The question has been asked thousands of times for thousands of years.  Songwriters ask, “What is love?” and “How will I know when it’s love?”  Poets and painters, preachers and philosophers, psychologists and pundits all have their take.  “I want to know what love is,” sings one man who found that being a rock star, with all of its trappings, didn’t satisfy that inner longing for something deeper than money and fame could provide.

The need for love is basic to the human condition.  The lack of understanding of what this somehow elusive entity is, underscores how far from the path we humans have wandered.  The scriptures declare that, “God is love.”  For some, that is far too simple.  For others, such an idea is far too complicated.  I would humbly suggest that, if God is the creator, then apart from Him, love is irrelevant and cannot truly be found.

While my wife and I were apart, I searched both my heart and the scriptures for answers to the many questions I was struggling with.  I was led to two words.  One, of course, was love.  I wrote out pages of verses that contained the ideas of love and marriage.  I read them out loud and prayed them day after day until they took root deep in my soul.

The other word was fear.  Again and again, God led me to that word.  He revealed to me that there was a stronghold of long-standing fears that were holding my wife’s heart captive.   She didn’t know or understand this, and would have denied it if asked, but it wasn’t important for her to know it.  It was important that I be willing to fight for her, and to know what I was going up against.

I’m not really comfortable putting on the hero’s cape and going out to rescue the damsel in distress, but love drove me to do what I had to do.  Just as with the word love, I wrote out pages of scriptures about fear, and prayed and meditated on them.  Even after we got back together, there was an ongoing battle for both of us to conquer our fears and overcome those beliefs and tendencies that still remained from previous failed relationships and unhealthy interactions with people who didn’t show true love.

During the height of all of this, once again, a song spoke deeply to both of us.  I was in the car and a song came on the radio that literally stopped me.  I was so blown away by what I was hearing that I had to sit and take it in.  I found out later, by searching the web, that it was called “Please Don’t Let Me Go,” by a band called Group 1 Crew.

God’s love is a rescuing love.  His love is relentless and unstoppable.  He loves in the face of rejection and hurt, even to those who spit in His face, and most especially to those who are lost and confused.  Deep beneath the surface, where she appeared to be detached and independent, my wife’s heart was crying desperately for real love.  A part of her closed up her ears against those cries, because sometimes it’s easier to deny a need exists, than to face the idea that you might not be able to get it met.

My wife desperately wanted love to be real, and she wanted the love that she had believed she had from me when we married.  If she couldn’t have that love, she didn’t know where to go or how to live in this world.  It was up to me to break through her walls of fear and doubt and set her free to love and be loved the right way.  In order to do that, I needed to be filled with God’s love, because none of us have that kind of love on our own.  It simply doesn’t exist apart from Him.

Two verses were very powerful for me during that time.  The first is a prayer.  It says, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other.”  The second says, “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love casts out fear.”  Perfect love doesn’t come from us.  It only comes from God.

As I allowed Him to fill me with His love, it began to overflow to her.  The love that she was then receiving was coming from Him, through me.  Once she was filled to overflowing, she began to return that love back to me, and I, in turn, was returning it back to God.  He returned it back to me, and the cycle continues.  The cartoon is right, when the child asks, “Dear God, if I give all my love away, can I have a refill?”  Not only a refill, but a neverending supply.

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