One specific song, called “Madly” by Charlie Hall, really stood out. Its words were simple but its message awe-inspiring. The lyrics begin by saying “And I’m madly in love with You.” Now, when I think of mad love, I typically don’t think of somebody’s love for God. The words “madly in love” create an image of the crazy ex-girlfriend who, in attempt to win back the love of her regretful ex-boyfriend, slashes his new girlfriend’s tires, sneaks into her house, and threatens her at gunpoint to break up with the boy.
Mad love was never an idea I would associate with a man’s love for God. The crazy ex was the recurring image of “mad love” in my mind until this week at OMP. Charlie Hall’s brief intro verse completely legitimizes the idea of mad love for God. Mad love is a type of love which impacts every area of one’s life. The crazy ex was so madly in love with her ex-boyfriend, she couldn’t shake the thought of him and was willing to risk everything in order to win him back. She was willing to rack up a first-degree murder charge for her beloved. She was willing to kill somebody for this man. He was everything to her and her life was different because of him. She couldn’t live without him.
This is the type of love I believe God desires. God doesn’t want the half-hearted “I love you too” I throw at my mom on my way upstairs for the night. He wants mad love. He wants a love so profound every area of our lives are changed. I believe the end of sanctification — the end of the process of becoming like Jesus — is being madly in love with God.
The kind of love God calls us to, in response to his initial, prevenient love, is mad love. God wants love resulting in intense obedience. He wants powerful love resulting in an overpowering desire to serve others. He wants fierce love leading to unheard of patience. He wants mad love. God desires a type of subsequent love, a love following His first love, that changes every aspect of our lives.
This type of mad love is uncommon, and I believe the lack of those madly in love with God is one reason the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians is dropping. Sometimes I try to place myself in the shoes of somebody who hasn’t grown up in the church and doesn’t identify as a Christian. I imagine Christianity is often unattractive to them. Christians love to argue among ourselves over doctrinal issues. We love to state our stance on gay rights, on abortion, on politics, and on many moral rules. Our words and actions are of man, but they rarely contain hints of the basis of our faith: love.
I apologize if I come across as preachy. I’m not calling anybody out or attempting to be preachy. I personally struggle with this a ton, but I don’t want you to brush this off. If you claim to be a believer in Jesus Christ, consider your life and ask this question: am I madly in love with God? What our world desperately needs is more love. Christians should be a source of this love, a love overflowing from their mad love for God, but we fall short.
Mad love stems from knowing and experiencing God’s love. God, who is love (1 John 4:8), is also the source of all love. John 3:16 perfectly describes God’s love for us, shown through Jesus, in saying, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life.” I spent years knowing this verse without understanding it. As I’ve grown in my walk with Christ and have become increasingly more aware of my brokenness, this verse has become more impactful for me. The realization there is a God who loves me in the midst of my brokenness — in my loneliness, in my severe feelings of inadequacy, in my lust, in my judgmental attitude — has caused this verse to mean something. He loves me in my brokenness but hates how my brokenness has separated me from Him, so He sent His only son, who was perfect, to pay for my brokenness. “This is love: not that we love God, but that He loves us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin (1 John 4:10).”
We can only begin to fall into mad love as we grasp the depth of our own brokenness as well as the intensity of the healing love of God. As we grasp this love, our own love for God increases. As our love for God increases, and as it progresses towards mad love, our entire lives are changed by it. As it is with the mad love of a crazy ex, when we come to know God’s love and fall into mad love for Him, our lives change in a profound way. God becomes our everything. He becomes who we turn to in the great times of our lives and the awful times of our lives. We reach a point where we would do anything for Him and every part of our lives point towards Him.
If you aren’t madly in love with God, don’t be discouraged. When it comes to love, my madness is juvenile but progressing. Becoming madly in love with God is a process, and mad love only transpires organically. For now, seek Him first and build a relationship with Him. Mad love will naturally follow.
CSM Senior High Student
CSM Junior and Senior High students are invited to participate in CSM's upcoming mission trips with S.O.S. and OMP. For more info and to register, click here.