What You Do for Love – Today’s Youth Devotion

What You Do for Love

Bible Reading: 1 John 4:16-21

Perfect love expels all fear. 1 John 4:18

DO YOU REMEMBER being a newborn baby, still toasty from the bun warmer? Back then you wanted to sleep and gulp milk. But you also longed to be held and cuddled. It’s as if you’ve always had a “love tank” inside you that needs to be filled. And if your capacity for love isn’t met, you will experience hunger pangs.

As a little kid you reached out for hugs, kisses, and pats on the head. As you grew, you craved a love that accepted you for just being you-a love that squeezed you silly and said, “No matter what you do, I will always love you for just being you!” And you wanted that love to last and be so secure that no matter what hap­pened, you could count on that love to be there.

Many kids grow up love-starved. And the more love-starved you are, the more fear you have-a fear that comes from all the conditions placed on love: I’ll be loved IF I get good grades; I’ll be loved IF I’m popular; I’ll be loved IF I make the cheerlead­ing squad. Or maybe it seems that being loved hangs on how you look or what you have, like a new car or cool clothes. See the problem? You started with a natural hunger for love. Now you have a fear that drives you to greater and greater lengths to get love. Many students try to succeed in a sport or get perfect grades or join a gang or take drugs-all in a quest for love and acceptance. For many, the gnawing hunger for love has led them to sex.

A tender kiss, a warm embrace, and all the passion that comes with sex-it seems to say, “I love you.” You see it in movies, you hear it in songs, you read it in maga­zines and spot it on television.

But sex will never fill your love tank. Sex was never designed to create love; it was made to express love. Sex was made to reinforce and communicate a love that is already there-a love big enough to say, “I love you so much for who you are that I will nourish that love and protect that love within the context of a permanent com­mitment.”

Sex, the way God designed it, is to be the result of a committed relationship, not the cause of it. For sex to be positive and do what it’s supposed to do, love must be nourished and grow to maturity. And then sex can be explosive!

The first source for filling your love tank is the unconditional, perfect love that demolishes the fear that no one will ever love you just the way you are. And that’s a love that comes from Jesus.

REFLECT: If your love tank is on empty today, open your heart to God’s love right now.

PRAY:Lord God, I ask you to fill me now with your unconditional, perfect love.