Our relationship with the Lord is the doorway to all other relationships. This relationship must become the basis for relationships with others, so that our relationships will be strong and long-lasting.
Of course, we will always struggle to love the Lord as He ought to be loved. We will not always feel a spiritual sense of closeness to Him. But loving God is not about feeling lovingly toward Him; it is about acting in a way that demonstrates our love for Him. I once confessed to my father, “I feel like I don’t love the Lord anymore. I feel like I’m just doing what He wants me to do out of habit and not because I love Him.”
My father asked, “What’s wrong with that?”
At the time, it seemed barbaric that I could obey God out of habit rather than out of love, but as time went on, I began to see what my father had meant.
My mother helped me to fill in the blanks when I shared my guilt that I was not completely passionate about the Lord.
“Yaasha,” Mom said. “Love isn’t all about having those wonderful, loving feelings. Love is doing your duty. For example, sometimes I don’t feel affection for my husband, but I still love him and I do my duty by him. I behave like a good wife should. When I show my love for him, even when I don’t feel it, eventually I feel loving toward him again. The love was there in what I was doing.”
The Christian life is not about dredging up feelings of love toward God, but rather about acting out love at those times when we do not feel it. Most times when we are told to love God, this command is immediately followed up with the command to keep His commandments—in other words, to do something.
Once I grasped this concept of loving God even when I didn’t feel like it, I began to see a change in my life. I no longer felt depressed about my spiritual life. Instead, I began to view it all as a journey. I knew there would be highs and lows, but so long as I kept my focus on Christ, it would all turn out right. Consequently, I was able to love others even when I didn’t feel like it, and that is the key to building a lasting and growing relationship.
We must love God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength. We must grasp for Him like we’ve grasped for nothing else. We must desire Him like we’ve desired no one else. We must love Him like we’ve loved no one else. He is worth it. Even if all other relationships grow cold, we will find that He is enough.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.