Love takes your whole heart, it requires your whole heart. Not part of your heart, not some of your heart, not even some of the time, but all of the time. Ok, love doesn’t demand your heart but it invites your heart, it requires your whole heart.
I think that on some level we all understand this notion, at least in our minds. It is another thing entirely to not only get it in our hearts but to live it out. And as with all good things, it starts with God.
“God yearns to be known. But he wants to be sought after by those who would know him. He says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). There is dignity here; God does not throw himself at any passerby. He is no harlot. If you would know him you must love him; you must seek him with your whole heart…” -John and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
God wants our WHOLE hearts. He wants our hearts to be whole and to be His. But, you say, my heart isn’t whole, so God doesn’t want it. Incorrect. Satan would love nothing more than for you to believe that lie. God wants your heart, He wants to make it whole again. He wants you to seek after God. I love when King David is referred to as a man after God’s own heart, and I pray that people say that about me…well, more that I am a woman after God’s own heart 😉 King David was no saint, however. Perhaps you know the story, perhaps you don’t. King David had an affair with a woman named Bathsheba and conceived a child with her. Bathsheba was married to one of King David’s best soldiers, who was at war when this child was conceived. Eventually, King David ordered Bathsheba’s husband to the front lines where he would be killed…all this in hopes that David could cover up his own sins. And even still, King David is referred to as a man after God’s heart. Why? Read Psalm 51. Psalm 51 is David’s lament to God, his pleading that his sins would be forgiven. David returns to God with his whole heart. David, though an imperfect sinner, turned to God with his whole heart and fell in love with God all over again. Love (that is, God) never demands your whole heart, it only invites, pleads, begs even, for your whole heart.
God wants your whole heart. I’d even contend that if you don’t love God with your whole heart, you aren’t really loving Him at all. You are liking Him, you are flirting with God, with the idea of God, but you aren’t really loving Him. Someone once told me that to love is to surrender to love…just look at Jesus hanging on the cross in the total surrender to love. Think that didn’t take all of His heart, human and divine? It took His whole heart, and He asks, not demands, but asks the same of us.
“…This is crucial to any woman’s soul, not to mention her sexuality. “You cannot simply have me. You must seek me, pursue me. I won’t let you in unless I know you love me.”” -John and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
True about a woman, true about romantic love. Just as we are called to love God with our whole hearts, so to are we called to love our significant other with our whole hearts. To say I love you means a surrender to love, a surrender to the will of God in your lives. To say I love you means that I love with all of my heart, not just part of it. It means that I hold nothing back from you, there is nothing that I keep from you, no wall you can’t go behind, no secret you can’t know. It means making the choice to love all of the time, not just some of the time. It means that you take the Love that God pours into your heart and you share it with one another. Does that really sound like something you can do with half of your heart? I should think not.
Father, help us to love you with our whole hearts. Help us to be like King David, not in his sins, but in the ways that he was a man after your heart. Grant us the strength to get back up, to seek you with all of our hearts all of our days until the day we come to Heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, AMEN.