God and Sexual Assault

What is Love?

For God...

“Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’” Genesis 22:2 NIV

It’s time for the real raw emotions to come out. I try to be as genuine with you as I can in these meditations because I am just like you. I am in recovery from sexual abuse and rape like you.

Well, I’m stuck.

I don’t understand love. I have been trying to trust God more and I just can’t seem to. I have been trying to tell God I love Him and yet it is strained, and I can’t seem to accept He loves Me. I have a feeling you may feel the same way.

I know Jesus died on the cross for me and that is amazing and hard to understand. It shows how much He loved me. However, people who tell you they love you aren’t going to die for you.

I spent 17 years being abused and raped and I was told I was loved. It doesn’t add up. So, how do I know what love is? How do you feel it? How do you show it?

I know the “head” answers and the “Bible” answers, but I don’t know the real answer. I don’t understand love. My mind just isn’t comprehending love.

The love talked about in Genesis 22:2 of Abraham’s love for his son Isaac, and his love for God, I cannot fathom.

I understand Satan would really like for me to think God doesn’t love me or have me not trust in God, and he is trying his best to get in my head. However, I can bind Satan in Jesus name and get him out of the picture and still not know what love is.

I have gone throughout my life telling people I love them. People have told me they love me. I sign cards, “Love, Susan”, but I don’t have a clue what it means.

I can quote John 3:16 to you and tell you, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV

I can look up love in my Bible dictionary and find verse after verse on love, but I still don’t understand love.

I am stuck at a crossroads. Like I said I am being brutally honest with you because I have a feeling I am not the only one who has this question. Do you want to know what love means?

In the dictionary love is defined as “an intense feeling of deep affection.” This definition does nothing to satisfy my longing to know what love truly is.

Deep down I know love is more than a feeling. This is a “wordly” answer. Jesus wouldn’t die for a feeling. So, what is love?

1 Corinthians 13 is the “love” chapter in the Bible, yet it leaves me with more questions than answers.

I told my Christian trauma therapist my problems with understanding love. He and I talked at length about what love is. He shared with me Dallas Willard’s (a Christian author) definition of love. “Love is not a desire – it is to will the good of others. We say, ‘I love chocolate cake!’ But really we want to eat it. We love something or someone when we promote it’s good for its own sake.”

Promoting someone else’s good for their sake. For them. Not for US. For them. Like Jesus. Jesus died for us. He gained nothing. Nothing about dying on the cross for our sins was about Jesus. It was all about us. That is the ultimate example of love.

This is how we are to show love to others. It is the true definition of love. As humans we will get it wrong many times. We are not perfect like Jesus. However, it is what God asks of us. We are to love others as Jesus loves us. We are to be Jesus to them. They are to be Jesus to us.

This is true love.

I will need time to absorb this new information about love, and so may you. This is only the beginning, but it is a start for us all.

Father God,

For so many years I have been like a sheep without a shepherd regarding love. Help me start to understand love. Please send people into my life to show me what Your love looks like so I can establish it in my own life. Thank you for loving me even when I don’t understand.



© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.
Definition from: http://www.soulshepherding.org/2013/05/dallas-willards-definitions/

2 comments on “What is Love?

  1. Great definitions, Susan. Love is one of those rare topics that is both noun and verb. Then Jesus uses it as an adjective in saying God is love. It is one of those topics we cannot logically understand, but we can experience it. I don’t think we’ll truly understand it or embrace it until we are face to face with Love itself. Great post !

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