This past week, I spent an enjoyable evening shopping with a 16 year old girl that is dear to me. We were trying to find her the perfect formal and covered quite a lot of ground at the Houston Galleria. Of course, there was lots of teenage conversation to be had (a glimpse of what I have to come) – from the pressures of school, to what career to choose at college, to the all important one: BOYS!
This particular young woman is far more confident that your average 16 year old. And she certainly is more confident that I ever was at that age (or at 20 for that matter). But as talk circled back to boys once again and she bemoaned her single status, she uttered a few words that struck me: “I want to be desired.” I had been sharing that I didn’t have boyfriends in high school and college and that this is a terrible time to get into a serious relationship and all the other platitudes that adults tell teenagers when she uttered those words: “I want to be desired.”
It shocked me. So adult. So naked in its emotion. Yet so basic to our human nature. She didn’t mean it in a sexual or inappropriate way – she meant it as the cry of her heart and the cry of women around the world, “Please someone, want me. Love me. Value me.” You could have this exact conversation with a 9 year old or a 90 year old.
We want to be wanted from the time we are born. Children long to find love and affection from their parents and family. Then you enter puberty and realize you want it from the opposite sex. And you spend years, maybe decades, chasing it. You want to be wanted. Heck, I’ve stayed in relationships just because I was wanted. There were years it didn’t really matter what I wanted or what God wanted for me – I just wanted someone to want me.
And I know if you’re in the middle of this, there’s no way this is going to sound like anything but a platitude, but you ARE wanted. God loves you. God values you. God thinks you are beautiful and talented. I realize that it is hard that it doesn’t “feel” concrete. I had a friend going through a rough patch two weeks ago tell me, “I really wish God had skin right now.” There is something, created by our Creator, that makes us need that human interaction and affirmation. But if you are in between that, or if you have never had that, I do hope that His promises give you reassurance and comfort and love. You are desired.
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s….The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him…But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
I John 4
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us….God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.