By Jenny Willis
The more time I spend talking with the girls here in Thailand, the more evident it becomes that there is a poverty of love. I always thought lust was about meeting a physical need that wasn’t easily satisfied, but I’m beginning to see that it’s about something much deeper. It’s a lack of love deep within that causes us to go in search of ways to satisfy our need to be known and to be loved.
The story of the woman at the well in John 4 sums up this idea. The fact that she walks the same path to the same well everyday is really an analogy for the way she goes to men to find her fulfillment. Jesus calls this out when He tells her, “Go and get your husband.”
He knows she’s had five husbands and that she’s not married to the man she’s currently living with. He cut straight to the issue of her heart and that’s what He continually does with us. He won’t allow us to gloss over things and move on. Instead, He’ll continue to re-open the wound until it heals properly.
It’s this idea of false love that arouses our God’s jealous anger. We so easily fall for false lovers when we take our eyes (trust) off our righteous Husband. In Hosea 2, God says of Israel: “[she] went after her lovers, but me she forgot.”
This idea of there being a cruel difference between a lover’s love and the love of a Husband sent me on my knees to the Lord yesterday. I asked Him to show me what a Husband’s love is and how it differs than that of a lover.
The Lord responded by leading me to Proverbs 6:34-35:
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not accept any compensation;
He will refuse the bribe, however great it is.
Now, that’s our God! That is exactly what He did on the Cross that Friday afternoon so many years ago. He, the Bridegroom, wildly in love with His Bride, came for her at every cost to himself. He gave up everything of himself so that He could be one with His true love. Romans 8:38-39 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love”
False love reigns here in the appearance of real love. I see a lot of middle-aged men here in Thailand. A LOT. What I’ve heard from some of the women here is that they actually fall in love with the girls. They come, rent a girl for two weeks and end up falling in love with her.
She met his needs. She was a faithful companion in the ways he needed her. And by no means was it real, but it was there. And that’s what lovers do – they bandage and numb a wound temporarily. Lovers are easier to control too. They don’t talk back, and they can’t reject you, because they are kept at arm’s length. They are like a golden calf that we can fool ourselves into worshiping – loving.
It’s easier to worship (love) something that can’t reject us. We can control a golden calf, but we can’t control a God who is clearly out of His mind in love and bent on being with us. We can pretend to fall in love with other lovers, but our hearts will still long for the love of a Husband. When I find myself constantly turning to other lovers, I have to ask myself, “What am I hiding from?” There is a deep issue in my heart that doesn’t want to be uncovered because it hurts: “God, don’t touch that. Just leave it alone, and let me be.”
But we don’t really want that do we? Lucky for us, a Husband bent on being with His Bride doesn’t shy away when we use harsh words or try to push him away. I kind of imagine Him leaning up against a wall with his arms crossed giving us a sideways-knowing look. A smile playfully forms on his lips and He whispers, “You’ll see. You can try to walk away and pretend this isn’t real, but I’ll keep coming for you. And I will stop at nothing until you are mine.”
It reminds of that song that goes:
You go whistling in the dark
making light of it,
making light of it.
And I follow with my heart
laughing all the way.
And all we can do is giggle with the giddiness of a 2nd grader in love because.,, Oh my gosh! He’s so great and so wonderful and we have the hugest crush on him ever and holy cow, he likes us, too.
Jenny Willis is from Gig Harbor, WA (the state) and loves grande white chocolate w/ room Americano, going for walks in the woods, goofing off, snowboarding, Mexican food, both her Grandmas, the zoo, people-documentaries, the beach, exploring new places, travel, social justice and anytime the Truth brings controversy. She recently sold everything to follow Jesus Christ, because she was “sick of it just being an idea.”