Why you can’t be loved
What are some of the reasons you’ve told yourself why someone didn’t love you?
Autism in Love
There were 4 people studied in the movie. One older gentleman with severe autism who could not express himself well. He understood his abilities and limitations and accepted them and worked around them. He worked at a post office or other places doing repetitive tasks that he did well. He was the least functioning of all in the movie, yet he had met someone, they fell in love immediately, and were married for 17 years until she died of brain cancer. His parents said that they each had disabilities, but that their strengths complemented each others weaknesses, so they worked well together.
One younger man, around 21, could express himself well (sometimes painfully so), but although he could recognize that he was different, he wouldn’t accept it. He continually tried to be like everyone else, but didn’t fit in. He was very innocent, and had a desire to be virtuous and do the right things, but he tortured himself continually about his shortcomings compared to everyone else, and about how he didn’t have a girlfriend. He said a girlfriend would have to be less successful than him, and he (at that point) didn’t even have a job. He didn’t want an independent successful woman, because she would look down on him. At the end of the movie, he had a job as a bagger at a grocery store, and you could tell he felt proud of himself, was a hard worker and very conscientious, and he was like a different person.
Then there were 2 adults who met at an autism conference 8 years prior, and had been together since then, finally living together, discussing but never proceeding to marriage. He was very scientific and she was very artistic (played the piano) – they didn’t really understand each other, but they both understood what it felt like not to be understood, so they were gentle and accepting and loving of each other in their own ways.
This couple each had some very insightful things to say about relationships and love, and I want to share them.
The man had a formula that described what love was: L + P + T2
Looks were 25%
Personality was 25%
But how a person treated you was worth 50%. If they thought a lot about you, showed you that you were the most important person to them, then that was worth twice as much as the looks and personality, and could really change the overall score.
So how someone treats us should be a really big indicator of whether or not they truly love us, and also whether or not we truly love someone else.
The woman, however, had this to share, when she was discussing how, although she and her partner had wanted to be together forever, there was something about it that also scared her and him. Although she wanted to be married, something also held her back. She basically said:
My task is not to find love, but to look inside to identify and remove the barriers within myself that block me from receiving love.
The way people treated her caused her not to trust others, or believe things about herself that others had said, but weren’t actually true. So she was blocking herself from being loved by not believing she was worthy of love, or because she was scared of getting close to others that could hurt her.
What are some things that have been said to or about you that have made you doubt yourself, or made you feel unworthy or unacceptable or unlovable?
So our choices for companionship and love will always only be as healthy as we are in the midst of our brokenness. If you want a healthy man or woman, you have to become healthy. If you want to be loved in the worst way, that’s exactly what you will get.
So, the bottom line is that we can’t be loved because there is something in most all of us that tells us I am somehow unlovable, perhaps irrevocably unfixable. And we get stuck there. And the only way to ever be loved is to truly love and feel comfortable with who we are, acknowledging our flaws and failures, our strengths and weaknesses, and our vulnerabilities.
That’s what Celebrate Recovery is for:
4) We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40
5) We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16
6) We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
7) We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
In order to be loved by others, we must first face the things that are truly wrong with us, but equally as important is diligently identifying and removing the lies that others have implanted in us. We will act according to the person we BELIEVE we are.
When we believe we are ok, we relax and get more laid back and accepting of our own mistakes and the things others may say about us. People will like being around us because they don’t feel pressured to make us feel good about ourselves or fix us – they just like our company.
And if we don’t feel the codependent need to fix other people so that they will need us, and therefore stay with us, never abandoning us, then people who need fixing won’t seek you out with their codependent radar. They will zoom in on someone who feels incomplete and needy, and manipulate that person to do things for them that they should be taking responsibility for themselves.
You are the only one who is stopping yourself from receiving healthy love because of your internal barriers that cause you to be afraid and make unhealthy companionship choices.
Now, what does this have to do with church and God and New Years?
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The reason you can’t feel God’s love, or believe His promises are true for you, is the same reason you feel you can’t be loved by someone else. Those same barriers that keep you from experiencing human love block you from experience godly love.
If people, who only know you superficially, don’t like and can’t accept me, and can tell that there is something wrong with me, why in the world would God like and accept me when He knows absolutely everything that is wrong with me???
But let me tell you about God’s love for you. This revolutionized the way I understand God’s love for me.
The word that the psalmist uses for the word Compassion actually means “like a woman who loves an unborn child”. Think about it. A mother or father can’t see the appearance or enjoy the personality of their unborn child, and you definitely have no idea how it will treat you. But you love that baby nonetheless. It can do nothing for you personally – as a matter of fact, you will have to do everything for baby. Having the baby will cost you dearly in time and resources. But none of that matters. You love the baby.
Why? Because the baby belongs to you, is one with you. Regardless of abilities, appearance, personality or behavior, you love the child. And THAT is how God loves us. Regardless of abilities, appearance, personality or behavior, HE LOVE US just because we belong to Him and we are His children.
The only thing stopping us from feeling loved is believing that He truly does love us, and the only reason we would doubt it is the very same barriers we’ve been talking about – our brokenness from the past that we have carried into the present.
So the purpose of today’s message is to prepare us for the fast starting next Sunday. We need to have a goal for our fast, and I believe that God is calling us to commit to discovering and dealing with our barriers to receiving and giving love. When we give something up for those 21 days, we are making time and space in our lives to turn heavenward to God and purposefully seek revelation, knowledge and wisdom to remove from our lives whatever is stopping us from trusting in, loving and experiencing love from God.
1 John 3: 3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
In this next week, I want you to be honest with yourself about what is your biggest hindrance from spending time with and obeying God. I want you to pray about giving it up for 21 days as an offering to God, and in return, asking Him to supernaturally reveal to you and remove from you your character defects that resulted from your brokenness.