Love is a word that’s used frequently in our culture. We sing about it in songs and glorify it in movies, yet when asked what it really is, many of us are unable to give a meaningful answer. Some say it’s a feeling or a state of being, and others believe it’s a perfect relationship. And while it can be embodied in all of these things, the truth about love is that it’s an invisible force — exemplified by God Himself — that’s demonstrated in action. When the Lord placed Adam and Eve in the Garden, everything was perfect, and walking in love was their default. They had unbroken fellowship with one another and with their Creator, and they lived in a state of perpetual nirvana. So why did God give them the chance to mess it up? Simply because He wanted them to choose to love Him in return. Without free will, love cannot be present, because where it exists, it demands a right response. The Lord withheld the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because He understood that eating from it would not be good for His children. Since He cared about them deeply, He set a boundary and let them decide to love Him by respecting it. Unfortunately, they made the wrong decision, and their mistake forced Him to grieve the sinless beauty of the world He created. Yet even though the stakes were high, He gave them freedom, because He designed love to be expressed, received, and experienced in liberty. In fact, so greatly does He want people to grasp this concept that He willingly forfeited the glory of a perfect world to offer humanity the choice to love Him back.
My friend, love comes from God, and it is always the fruit of freedom. You can’t make someone love you, because if you did, it would cease to be love. Holding a gun to your spouse’s head and forcing them to kiss you is not proof of mutual affection but of coercion. Likewise, though Jesus loves you perfectly, He will never force you to submit or follow. The choice to open your heart to Him is in your hands, and He will faithfully meet you at your point of deepest desire.