Reading The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis today and, as expected, I find myself nodding rhythmically. I just came across this part where he’s talking about how by loving we come so close to God, but that loving can also put great distance between us and God. We can fall into the trap of “living for” the ones we love, not loving because we live for God. He says, “We may give our human loves the unconditional allegiance which we owe only to God.”
As a wife and mother, I get this. I regularly have to remind myself that my selflessness on behalf of my family isn’t rooted in my love for my family; rather, my love for my family is rooted in my love for God. It’s easy for me to fall into a sort of idolotry, worshipping my family, making sacrifices to my husband (not that he requires them, but that I want to give them), and forgetting that love is designed to bring me closer to God, not just the ones I love.
I’ve wondered before if I love Justin more than I love God and I find that question problematic because God works through Justin on my behalf so often. In a very small but hugely significant way, I see God clearly in Justin. Still, I can’t fall into the trap that sun-worshippers did, so struck by the glory of the sun. I can’t start worshipping God’s carrier, the conduit of His love, and miss the much bigger, much more reliable source.
If we love God’s people to the exclusion of God himself (either intentionally or accidently) we will inevitably be disappointed in love. People are imperfect lovers. God is not.