.
If you are struggling with feeling the love of God, here are four checkpoints you would do well to investigate.
Checkpoint #1: Check your feelings.
Feelings are powerful. They can drive us to scale the highest mountain or sink to the bottom of the sea. But feelings are fickle. They can’t always be trusted. So if you are the type who lets your feelings drive you, you may find yourself exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster ride.
Yes, you want to feel your feelings, but then you want to take charge of them—and not the other way around. They are not the boss and they should not dictate how you behave.
In order to take charge of your feelings, you need a solid understanding of what you KNOW about God’s love. Meaning, you need to dive into His word and allow it to penetrate your soul.
One of my favorite love scriptures is 1 John 4:16: “So we have come to know and to believe the love God has for us. God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.” The Bible is riddled with scriptures on His love for you. Dive in.
But here’s the key: at the end of all your feelings should be a KNOWING. It’s your knowings that you want to lean on when your feelings fail you.
Checkpoint #2: Check your love language.
Gary Chapman wrote a bestselling book years ago called The Five Love Languages. It broke down in detail how each type gives and receives love. The five love languages are:
· Words of affirmation. This is through encouragement and appreciation.
· Physical touch. These are nonverbal expressions that use body language.
· Receiving gifts. These are thoughtful gesture, both big and small.
· Quality time. This is uninterrupted and focused conversations.
· Acts of service. These are practical ways to help and alleviate workload.
And while the book was written to help couples understand how we can better love each other according to our differing preferences, they also apply to your relationship with God.
If your love language is acts of service and you’re expecting God’s love to wrap you like a warm fuzzy blanket, you may be waiting awhile because that’s not the primary way you give and receive love.
So instead of expecting to ‘feel’ God’s love in a way that does not match you, remember that God created you just as you are and He knows how to speak to you. Let God love you in your language. I’ll bet He’s already speaking to you in that way, if you’ll just pause and look around, you’ll see His loving fingerprint everywhere.
Checkpoint #3: Check for sin.
Sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 reminds us: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
This doesn’t mean that God stops loving us, but our sin creates a barrier from intimate connection with Him.
Here’s proof that he loves you: He sent his son Jesus to die a brutal death so that you could be forgiven of your sins and your intimacy restored. That’s love.
Instead of drowning in guilt and seething in unforgiveness, let’s follow the instructions of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Checkpoint #4: Check YOUR Beliefs.
Often times we struggle with ‘feeling’ loved by God because things aren’t going our way. When it feels like you’re not loved, you would do well to check your definition of love.
Society gives us a distorted view of what love is. It tells us that loving our children means we should let them do what they want. It tells us that codependency is love. It tells us that sharing the truth is hateful.
This is NOT the love of God. God’s love is sovereign. He is the supreme authority over all, and all things are under His control. And sometimes what doesn’t feel like love to us is actually the most loving thing a Father could do.
When you’re struggling to feel Gods love for you, I want to encourage you to spend time with Him. His heart longs to be with you. Talk to Him like a friend.
I’ve learned that sometimes at the end of our love struggle, we need to be honest with ourselves and ask, am I struggling to feel God’s love, or am I struggling to love God? We’ll save that discussion for another time.
In the mean time, if you want to grow in your faith, grab Kris’ FREE 5 Day Mountain Moving Faith Devotional to get you started.