Have you ever felt unloved? Have you ever felt as if no one cares about you or you aren’t important to anyone? Perhaps you feel this way now; a lot of people do. When you think no one loves you, feelings of rejection, emptiness, and despair can set in and leave you bottomed out in life. To be loved is as essential to human beings as air. People can actually die from a lack of love.
Children of divorce often feel unloved; as do children given up for adoption. Even as adults, the sting of feeling unloved can remain deeply embedded in their hearts. Children of divorce often think, “If mom and dad really loved me, they wouldn’t divorce.” Children given up for adoption often think, “My mother must not have loved me; she didn’t want me.” Children and spouses who don’t get enough attention may feel unloved. People who feel unloved sometimes come to believe they don’t deserve love, as if something is wrong with them.
Bonnie had never felt so unloved. Her parents divorced when she was in fourth grade. Bonnie’s father left and never made any attempt to see her again. Bonnie’s mother was too devastated by the divorce and too preoccupied with working two jobs to just get by to show Bonnie much attention. As a young adult, Bonnie’s first true love and fiancé backed out of their wedding at the last moment. Years later, Bonnie married another man who had moved out and filed for divorce. Not only did Bonnie feel unloved, she felt unworthy of love. Bonnie was convinced something was wrong with her. In desperation, she made an appointment with a Christian counselor at a local church.
June, the counselor, wasted no time in getting to the point. She told Bonnie, regardless of whether her feelings of being unloved were the result of a divorce, the breakup of a relationship, being rejected by people she cared about, being spurned by someone she loved, or for any other reason, there was something she needed to know: “On your worst day, no matter how empty, alone, and rejected you feel, you are loved. In fact, there is no one in the world who is loved more than you are. This is the message in John 3:16 where we read: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ Bonnie, you are part of that “world” God loved enough to give up his only son.
“From the moment you were conceived, you have been loved. Even the little baby you may have read about in the newspaper recently whose mother didn’t want him and left him in a dumpster is loved. There is no circumstance in which you should feel unloved because God loves you. There is not a moment in a day when you should feel unloved because God loves you. There is not a time of despair, loneliness, or dejection in which you should feel unloved because God loves you. Better yet, God loves you more than even the most devoted mother, father, or husband can. His love for you never waivers, is unconditional, and lasts forever.”
June told Bonnie to understand how strong God’s love for her is, she should consider how he showed it. Even though we don’t deserve His love, God sent His only son to die an agonizing death on the Cross so you and I can live eternal lives, free of grief, despair, rejection, and other worldly problems. Because He loves us, God allowed His only son to be ridiculed, defamed, beaten, scourged, and crucified. God’s love is beyond human comprehension, but it is real and it is always with you.
June told Bonnie that to grasp even a hint of how much God loves her, she should consider this scenario. “The most undeserving person you know—a person who is self-centered, self-serving, self-absorbed, and selfish—is going to die. Would you be willing to send your only son or daughter to take his place? Would you be willing to sacrifice a child you love beyond all else to save the life of this undeserving scoundrel? This is exactly what God did when he sent Jesus to die for you and me.”
June told Bonnie, it is one thing to be willing to lay down your life to save the life of a friend or loved one. A lot of heroes have done this on the battlefield, in emergency situations, and during natural disasters. But could you send your only son or daughter to die an agonizing substitutionary death in one of these kinds of situations? That is a much tougher call than laying down your own life.
“Bonnie, sacrificing your only son so someone else might live demonstrates a level of love you and I cannot begin to understand. So, next time you find yourself feeling unloved by friends, family, or anyone else, remember this: you are loved beyond human comprehension by a God whose love for you will never die, is given unconditionally, and will last forever.” June’s advice for Bonnie is good advice for you. You don’t ever have to feel unloved because you are loved by a God who is the very definition of love.
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com