Inside: Our greatest human need is to be loved and nurtured. When we begin life without it, our later life is impacted. The love of God is constant!
In the 1950s, scientist Harry Harlow conducted research with baby monkeys in Wisconsin where he studied the effects of mothering and attachment on development.
He used terry cloth monkey mothers and wire mothers and researched the effect on these baby monkeys. Both of these “mothers” were able to feed the babies with bottles attached, but what was noted is that the terry cloth mothers had a more positive effect on their babies.
These cloth mothers could soothe their babies more than the wire mothers could. The babies of the cloth mothers grew up feeling secure and attached whereas the wire babies grew up with some deficiencies.
To read more about this experiment:
From this experiment, Harry Harlow could conclude love is important to development. Because monkeys are closest to humans, it can be assumed that the same is true of us. As infants we desire more than just being fed, we desire love in the form of embracing, cuddling, and affection.
Our greatest human need is to be loved and nurtured. When we begin life without love and nurturing, later life is impacted.
The Absence of Love
If we had a traumatic childhood, we can feel the effects even now as an adult in our thinking, self-worth, and confidence. We may get bound by addictions, anxieties, anger issues, and relationship problems.
We might find ourselves searching out for things to fill these deep painful recesses in our heart. Many times it’s an endless conquest to fill and fill and fill. We never find the plug to keep the feelings of happiness inside. It always slowly leaks out and leaves us empty, and so, our search begins again.
How we forget how much God loves us. Or perhaps we don’t forget but rather can’t comprehend this love because it was absent during our young lives. So even as a Christian, we search, and it leaks out. Repeat cycle tirelessly.
The Love of God
I have wanted to feel this love of God for so long. What I am realizing is that it’s not something I can feel constantly, but something I need to claim and know within me. God sent His Son into this sinful world as a baby to live, experience, suffer, and die for me. He experienced everything on my behalf.
God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. ~Rick Warren
God loves me, and until I embrace this and let it claim my whole being, I will continue to search. What I’ve missed is this truth didn’t lay claim to my heart when I became a believer. It’s a truth that I will need to embrace little by little my whole life until it truly becomes saturated within me.
God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.
Are You Blocking God’s Love?
Living in a sinful world, our feelings lie and interpret situations in the wrong way. We can carry feelings from the past which prevent us from allowing God’s love to permeate. Did something happen in the past which angers you?
Could this anger be directed at God?
Another important point I’ve missed is the way I experience and know God’s love is going to be different from another’s. God made us each with our own love language, so why wouldn’t the way God shows me, love, be different from someone else?
5 Ways to Feel God’s Love
- Invite God to fill us with His love
- Remember what He has done in love in the past
- Read Scripture
- Challenge yourself to make it a mission to know more about God’s love
- Believe you are loveable
To access more ways to feel God’s love, sign up for the Unmasking the Mess and I’ll send you a “God’s Love Verses to Us” graphic to display for Valentine’s Day!
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As you grow in faith, may God’s love surround you. May you see how important love is to others and may you extend it freely and unconditionally.
If we all would love like Christ did, our world would be a lot more peace-filled!