Confidence in Love
I’ve always thought I needed to earn the love of those around me. That in order for people to love me, in order for people to stick around, I had to be good enough. I had to do enough. And if I didn’t do enough, or if I just wasn’t enough, those I loved would walk away. They would leave. This has been my mindset, both consciously and subconsciously, for my entire life. I was always able to earn anything I wanted just by working hard enough. Whether it be awards, grades, or athletic achievements, I could always get what I wanted if I put in the effort. Nothing was out of my reach if the diligence was there.
The problem is, relationships don’t work like that. Friendships, dating relationships, and even family dynamics don’t purely revolve around how hard you work. I found that even though I worked as hard as possible to prove that I was good enough for people to invest in and to love, those that I invested in, those that I loved, still left. Leaving me to assume that I didn’t work hard enough, or worse, that I purely wasn’t enough to earn their love. Effort turned to insecurity in the blink of eye. Diligence quickly became mistrust, defensive walls and barriers between me and the one goal that I was never able to reach. The goal of achieving meaningful friendships and a meaningful dating relationship.
When I started dating my current boyfriend, I voiced the insecurity and mistrust that I had developed over years of being unable to earn the love of those around me. In the middle of that conversation about my fears of him retracting his love from me, he interjected with a phrase that I will never forget. “I just want you to be confident in my love for you.” It was such a simple thing to say, but it hit me hard. All I had to do was be confident in his love for me. I didn’t have to look a certain way, go on a certain amount of dates, compliment him a certain amount, or earn his love. All I had to do was confidently accept the love he was freely giving me. If that isn’t a picture of what Christ does for us, then I don’t know what is.
His words directly reflected what God calls us to do in response to Christ’s love for us. He doesn’t call us to read our Bible for exactly twenty minutes every day, lead a Bible study, and attend church service every Sunday without fail. Not to discredit those things at all. They are good, and they are important. But they are meaningless acts if we don’t first confidently accept the love God is holding out to us. All God wants is for you to be confident in His love for you. He doesn’t want you to earn your salvation or to do things for Him. Any act of faith, Scripture reading, prayer, or church attendance should overflow from a deep confidence in God’s love for you and your response of love back to Him.