I visited a church this week for a special service, and they sang a song that left me greatly disturbed. It was celebrating the “reckless” love of God. Ever since that evening, I have been asking myself, “Exactly what is reckless love?”
I know the answer all too well. How do I know? That’s not stories I want to tell my children. Reckless love is hormone driven lust in youth. Reckless love is running headlong into a feel-good relationship that one asks God to bless as an afterthought. Reckless love is the failure to guard your heart while you speed headlong into destruction. Reckless love is the highest high that makes the whole world happy and makes people do the stupidest things, refusing to look a few months or years down the road when their whole lives will lay in waste and pain and despair and brokenness; and worst of all, they are the ones who blame God for their self-centered I-want-it-now, I-deserve-it attitudes.
Reckless love refuses to consider a lifetime covenant, an economic responsibility, a painful submission, a laying down of life—out of which grows the deepest love that is the opposite of reckless. We are not left to guess about the love of God—but I think the songwriter who disturbed me so greatly would be better served to find the rich and unending adjectives of scripture that teach me about the love of God.
Everlasting Love: Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3).
Unchanging Love:“For I am the Lord; I change not” (Malachi 3:6).
Invincible Love:“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Father Love:“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:23 ESV).
The love of God is patient and kind, never envious or proud. The unseemly behavior of reckless love is completely foreign to the love of God. He does not keep His anger forever, and His mercy is higher than the heavens; His forgiveness is further than the east is from the west. When a relationship is angry and bitter, you will know that God’s love, and His will for you, are absent.
God’s love never leaves you in despair and hopelessness. It never fails. So, if you have sung the song (drinking the kool-aid is the metaphor that comes to my mind) don’t believe it. Get out of the momentary feel-good relationships that do not magnify the presence of the One who is Love in your life.
Don’t settle for a counterfeit love. The pain is indescribable, and the journey is … reckless.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.