I am one of those people whose primary love language is words of affirmation. Many, many times in the last twenty-five years, I have asked Todd the same question repeatedly, “How much do you love me?”
I’m not really sure why I even ask because for the past twenty-five years, his answer has remained the same. He always answers simply, “With all my heart.”
All I know is that his heart must be bigger now than it was years ago because I know for a fact that he loves me more.
All my heart is such a simple statement, but it is packed with such tremendous meaning! All my heart. Undivided.
In last week’s post of “All My Strength,” I mentioned Joash king of Israel. But Joash king of Judah is another interesting person. He became king when he was a small boy. He was good to the temple. He had repairs done. He loved to go to the priest, his uncle Jehoiada, who had rescued him.
Then the priest died, and he got around other influences. He deviated from the faith, even killing Zechariah, the son of this priest. He was the son of the man who saved his life. He was even his cousin. But he killed him in a fit of rage.
How can someone go from loving the man of God and the church to turning away?
Even when Joash was following Jehoiada, the high places and the spots where sacrifices were made to other gods were not taken down. It wasn’t with all his heart like it was with Jehoiada, and somehow, he was not stronger than the peer pressure of the evil princes.
I was talking to someone recently, and they asked if I hugged a certain man at a funeral. I was pretty sure that I didn’t. I explained why to them, “I try to be careful.” See, I’m guarding my heart because it belongs to my husband Todd.
So much would try to come in and claim part of our hearts. I know that loving God with ALL my heart is the needed emphasis.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5
The Bible Project says that this “Shema” has been repeated for thousands of years, “Every day God’s people are called to devote to God their whole body and mind, their feelings and their desires, their future, and their failure. This is what it means to love the Lord your God with all your heart.”
This same phrase of loving with all your heart and soul occurs in ten places in the Bible! It is in five different books!
All my heart…all my will, my choices, affections, emotions, thoughts, whole body, feelings, and future!
Lately it seems I’ve grappled with helping my teenagers set boundaries in their lives. I’ve started telling them over and over, “You know what I’m wanting, right? I want you to love God with ALL YOUR HEART!”
For me, those words put it in perspective. They help decide some issues. When I can’t figure out the nitty gritties, it helps me to step back and realize what the main goal is.
What does He require? To love with all my heart!