Here I share with you a little excerpt from my book- Psalm 23 Unwrapped available at Amazon- I hope you enjoy it!
Connection and love
Psalm 23 is about our relationship with God. The author David knew that the Lord is his source as Shepherd and so would unconditionally supply his need. He does not want for anything because God has everything all sorted, he is the loving Shepherd, and he has got David’s back. David has all he needs from the Shepherd who meets those needs, and one of them is connection and love. Without good relationships, you cannot have this unconditional love. Relationships are the arteries that carry the healing balm of love because good relationships are the secret to a good life.
We need good relationships to be healthy and happy. In fact, research has also shown that babies fail to thrive, and sometimes die when they are not held and loved. This need is about belonging to a group or connecting with other people deeply. It is a social need we all have. That is why, during the isolation of COVID-19 lockdown, many are struggling.
We all need emotional relationships. Some of the relationships that satisfy this need include friends, workgroups, social groups, community groups, family, romantic relationships, churches, religious organizations, sports teams, and book clubs. For others, they find love, connection, and a sense of belonging in gangs, cults, etc. John Lennon sang- all you need in love. But we also need a deep sense of connection. Connection and love are shown through deep, enduring relationships with others. It is love from people who you know you can count on, no matter what happens, because they love you unconditionally.
Good relationships are channels that carry that kind of love. God also is a source of pure love channeling it to you if you will receive it. I am not sure that God created love because love just IS. God IS the essence of love.
1 John 4:16 – We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Like many teenagers, and maybe like you, I looked for love and connection in all the wrong places and people. Then one day in 1976, I meet the Lord of love, and my empty, searching heart found peace. Love comes from God, who is its source, and since God is love then we, his followers who are born of God, will also love.
God loves us, so we must love one another. A true Christian, one saved by love and filled with God’s love, must live in love toward God and others. The entire passage found in 1 John 4:7-21 speaks of God’s loving nature. Love is not merely an attribute of God; it is part of his very soul. God is not only loving; at his core, he is love.
God alone loves in the completeness and perfection of love, fulfilling our inherent need to be loved and to love. The complete description of how we express true love towards fellow human beings is found in 1 Corinthians 13. This passage teaches us ‘how’ to belong in the right way.
We need to feel that we belong somewhere, and to be connected to a group of like-minded people. Friends and family are a platform to give and receive love. We all have needs but they are fulfilled differently for each individual. Some people prefer one-on-one relationships. They feel stressed within groups but comfortable one-on-one. Other people are just the opposite; they like group relationships. Some people just love hanging out with all kinds of people. They have a higher need for visible relationships.
Part of the expression of love is empathy, approval, and acceptance. Some people have a much higher demand for these than others, and sometimes they are also more tactile.
All of us need touching and physical contact. A kindly ‘hug’ from a loved one goes a long way. If a small child spontaneously hugs you, then this is a sign that the child has a need to be tactile. It is a discerning parent that will regularly fulfil that need. If that need is met within the family, the child will not look elsewhere. The need for love and connection can also be met by volunteering in a nursery or orphanage, getting a pet, getting a massage, etc. Jobs, like nursing, are good jobs for tactile people.
At the level of human physiology, we are designed to need love. This is because God created us, who is love, and we are in his image. Hormones like the ‘feel-good hormone, are released when humans connect and touch. Human touch is so vital that brain development in children can be impaired without it.