Love. So many songs, poems, writings and musings on the topic of love. One might say that humanity is a little obsessed with true love. And in a lot of ways, we should be. In the beginning, God created humanity in his own image and called us VERY good (Genesis 1).
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Who is God?
The God revealed in scripture is a God who is three distinct persons- Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, all existing in one unique, perfect, loving relationship. Scripture tells us that God is love at his core.
A part of our being created in God’s image is to reflect his character to the world. A primary attribute? Love.
God created humanity to reflect him by living in relationship with him and one another through love.
We were created by love, for love, to love.
Now God in his infinite wisdom knew something so very true about love that we humans have to be reminded of often, that love, in its very nature, requires something incredibly important in order for it to be true love at all: freedom of choice.
True love requires the freedom to choose.
God did not create mindless robots, to automatically do his will and never ask questions. God created humans like him- with the freedom to choose to love God and others or to choose an alternative path, that ultimately breaks God’s heart.
Humanity has a spectrum of capacity and influence in this world, based on our freedom to choose. This free will has been a source of sin, darkness, incredible pain and suffering. I believe this individual and systemic rebellion hurts God’s heart when he created us for his love and peace.
This freedom was a risk on God’s part. Love usually is a little risky because we know it could hurt later. But love must be a free choice if it is to be love at all.
God himself deemed freedom to be a risk worth taking because the beauty of true, relational love makes it worth it.