Feeling unloved can drag us on a downward spiral and lead to deep depression and feeling like God has abandoned us. I’ve been on that journey and have found the lasting love that we all so desperately need. Here’s the secret of feeling loved.
Feeling Totally Unloved and Rejected
“Who wouldn’t love you?” It was a hard-hitting question, but coming from my youngest daughter, Emily, the question was asked in innocence without understanding. Emily couldn’t fathom why someone would not want to love me. I am her dad. I am her bedrock of love. My love for her overflowed into her life in as many aspects as I could get into. Yet, her mom chose to divorce me because she did not love me.
Many people, men in particular, cannot wrap their brains around not being loved. The question that I asked, and was never answered, was “What did I do to deserve being unloved?” This was followed by: “If my spouse didn’t love me, then other people probably won’t love me” which led to “God is probably disappointed in me, and loves me less than He would have if my marriage had not been destroyed.”
It’s a downward spiral that leads to a deep depression. If you find yourself in this place of a downward spiral, it’s likely that your theme song will come from the comedy bit heard on the television show from the 60’s and 70’s, “Hee Haw”:
“Gloom, despair and agony on me.
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair and agony on me.”
Some of you read those words and nodded in agreement. You didn’t smile at the thought of four men in overalls lip-syncing those words. You may have even thought, “Yep, that’s me.”
Too often men and women go into marriage without the knowledge of what this relationship will require. They are not armed with the wisdom from the Scriptures. I know, because I have lived it. I grew up in church and didn’t have a great understanding of what a man should be, act, or do as a husband. I did not know how to have and show unconditional love for another person, including someone who would one day be my wife.
If, after my divorce, I was to ever marry again, I did not understand that the unconditional love of God (“agape” in the original Greek) was necessary for me to be able to love my wife in the same way. When I understood the depths of God’s love for me, it changed how I loved other people, especially my wife.
“The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us, that God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us his Spirit.”
(1 John 4:7-13 NET)
Learning how to truly love from God, the source of all love
If you’re looking for someone to love you, know this first: God loves you as you are. His love will never fail, and it will never stop:
“In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NET)
“Everlasting” means “never ending”. A love without an ending, just simply a beginning. God’s love is a love that keeps going. It’s called “khesed” (“חסד” in Hebrew) or a “loyal love” in many passages such as this one:
“Let the loyal followers of the Lord say, “Yes, his loyal love endures!” (Psalm 118:4 NET)
My wife can never love me like this. I know she will try for the rest of my life, but only God loves in a way that outlasts and overcomes everything and everyone in life. Even when we feel unlovable God’s love can break through.
I then had to understand what my responsibility was in loving my wife before I ever met her.
“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.” (Ephesians 5:25 NET)
So, if I know God, I know love. If I know Who love is, then I will follow His example and will love my wife the same way in which He loves the church. Loving my wife the way God wants me to love her leads to a whole new world I had never experienced before, including a depth of love I received in return. King Solomon’s words of love for his bride began to be my reality:
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places of the mountain crags, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” (Song of Solomon 2:14 NET)
Feeling loved when God sent me my wife Kelly.
After thirteen years of knowing each other, and twelve years of marriage, I can’t think of anyone else who could ever love me the way my wife, Kelly, loves me. Everything from a quiet night at home to a hike in a state park to helping me find “lost” things tells me that she loves me. I am loved for everything that I am, and there is no attempt to change me. Kelly leaves that to God. We have given our relationship over to God, and as I stated before, I could not be more loved.
We do have disagreements. We do experience hard times. We do experience disappointments. We don’t always agree. We don’t always understand each other. We have difficulties that we had to work through and there will be more to come. We do know the depths of pain and suffering. In spite of all of these things, God has been very good to us and given us a marriage and a relationship that we hope other married men and women are able to have.
I thought that no one would ever love me as a person the way I needed to be loved. I had all kinds of love to give. Kelly thought that she would never find anyone to love, and who would love her in return. God brought the two of us together and we are thankful for how He worked in our lives so that we could find each other. Without God loving both of us first, this would not have been possible. I could also make the argument that we were not ready for each other until we had first surrendered to His will for our lives.
I know that Kelly is a gift to me from God. I know that she is His answer to my prayer for a wife. I know that I am Kelly’s answer to her prayers for a husband. I know that God in his infinite wisdom, mercy, and never-failing, never-ending, all-encompassing, outlasting, overwhelming, overflowing, and ceaseless love brought us together. We are an example of what God can do because He loves us. This is why His love is far greater than any other love you will ever experience in your life.
“Who wouldn’t love you?” Many people will not love you. A precious few will. The best news of all is that God already loves you beyond what you can fathom. He is a good, good Father. The Apostle Paul tried to help us understand God’s love this way:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on the earth is named. I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19 NET)
“I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth.” (Psalm 57:9-11 HCSB)
Feeling Unloved Prayer
“Father God, I am in need of your greater love that never fails. I am in need of a love that will never stop. Thank you for loving me in such a way. Thank you for showing me how great your love is by everything I see around me. Thank you for your greatest display of love in sending your only Son as my substitute, and for forgiving me of my sins. I love you. I need you. Be real in my life, be present, and may I reflect your glory and your greater love. In the name of your son, Jesus, I pray, amen.”
Other related articles by David Shelton
Copyright © 2021, David E. Shelton. All rights reserved.