What Your Heart Needs When Your Relationship Is in Trouble

Photo by Becca Tapert

Photo by Becca Tapert

My dear friend “Don” met Jesus as a child, but no matter how hard he tried, he had no idea what it meant for God to love him.

He had a pretty bad relationship with his dad, who drank too much and had high expectations for his son. He constantly tore Don down, and my friend grew up feeling like he couldn’t do anything right.

So he built a wall to protect himself. His heart was too broken to connect with the love and attention he needed. Though he tried many different things, he couldn’t feel completely loved or accepted, especially not by his heavenly Father.

He knew about God’s love and even taught about that love—but deep in his heart, he didn’t actually know what it was like.

Don’s first marriage ended in disaster, and his faith started to make him miserable. He knew all the right words and had a solid understanding of what the Bible says about God’s love, but he didn’t feel loved by God.

Can you easily connect with God’s love for you? Do you feel it in your heart and know it’s real?

The human spirit cries out for God’s love. It’s something we desperately need.

We can’t consistently demonstrate deep affection toward someone else if we’ve never experienced being loved by God. I am convinced that to have a close relationship with our marriage partner, we need to experience the unconditional love of our heavenly Father.

His love has no rules. It isn’t based on who is worthy and who isn’t; no matter who we are, His love is always available to us. His love is a fact of life more constant than gravity. It isn’t tied up with our actions or what we can do for Him—it is real, unconditional, and everlasting.

But sometimes we can’t “receive” His love because of pain in our lives or our disappointment with our earthly fathers.

When we can’t connect with God’s love for us, we often become self-protective. “I know I’m a failure—I don’t need you to tell me I can’t do anything right. So I’m not going to give you the opportunity to hurt me. You stay over there, and I’ll stay over here, and this is how our marriage will work.”

We were MADE for the love of God!

Every human heart, soul, and spirit is meant to experience His love—not just intellectually, but to the extent that we can declare with confidence, “GOD LOVES ME! It’s really true!”

We need to know this love in our hearts and feel it in the deepest part of our beings. If we want our marriage to change, one of the most important things we can do is experience the Father’s love.

In his article titled “Who’s in Your ‘God Spot’?” Danny Silk talks about God’s love this way:

When we’ve been hurt by dysfunctional and disconnected relationships, we react by withholding ourselves and keeping people at a distance. We form surface relationships with little substance. No one really knows us or has access to our core.

Putting other people in our God Spot destroys us and our relationships!

In contrast, loving God with all we are and looking to Him to meet our core needs enables us to developing [sic] patterns of relational health in our lives.

When we live in God’s love, experience His healing, and know who we are in Him, we are able to love others well.

Intimately knowing His love for us changes our lives, but that’s only the first step. We get to go out and change the world around us as we love other people like He does.

It took my friend Don years to surrender, repent, and receive God’s unconditional love and acceptance. The way he explains it, repentance means agreeing with God and thinking His way. Any other thoughts are lies, and if we believe those lies, we can’t honestly repent and feel loved by God.

Once Don repented, he found a joy and freedom he’d never experienced. He finally felt loved by his heavenly Father. He knew he was loved—infinitely loved!

About seven years ago, God blessed him with a second wife, who gets to reap the benefits of a husband who knows he’s loved. Don is a living testimony of God’s grace, second chances, freedom, and the restoration Jesus offers all of us.

Get to know this precious thing called God’s love for you. Your heart needs the adventure of His! Let go of any walls you’ve built, and let Him tell you what you really mean to Him.

What can you do today to connect with His love for you?


Interested in reading more? Check out these other articles from Salomé:

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