I just want to be loved!

I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette. There, I said it. It’s true. I do.

It’s a circus of surreal and unreal displays of fully grown adults literally competing for the attention and affection of another. Like, literally. Inevitably, every contestant has their ‘aha’ moment of realising that they are, in fact, literally competing with others for the attention and affection of another. This generally causes them to doubt themselves, their decision to go on the show, their worth as a human (particularly compared to the others) and, well, pretty much everything.

Ultimately, quite probably through tears, they will reveal what is really at stake for them.

“I just want to be loved!”

“Am I lovable? Will someone ever love me? What do I need to do to be loved?” These and other questions come spilling out that speak to the very depth of their cry, in fact, the cry of every human heart.

We are all looking for love. We all want to be loved. We all want to believe we are lovable.

It’s part of our creation design that we desire such deep and fulfilling, belonging and love. In the image of God we were created to find this need met in intimate relationship with Him. Instead, the brokenness of our sin leaves us with that void unfilled or partially filled and so we go searching. We look in right places and wrong places. We look to people, to substances, to success, to service, to wealth …everywhere and anywhere to know that we are loved and valued. To have that need met. To feel that rest in belonging and peace in affirmation and acceptance.

The need is strong and ultimately, it can lead us to do stupid things. It can lead us to obsess over perceived sources of this love. It can lead us to set aside wisdom and convention to pursue behaviours or spaces that see this need met. This need is the driving force of addictions like pornography, gambling, drugs & alcohol and workaholism. It can be an underlying cause of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self harm.

We just want to be loved.

For personal reflection … what does the need for love look like in your own life? Where do you go to meet those deep needs of your heart? What actions, behaviours or thoughts do you recognise stem from this need?