I always felt it strange that God needed to command us to love him. (It is the first and greatest of all the commandments.) Now I see better. When God calls us to love him as our “first love,” it is not only because he deserves to hold that place in our hearts, but also because he knows what pain will come when we get that out of order. If you give the part of your soul that is meant for God to lesser things, they will break your heart because they cannot possibly come through for you in the ways God can. Only he will never leave you or forsake you. The command is a rescue from disaster.
Many of you have begun to discover the joy and freedom loving God brings to the rest of your life. Keeping God as our first love, we are not destroyed when others fail to love us well; we are able to weather criticism, loneliness, and rejection. Our other loves are able to find their whole and wholesome expression, and we are able to flourish as human beings. Anchored in True Love, our hearts can go on to love. Because we have first things first, as the saying goes.