From Volume 2 of Essential Faith: It always baffles me when I meet someone who is married to a person who physically or mentally abuses them, but yet, the abused person continues to live in the situation because they believe the abuser loves them! It’s like they are the only one who can’t see that their abuser doesn’t love them. They’re slowly being destroyed by their choice to be abused. This is much like our decision to seek love and acceptance from the world when Jesus said that the world will never love us. He said: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19) Since I am a child of God, I will never be loved by the world because the world “loves” only its own. However, as part of His family, we have Christ in our hearts and are given love that surpasses knowledge and fills us with all we need. The Bible says: “That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:18-19) Rather than looking for love and acceptance from the world (people who are not children of God), we need to remember that they need what we have—God’s love. God’s love is infinitesimally better than the love of the world! Those who are not His children cannot love with God’s love and thus, they will never love us like God loves. Any of our efforts to gain the acceptance of the world—in the way we talk or dress, the way we act, the places we go, etc., open us up to a cycle of being abused and rejected. An abuser is incapable of loving anyone but themselves and the abuser will never love the victim unless their heart is changed. I lived for too many years in the cycle of abuse by loving the world “which promised me heaven but left me standing with nothing.” (From the song “Don’t You Know”) When we seek God, He loves us out of that cycle of abuse by showing us the depth and faithfulness of His love. The world will always try to draw us back with beguiling promises of love, acceptance, friendship and pleasure; but the more we experience the love of God, the less we’re tempted to ever leave His perfect love.