Your love changes me…
Being in love changes a person. You become besotted, obsessed with the one you love. You become blind to any flaws they may have. They seem completely perfect to you. You are in awe. You cannot believe that they would want anything to do with you, or that they could possibly love you in return. They are the most beautiful person in the whole world. The awe that you have has almost a tinge of fear to it. They have conquered your heart. They have power over you. Power to make you feel amazing but power to hurt and defeat also. You feel that when they look at you, they can see right into the depths of your soul and it’s scary. You admire and respect the one who has had this effect on you.
He: You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
as majestic as troops with banners.
Turn your eyes from me;
they overwhelm me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin,
not one of them is missing.
Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.
Sixty queens there may be,
and eighty concubines,
and virgins beyond number;
but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favourite of the one who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines praised her.
Friends: Who is this that appears like the dawn,
fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
majestic as the stars in procession? Song of Songs 6:4-10
Being loved in this way changes you too. It raises you up. You start to believe in yourself. Believe that you are worthy to be loved and adored. Your friends may notice a change in you. They may feel you’ve changed beyond recognition, like these friends here. They cannot believe what has happened to their friend. She has suddenly become majestic. These words were used at the time for Ishtar, the Canaanite goddess of love and war. And love has changed this young girl to become like this goddess in appearance and behaviour.
When you are loved, you stand taller. You feel more confident. You try new things.
Love changes everything.
My husband’s love has transformed me. He believed in me at a time when I did not believe in myself. He loved me at a time when I did not love myself. He stood by me. He had my back. He was interested in my ideas. I would have been a different person without him in my life.
And of course, there’s an obvious analogy here, isn’t there? Because God loves us in this way too. His love raises us up. His love transforms us. He has always loved us, even when we have not loved ourselves. He has stood by us, always been there. We would all have been very different people without the reality of God’s love in our lives.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.
Of course, accepting a love like this requires trust. Trust in the one that loves you. Trust in God.
And then there’s a responsibility to love too. To love others as God has loved us.
A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
When we love others, we raise them up. We help them to believe in themselves. To learn to love themselves.
Love changes everything.