I love you because…

“But why? Tell me, WHY do you love me? Why me?”

I’ve been asked a lot of questions in my life. When I was in JROTC in high school, we’d have to answer questions like “what is an azimuth?”. Well, that is a horizontal, clockwise angle measured from a known reference point. But the one question (either explicitly asked of me or implied) that has continually stumped me is why do you love me?”. I’ve never had a good answer for that.

Unfortunately for me, it’s not enough to be in love today; there must be sound reasoning behind it. And, generally, I like to think of myself as a ‘thinker’; one who slow-cooks problems until a solution is yielded at the gentlest prod of a fork (I’m literally slow-cooking a roast right now, so, this may get ‘meaty’). Since no amount of cooking or prodding has given me an answer (and, since I’ve seemingly abandoned all logic and reasoning when it comes to love) I thought I’d take a different approach. I don’t know. I don’t know why, I just know I do.

Don’t misunderstand: I love your smile! Not your ‘pose for pictures’ smile; your natural one that is so big you nearly have your eyes closed. And I love that you’re kindhearted and have a gentle spirit. I’ve got a whole list of things like this that I love about you; but none of that is why I love you.

I love you because Christ first loved me.

I had been told that Jesus loved me, but I was skeptical. Why did He love me? What did He see in me that was worth loving? Those questions revealed more about me than anything else. What I was really saying was “you can’t love me” and “there’s nothing about me worth loving”. My question of ‘why’ was my declaration of unbelief–I didn’t really believe that God loved me.

But, God never stopped pursuing me. I doubted; He loved me. I accused Him of lying; He loved me. And then, when I wasn’t expecting it, I heard Him for the first time say ‘I love you’. Looking back, it wasn’t His first time to tell me, but it was the first time I heard it. The whole time I had been busy asking ‘why me’ and expecting an answer that started with ‘I love you because…’ and I was missing all the things He was doing for me and saying ‘…because I love you’.

I will never leave you nor forsake you, because I love you.
I will not forget you; I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands, because I love you.
At the right time, while you were still sick in sin, I sent my Son to die to pay for your sin in full, because I love you.

In the end, it isn’t about you. And it isn’t about me. It isn’t about a potential ‘us’. Love, friendship, marriage; it’s an opportunity to give God the glory and demonstrate the love He has for us.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

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