Free to love
Joanna feels that her mother never loved her when she was a child.
Her mother worked hard to keep food on the table, and she had to, because Joanna’s father was an alcoholic and was often unemployed.
What little money he did earn, inevitably was spent on alcohol.
One day he ran off with another woman and Joanna has not heard from him since.
Joanna’s mother always provided for her, but Joanna never felt loved.
Her mother was cold and hard towards her, and she was often exhausted and irritable when she eventually returned home after a long shift at work.
Now that Joanna has children of her own, she has found it hard to really love them.
It is hard to love others, when you have not been loved yourself.
However, things have begun to change for Joanna and her family.
Joanna came to know Jesus about a year ago and that has made such a difference.
For the first time in her life, she knows that she is loved - really loved!
- Loved by the God who created her.
- Loved by the God who knows all about her past and present struggles.
Recently she has been asking God to help her love her children.
And it has really helped.
Now she finds that when she is losing patience with them, she can cry out to God in her heart.
She often asks God to give her his love - and it makes such a difference.
(For the sake of confidentiality, Joanna’s story is a combination of many people’s stories, with names and details changed.)
But you may find that you identify with Joanna in some ways too.
Do you find it hard to love?
Then stop trying to do it all on your own.
If you reach out to God - and ask him - you too can receive his love.
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.
John 3:16 (NIV)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)