Thoughts About Love - by Mike Cooke


So Melody was talking about the message she was working on for Sunday not too long ago, and mentioned that a big part of it was from her dad’s seminar teachings at Circle A Ranch. This particular teaching is from a session that has come to be called, “The Love Seminar”.

Having listened to this seminar from age 11 all the way to being a young adult, I have had lots of takeaways. One that may be the most profound is that, “I am loveable.  I don’t have to do anything for someone to love me.” I started thinking about this seminar and in particular this point and several thoughts came to me.

First, I thought back to the camp program. I thought about the timing of this seminar in relationship to the camper’s overall experience. At Circle A, this teaching usually occurred on Saturday, just preceding Sunday, where we talk about the Love of Christ. I have never thought about how critical the understanding that “I am loveable” is to any relationship. In our relationship with Christ, we don’t need to do anything for him to love us.

With our children, we will do anything because we love them. They are loveable. They don’t have to do anything for us to love them. And even when they do things that are not good, we still love them. We want to celebrate them in their talents and encourage them to become all that they can become. The Father wants the same for us, and we don’t need to do anything for that to be. It is unconditional, Agape. God is love.

I will write this for me but I’m sure you can add your own story to it. A year ago I lost my almost 4-year-old son, Joey, to liver failure. Thinking about him now, I realize more and more the depth of love that God must have for us. I relate God’s love to the great degree of love that I had for my son. Joey could make me crazy. I would tell him things and he wouldn’t listen. I still loved him. I still would do anything for him, even if he didn’t understand or it was hurting him at the time, but it needed to be done.

Just as you love your children or love on children, so God loves us.

I have also thought about this in relationship to the “vine”. With a plant, you give it nutrients and water to help it grow and bring forth fruit. If we are on the vine, our nutrients and water is God’s love. Taking it further… if we are to bear fruit, we have to let the love flow. But for us to really love others as we love ourselves and do this as God intended, we must first love us.

To buy into the pursuit of happiness or success without starting from the point that you are a loveable child of God, is to open the door wide to the enemy of our soul to come in and attempt to fill the cracks of our brokenness with things that will only lead to a slow and painful destruction.

 Guys, think about it. Our kids, or any kids in your life. You love on them. Not because they have done certain things or followed the rules but because they are inherently loveable. This is how God see us. We come into this world loveable. The enemy of our souls introduces all kind of things to make us think otherwise. There isn’t anything about you that God doesn’t love.

 As you can see, I believe this is very important. Now after going over and over it, I have to ask myself, “How are you doing with loving yourself?” The answer more often than not is that I do poorly in this area, which means I can be pretty hard on myself. Only I’ve used a great strategy to justify this: self-discipline. This is how I justify beating the tar out of myself in my head.

So after sharing this, I realize I need to not only be nicer to me, but I need to love me. It really goes further. I was hand-crafted by God. The same God who made the sun, the moon, the universe also hand crafted me. I am doing my best to love others when I am loving myself, and thereby letting God’s love flow through me.