Live Loved

Live Loved

We all want to be loved and accepted.

Too many mornings, the first thing I do upon awakening is to touch my phone and immediately tap open my email and messaging apps. Then I open up my website management app and look to see how many people read my blog. Then I wander over to my laptop and check Facebook because I want to see who liked my posts from the night before. 

All this makes me feel loved and like I really am someone for a while. It makes me feel loved when a friend says something kind in a message to me, when I see that my website receives hundreds of visitors every month, and when I am notified that people Liked my social media posts. But it's never enough and always leaves me hungry for more love, more attention, and more assurances that I am accepted, although it took some recent self-introspection to realize this is what often drives my smartphone and social media habits.

The world tries to tell me that a romantic relationship is the answer to truly satisfying me and making me feel loved, but I'm going to make a bold statement. If I have a husband someday, he is going to disappoint me. He is not going to live up to the ideal I have in my head because he will only be human. In The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippets shares, "No matter how kind and loving the person you marry is, there will always be a void. I often tell my friends looking at my marriage from the outside that, as good as he is, Jason could never cure my loneliness. There are moments and glimpses, but truly the most intimate place in my heart is reserved for Jesus."

That's the answer to my longings–there is a place in my heart that can only be filled by Jesus. I don't have to do anything to earn His love; in fact, I can't. I don't have to worry about being rejected by God because He knows my sinful heart better than anyone, and yet He finds me so precious that He died so that I could become His daughter. As Lysa TerKeurst says in Uninvited, "God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live . . . loved." 

So today will you join me in picking up your Bible and remembering what God says about you before you pick up your phone? Will you join me in resting in the love of God, instead trying to fill your heart with things that can never fill the void that only God can?

We are loved by God, and may this truth transform the way we live, think, and feel.


Hi, Valerie,

I enjoyed reading your comment! Thanks for sharing your perspectives and for your questions.

I feel loved by God because He gave Jesus to die for me, so yes, God actually has done something to show me/make me feel His love. I also believe that every daily blessing is a gift from Him, and this makes me feel further loved by Him. Yes, I do have to believe that God exists in order to believe that these gifts are from Him, but I also think it is impossible for there to be no God.

Personally, whenever I read psychology articles about how to love myself, I always find myself asking questions such as, “Why shouldn’t I worry about other people’s opinions?” I find most psychology articles about why I should love myself have no solid backbone to their arguments, e.g. they tell me I shouldn’t worry about other people’s opinions because I can’t make everyone happy, but they don’t give me a convincing enough reason about why I shouldn’t care about what the naysayers think. This is what makes believing in God and then loving myself as a result, different from loving myself in the absence of belief in God. I believe that God loves me so much that He died for me, and that is the only convincing enough reason that I have found for self-love. Yes, people in the military die for me, and my parents would also be willing to die to save my life. These actions by people also make me feel loved, but the biggest difference is that God is the one who created/defines what morals and love are and is the only One who is completely perfect, so He needed to demonstrate that He believes I am so precious I’m worth dying for in order for me to really believe it.

I also believe that love is more than hormonal and chemical reactions, although these things certainly help us feel connected with others and desire relationships when functioning properly. Perhaps it would be helpful to define what love is according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

My relationship with God doesn’t make me feel less attached to family members or friends. In fact, the primary way I love God is by loving people. However, my relationship with God does keep me from needing constant assurances from others that I am loved and helps me cope with rejection because I know that God finds me so precious in His sight that He died for me.

Anyway, I hope this answers your questions and feel free to write to me directly with any others.

Lauren Watt

Hi Lauren, my response has two parts.
About the first two paragraphs: I absolutely agree that social media exists to take advantage of peoples’ need for love and acceptance, but it is a substitute for a real thing so it can never truly satiate the need and always leaves the user wanting more. I also agree that a romantic relationship can rarely, if ever, satisfy the need for love in a person who has a serious deficiency of it. Many people find themselves sorely disappointed when they find out the hard way that romance is not the solution to all of their emotional needs, contrary to the message our culture promotes. You put it very well, as always.

About the last two paragraphs, I have a question: Does God himself actually do anything to make you feel loved, or do you only feel it because of your knowledge that He loves you unconditionally? Put another way, wouldn’t you feel God’s love regardless of whether he actually exists or not as long as you believe that He exists and loves you? If so, couldn’t a non-religious person achieve the same result by loving themselves without using God as the middleman?

I ask this because, from a secular point of view, I have always seen the pathologies you identified (seeking love from social media and romantic relationships) as being the result of a deficiency of self-love, which itself is usually the result of a lack of unconditional love from one’s parents.

Your post would be interesting and relevant to anyone because of the universal need for love, but I in particular found it interesting because I have an special quirk: because I’m mostly incapable of feeling loved by others (or myself), I am sort of indifferent to whether others love me or not, so I don’t seek love from social or romantic relationships nearly as much as others do. This gives me a lot of freedom because it makes me less driven to garner approval and avoid rejection from others, but it also makes me detached from other people, even my loved ones. (This is a common quality of people with certain personality disorders, such as schizoids.) Do you think that, similarly, having a relationship with God makes one less attached to one’s family and friends? I’m still pondering whether this lack of attachment is a good thing or not, regardless of the cause.

Valerie Lindner

Lilly, you’re welcome. I’m so glad that this article was a blessing to you. ❤️

Diane, amen, God’s love is the best. Thanks for commenting.

Lauren Watt

Thoughtful insights. God’s love and the love for God is indeed the best love. It’s the connection to our heart and future.

Diane Black

Thanks for sharing, Lauren; I really needed this reminder.

Lilly Wiscaver

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