The Difference Between Feeling Loved and Being Loved

The Difference Between Feeling Loved and Being Loved

Last night I heard my son crying and upset in his room.  He had been asleep for hours and wasn’t really awake even as I tried to comfort him.  I thought he might be having a nightmare, facing some pain or difficulty or scary event, unaware that his daddy was close by and that he was perfectly safe and loved.  Our experience in life is often like night troubles; we feel scared and vulnerable and alone. Sometimes we even decide that feeling unloved means we are unloved–just like a nightmare.  But there is a difference.

A Christian may feel unloved, alone, vulnerable, weak, and scared.   Most of the lives of believers recorded in the Bible and in history trace some season of feeling that God was distant and unloving.  In other words, their emotions did not register the strong feeling of peace and joy and happiness and security that comes when you feel loved.   Yet feelings do not describe reality.

My son was fully loved, protected, even cherished and adored as he cried his way back to sleep last night.  He felt one way, but his objective reality was the opposite.  I was close by, watching, ensuring his safety, comforting him with my voice.

God’s love for Christians never wavers, never wanes.  His watchful gaze never blinks.  He never forgets our needs and is always aware of our vulnerabilities.  He always protects and cares and comforts and his voice is always speaking grace and assurance to us through his Word.  We may feel unloved, but we are always actually loved more than we can imagine.

So, brother or sister in Christ, the next time you feel unloved, be at peace, and remind your feelings that they cannot dictate reality to God.  Your emotions will one day be forced to comply with reality; the feeling of being loved will return and match the reality of God’s steadfast love for us.  You are loved, whatever you are feeling right now.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.  Lamentations 3:22