True Love: Is It Possible?
By: Natalie Lamb

Love has to be the number one desire that people crave to understand and desire to feel, yet many never grasp what true love is and what it actually feels like.  Why is love so hard to understand?  Why is it so difficult to accept love and reciprocate it?  Sometimes it is even difficult to accept God's love and love Him back.  Many may say that there is no love, and definitely no true love in the world.  For many this has been a perceived reality in their life because they have had no one to love them and give them the nurturing and compassion that they so desperately need.

But God has given us pure love; love that is untainted and can never be repaid.  So why is it difficult to love Him?  In my opinion, it is because many do not feel worthy of God's love and therefore do not feel worthy of anyone's love. We trick ourselves into believing that the love we desire doesn't exist and it isn't that wonderful. Yet deep down we want to feel what it is like to have another love us and to be able to give love back.  A British author quotes, "However it is debased or misinterpreted, love is a redemptive feature.  To focus on one individual so that their desire becomes superior to yours is a very cleansing experience."

All of us came into this world as unscarred, unbroken humans.  Between our birth and adulthood, our hearts, minds, and psyches were damaged. Because we did not receive the love and attention we needed, it was translated into the belief that we were not worthy of love.  Every time we were neglected, put aside, told to shut up, disciplined too harshly, not given any boundaries and not validated, we took these actions to mean that we were unworthy.  An Irish author quotes, "Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another's soul."  Because we have been so wounded, it is hard for us to entrust our hearts to another.  Nevertheless, with God's help we can return to our virgin hearts and cast them into the ocean of another's soul.

We have to trust the ones we love and the ones who love us. We need to become conscious of our pain.  We have to get real with ourselves in order to heal.  We need to give each other the love that will heal our past wounds. Spouses need to learn how to love so well that their spouse’s childhood wounds are healed. However, if we never admit that we wish we had been held more, not continually criticized, or that we have abandonment issues our spouses cannot help us. We cannot sweep the pain under the carpet or act as if it doesn't affect us.  We don't get better with inattention. Time does not heal all wounds.  We can do the wrong thing for ten years and it won't equal to the right thing for one day.

God is holding us accountable for our marriages. Can we honestly say that our marriages are mimicking the relationship between Christ and His bride?  Are we really trying to love each other as Christ loves the church or are we hoping that He will let us slip into the kingdom without perfecting this area of our lives?  Can we proclaim that we have been faithful over our marriages and families?  We love to say that we've been faithful over few things and God is going to make us rulers over many.  But have we really been faithful?  If we cannot be faithful on earth, how can we expect God to make us rulers?

Additionally, parents must begin to love their children in the ways that they were never loved.  We do not have to pass on the pain.  Instead, we can correct it.  As we give our children what we missed we will not only love them correctly, but we will also heal the offences committed against us.  We must allow ourselves to be reborn in our children by sharing with them what wasn't shared with us.  We have to give our children what they need.  One must remember that because we survived our childhood doesn't mean our children will survive. A U.S. poet quotes, "Our children will not survive our habits of thinking, our failures of the spirit, our wreck of the universe into which we bring new life as blithely as we do.  Mostly, our children will resemble our own misery and spite and anger, because we give them no choice about it.  In the name of fatherhood and motherhood and education and good manners, we threaten and suffocate and bind and ensnare and bribe and trick children into wholesale emulation of our ways."

Too many children have lost their innocence before their fifth birthday.  Too many children know what it is to have a broken heart; they know betrayal, neglect, pain, stress, sadness and loneliness.  It is not enough to give them better than what we had. We have to give them what they need and deserve.  Do parents think about the carnage that they will leave behind?  Do we fully comprehend that from birth to adulthood we are building a bridge for our children to cross?  The bridge can be strong and sturdy, leading them on a path of trust, love, integrity, and self-worth.  On the other hand, the bridge can be shaky, having missing planks and the path will be built on mistrust, no love, no strength and no self-worth.  We as parents choose which bridge we will build.  One must remember that the bridge is being built daily.  It is a fact that no one is perfect and without fault.  Yet, children are not looking for perfection, just true love, compassion, guidance, security, and empathy.

A civil rights activist quotes, "To rescue our children we will let them save us from the power [authority] we embody: we will have to trust the very difference that they forever personify.  And we will have to allow them the choice, without fear of death: that they may come and do likewise or that they may come and that we will follow them, that a little child will lead us back to the child we will always be, vulnerable and wanting and hurting for love and for beauty."  Love is very possible and is one of the greatest reasons to live.  One of the greatest human tragedies is to live life not knowing the complexity of love and the power it has to heal the deepest wounds and forgive the most basic imperfections.  Without a doubt, love never fails.