Lesson: Why Don’t I Feel Loved?

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A. Sometimes people have trouble receiving love. They don’t feel love or loved. Many reasons can lead to this. 

1. Feeling unworthy or inferior can lead to feeling unloved or un-loveable.

If you don’t value yourself or even like yourself you may find it hard that someone else would love you. So you have difficulty receiving (feeling) love. You think you are not worth love from another person. You think the best you can hope for is leftovers.

2. Sometimes it’s because there was no example of agape love while growing up. So there is no point of reference.

People who are raised in an unloving, un-nurturing environment have no example of true love. If you have never seen it at work then it’s difficult to recognize it. You may have a wrong definition of what love is.

3. Some people don’t love themselves or accept themselves. They don’t realize their worth and significance. Mark 12:31

B. Past experiences and past relationships help to shape our ideas of love. What experiences in your life taught you what love is? Does that love match the kind of love described in 1 Cor 13?

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There may be experiences in your past that trigger certain emotions. When someone in your life today says or does something that triggers an experience from the past. You will often have the same emotions from the past arise within you again. Even if the person does not intend to hurt you it’s easy to take it that way because someone from your past did hurt you.

The way to overcome this is to identify where it started. Forgive that person (or yourself if necessary).

What are your reference points for love?

It’s shown by how you give and receive love.

Are they healthy?

C. Sometimes we don’t recognize love from someone because it is given in a way that we are not programmed to receive it.

“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman gives great examples of how people respond to the action of love in different ways.
Understanding the 5 love languages can help you identify when someone is showing you love. Many times we miss it because it’s shown in a way that we “receive” love or “give love”.

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Identify the one or more that make sense to you. Now identify one or more ways to show love to someone special in your life. Give love to them in the way they will receive it. Sometimes that is a sacrifice but it is worth it to make that person feel special and loved.

*Is love a feeling or a choice?

It is a choice. It is not that “butterfly feeling” portrayed in Disney movies. Romantic books and movies have romanticized love in such a way that no one can ever measure up to that kind of love. It is unrealistic and does not line up with God’s truth about what love is.

Ask God to show you what love is. Ask Him to show you any ways that you are not receiving love–either His love or love from your spouse, children, etc.

Ask God overflow your heart with His love. He will.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your perfect love. Help me to receive love. Open my heart to be open to love. I allow your Holy Spirit to show me places in my heart that do not allow love to penetrate. I give you all these feelings of rejection, of misunderstanding and of unworthiness. I give it all to you. Instead, work in my heart your acceptance, and forgiveness. Open my heart to how worthy I am to you. How important I am to you. Most of all, I want to feel your love, abounding in my heart and overflowing. So that I may show love to others. Not just the imperfect love of earth but of your heavenly love that you shed abundantly for us.
I forgive people in my life that have hurt me in the past. I ask forgiveness for not believing your love and not showing love because of past sins and unforgiveness. I ask that you begin to show me a more perfect way-your way and not my way.

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