How do we “love God”? Or what do we think about when we tell people, “I love God”?
Many times, for me, it is more of a profession of faith than it is an act or profession of love. It is almost as if we could substitute “I love God” with “I believe in God and my faith is in God”. I do not think this is wrong, I do not think this necessarily should change, but I do think this language and use of love leaves out a very important part of Christianity- actually showing love to God.
So, in order to decipher what this means or looks like, let’s think of ways we can receive and give love. You might be familiar with the Love Languages (and if you are not, here is a great resource! http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/). These are practical ways each of us can receive and can give love to others. Some of us like words of affirmation. Some of us like it when people spend intentional time with us, doing our favorite things or doing nothing at all. Some of us like gifts, while some of us prefer acts of service. There is not necessarily a right or wrong way to receive or give love. It all depends on the person. We were created to love. Before we were anything, in fact, we were love and loved by God. When we are living in who we were created to be, love flows through us- it’s what we were made to do! As uniquely as we were created physically, emotionally, and mentally, we were also created to love uniquely.
But how does God receive love? How do we show our love to God, the creator of love?
Let’s look to the Bible and see what the Word says about God’s love language.
John 15:13-14 → “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
It’s no coincidence that obedience and love are talked about so close to one another and in the context of each other. Love and obedience go hand in hand with God. He is not just some bully who wants to push us around and see how many things He can make us do. He is a loving Father who wants the best for us. He is someone who knows everything about us, our situations, and our futures. It’s not just for the sake of obedience that He is loved. Obedience is an outward sign of something deeper, something that honors God and makes Him feel so loved- trust. When we trust God with our situations, we obey what He commands us to do and when we obey Him, we love Him.
As in all things, God is trying to get to our hearts. He first and foremost wants our hearts to be His. Same with how we love. We could do all things right, but, as 1 Corinthians 13:2 tells us, if we don’t have love, then our best efforts will always be in vain. If we have trust in God, we will show love for, and to him by the obedience in our lives.