One evening after the kids were in bed and we were relaxing, each of us with a favorite book, my wife asked me, “Why do you love me?”
I paused, thinking, “careful here Tim…you need to get this one right!” But as I studied her eyes I knew it was not an interrogation but an honest inquiry…a desire for the reassurance we all need on a regular basis. I responded, “I love you because from the start, I felt safe with you. I have always felt I could share anything with you without fear of condemnation. Your acceptance has been your best gift to me.”
Then, in need of a few strokes myself, I asked, “And why do you love me?”
She paused a moment…a long moment. I was wondering to myself, “You gotta think that hard?” But then she smiled and said, “Companionship. I just love being with you, being a part of what you are doing in this world and building a life together.”
I thought, “Hey, those are two good words: Acceptance. Companionship.” And you know friend, these are perfectly offered to us by God the Love-Initiator. The Bible says, “We love (God) because He first loved us,” (I John 4:19, NKJV). What a God, who would come to fallen people like us, transform us by His power of forgiveness and then offer us acceptance and companionship…making friends out of enemies, (ref. Romans 5:10).
I once heard someone say, “A friend is someone who knows all about you but sticks around anyway!” And there is no one who knows more about us than God Himself. He knows all of our flaws, fears, failures, our secret sins, and our rebellion. But with all of that junk and baggage in our lives what did He do? Here’s what His word, the Bible has to say…
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestinated us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved,” (Eph. 1:3-6, NKJV, my emphasis).
Let me repeat that last phrase… “He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” And then He promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” (Heb. 13:5, NIV).
Now that’s love, real love…perfect love. Or, as songwriter John W. Peterson called it, “O Glorious Love…