The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
Should our love for God be more like the love between a child and a father or the love between two lovers?
I don't know whether it should be more one or the other. Proportionally the Bible talks, I think, of us in terms of relating to Father, Lord, Creator, and Redeemer more often. Lover is more rare in the Bible.
The only reason I hesitate, I think, to say, "Well, then it's obvious which should be more," is that "more" is an ambiguous thing when it comes to love and emotions. Does "more" mean quantitative? Does "more" mean intensity?
I don't want to say that the intensity of my child-love to my Father is less than the intensity of my friend-love to Friend, or my grateful-love to Redeemer, or my dependent-love to Creator, or my lover-love to Lover. I don't want intensity to be lessened on any of those.
But I want to protect a church or a family or a person from becoming sectarian in their lopsidedness about the one or the other. I think it would be an unhealthy church who every Sunday celebrated the intimacy of our relationship with God in terms of the sexual relationship or marriage. That would be unhealthy; something would be sick about that church.
What you look for for health—in a soul and in a church—is biblical proportion. So when it comes to intensity, it is high level intensity on each of the kinds of relationships. When it comes to which relationship is emphasized, let's read the whole Bible and try to shape our hearts and our minds around the kinds of relationships that are highlighted in the Scriptures.