What if you feel too empty to love your family?
As I drove home from church, I made a simple but urgent prayer:
“Lord, this week was so packed with all the “last week of summer vacation-stuff” – and I have no inspiration what I should write about in my weekly article! Please, I need your help!”
A small voice talked to my heart:
“Tell them how I love them!“
“I can’t do that! I am not an expert in this matter. Of course, I’ve experienced your love, but writing an article about it…I don’t feel adept to do that” I protested.
However, immediately an article started to be formed in my head.
We are created for love.
Dr.Robert Hemfeld in his book “Love is a choice” page 27 puts it this way:
“It was God that created us with a need to love and to be loved.
It is a legitimate need that must be met from cradle to grave.
If children are deprived of love – if that primal need for love is not met – they carry the scars for life.
Meeting the need to be loved is critically important even when babies are too young to exercise abstract understanding. You cannot merely tell a baby “I love you” as you stroll past the crib. You must convey love in nonverbal ways the infant innately understands. Cuddling, cooing, and talking to the baby are as important as warmth and food. (…) Infants can literally die if deprived of love.”
In the following pages of that chapter, he explains how every human being has a love tank (a reservoir for love) that our parents should fill, in order that our love tanks may be filled and allow us to fill the love tank of our children.
Lamentably, many times, this doesn’t happen that way.
Many of us didn’t get our love tank filled and are running empty, struggling to give on what we didn’t receive.
- This may be because our parents, who tried to give the best they could, were running empty themselves, unable to fill your love tanks properly.
- Others of you went through traumas and are struggling for survival in a world that leaves you feeling inadequate and powerless to meet the demands, oughts and shoulds of our society.
- Maybe you are one of those parents who realize their limited capacity to fill your children’s love tank, struggling in seeing the consequences in your children’s life.
- Or maybe you are a spouse who lives in a marriage where your love tank runs dry, desperately longing for this love, acceptance, warmth, compassion and empathy.
Whatever your story is:
You are created with a need to love and to be loved.
You are made to live with a love tank that is filled with love, and this so much that it will overflow.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8
He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.
God is love. He doesn’t have love, He IS love. His love is unconditional, unlimited, never ending.
His love is pure, gentle yet powerful. His love transforms lives and gives hope and future.
However, if our love tank isn’t filled with His love, our tanks will not simply stay empty: Rather, they will automatically be filled with other things.
Remember, It was God that created us with a need to love and to be loved.
But when our love tank runs dry and those other things fill up the emptiness, we enter into the realm of addictions such as drugs, alcohol, sleeping around, anger problems etc .
Well… you might shake your head, thinking:
“That’s not me! I have none of those issues!”
But fact is: An empty love tank doesn’t stay empty.
Your love tank will be filled with other. Maybe not with obvious destructive things such as mentioned above. But what about compulsive eating, struggle with pornography, shopping, working, fitness, watching TV, computer gaming, religious activities, pleasing others or many other things we are more familiar with?
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:39 that
„Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What means that whatever your story is:
God loves you!
He doesn’t look at you through your achievements or mistakes, failures or feelings of inadequaciy.
He knows you deeply, he knows where you come from and based on that reality of his knowledge of who you really are, He loves you!
- He loves you while you are watching pornography!
- He loves you while you are working so hard, trying to fill that void inside of you, while forgetting to be there for your loved ones!
- He loves you while you are trapped in a relationship that is so codependent and toxic that you lose yourself in it!
He knows you! He knows your darkest secret, your most hidden dreams, your biggest shame… and still he loves you!!
He longs to fill your love tank until it overflows.
Like this beautiful scripture in Ephesians 3:19 from the AMP version states:
[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
He longs to make himself known to you, to shower you with His acceptance, His love, His care, His tenderness, guidance, encouragement, validation and purpose.
How to get there?
Lately, a few weeks after I preached about the subject of the lovetank, a wonderful person from our church told me about his experience of simply asking God to come with his love and fill his lovetank. And God did not leave this prayer unanswered. He experienced God’s presence in such a deep way, it left him sitting there and enjoying that tangible love, peace and dignity filling him through and through. God’s love is really the best thing you can experience in your life. It by far surpasses any other possible experience on this earth you can have. And as I said, God is a God who loves to answer prayer. All he requires of you is a sincere, open heart.