To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers…of love is Hell.
Deep in our timid hearts is a desire to be loved mildly, nothing more. That way, we retain control, we set the terms, we avoid risk. Our loving God, in His ferocious intensity, will have none of it. He defines the meaning of our lives, and we are saved from our anemic loves and brought by degrees into intense loves, like His own.
The path of God’s love is not without suffering. In fact, those who love more will suffer more.
The one taking the initiative in the relationship – the one who loves the most – is the one who risks humiliation.
C.S. Lewis indicated that if he wanted something easy and pain-free, he would have chosen a bottle of wine over Jesus. There is no question that biblical love leaves us more vulnerable. But this will not be the devastating vulnerability that comes with psychologically needing people. Christians need less and love more.