Abundant Love Awaits

Author: Erin Nestico — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: October 12, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Abundant Love Awaits

***Editor’s note: Today’s reading discusses abuse*** During our teenage years, many of us start dating. This is a big step, and while dating can be fun and wholesome, it can also be confusing and damaging. After I experienced several rejections as a teen, I was thrilled when a high school romance came my way. God created all things good, including love. The love between Adam and Eve was sinless before the fall. They didn’t argue or hurt each other. Until sin entered the picture. Today, we live in a broken world. Dating brings two broken humans together in relationship. This can be healthy or unhealthy. God intended love to enrich our life, not destroy it. Sadly, many people use dating relationships to control and abuse others, whether physically, emotionally, or sexually. While many teens (and adults) experience dating violence, this is not the love God intended. The enemy tries to convince us we are worthless, which can be easy to believe if we don’t feel wanted by people. That’s what he did with me as I remained in an abusive relationship. I was afraid to be alone. I was afraid to be viewed as a nobody. I feared no one else would be interested in me. But the truth is this: I am not worthless, and neither are you. Jesus died on the cross for you because you are priceless to God. He loves you with an everlasting love. He came to the world, died, and rose again to save you from your sins and give you abundant life (John 10:10; Romans 5:8). He desires healthy, loving relationships for you, and He will help you cultivate these as you seek Him. When someone hurts us, our first reaction is usually to pull away from relationships. But Jesus longs to enfold us in community and help us heal. He provides caring people who love Him and will love us well. Jesus provides the answer to loneliness in His body, the church. Are you afraid of being alone? Do you fear no one will love you? Rest assured, you are loved by the Creator of the universe, you are held in His arms, and He is with you always. Have you been rejected by others? God always wants to be in relationship with you. Have you been hurt? God is with you, grieving your hurts alongside you and offering healing. Have you felt unwanted? God always wants you to come near to Him. If you’ve been hurt by a romantic partner, tell a trusted adult immediately. And turn to God, tell Him how you feel, and let Him heal your hurts. Let His words and His truth be louder than the enemy’s lies. Let His love embrace you as you trust in His plan and His timing for your life, including relationships. • Erin Nestico • If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, and if your situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911 (or the emergency number for your area) or go to the local hospital emergency room right away. • If you need someone to talk to but are not in need of immediate help, you can set up an appointment for a one-time complimentary phone consultation with a Christian counselor through the Focus on the Family Counseling Service. In the United States, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) to set up an appointment. In Canada, book your appointment by calling 1-800-661-9800 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) and ask to speak with the care associate. • Have you ever been hurt by a dating partner’s words or actions? Have you hurt someone? There is hope through Jesus. He offers healing and forgiveness, no matter how terrible the situation may be. Who is a trusted Christian adult you can talk to as you seek to follow God’s good intentions for how people should treat one another, including setting up loving boundaries? • What questions do you have about dating? • Who is a trusted Christian adult in your life you feel comfortable talking to about dating? (If no one comes to mind, you can ask God to help you identify someone in the future.) • What could you say to a friend who is in an unhealthy relationship but is afraid of being single? • If you’d like to dig deeper into today’s topic, check out Isaiah 53 to see how Jesus knows what it’s like to be unpopular and abused, and how He suffered to take away our suffering forever when He returns. You can also look at Romans 8:26-39 to see how God grieves with us and helps us, and Hebrews 4:14-16 to see how Jesus empathizes with what we’re going through and God always invites us to come to Him. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the tRuth 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Psalm 34:18; Psalm 72:14; Proverbs 11:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4-1 Corinthians 13:6