It All Comes Back To LOVE


I was a church youth group girl. My youth group was made up of the usual variety of people found in any church. Some of the kids only cared about the games and prizes, and others cared about understanding God and figuring how to be like Jesus in everyday life. Most of us loved both.

My future husband moved to our town while he was a teen-ager and his family joined our church. His parents insisted that he attend the mid-week youth group meetings even though he had no desire at all. He did not know God and he rolled his eyes at our enthusiasm for the Bible and how it could be used in the modern day world.

I was one of the student leaders in our youth group, so this meant that I helped organize and plan the meetings and activities. (Yes, I was THAT girl.) I can still see his smirk as he sat in the back row watching me. It made me all the more determined to convince this guy that God was real and not as lame as he seemed to think.

Totally without my help, God grabbed this guy’s attention one night in his junior year. The very next week he appeared at school with a big red Bible and a transformed attitude about God. My future husband read everything he could find about Jesus and devoured old and new books about the Bible. Suddenly he was a Jesus freak!

I was smitten.

But he had “no time for women”. He was totally consumed with learning all he could about Jesus. His research led to many heated discussions with older Christians and those who were not older, but had been believers longer than him…like me. Now he sat in the back of the youth meetings and teased me about my simplistic view of God.

My naïve response to his complicated new ideas about God and history and the meaning of life was this… “All I know is that God loves me and I love Him!”

This was usually declared with tears streaming, due to my exasperated embarrassment that I could not join in his deep theological discussions. I tried hard to keep up, but was lost in the twists and turns and layers of questions about where God came from and why He really created us in the first place.

My only retort always came back to, “All I know is that I love God and He loves me!”

I felt silly and more than a little bit stupid up against the deep discussions he and his friends seem to savor so much.

I eventually married this Jesus freak know-it-all and in recent years he has brought this phrase of mine back to me in a full circle. After more than 25 years of full-time ministry side by side and all of the crazy ups and downs that we have survived together, this man now says that I had it right all along.

He loves to remind me of my tearful retort and how my simple, uncomplicated belief in God’s love was the deepest truth of all. There are so many “new and improved” thoughts about the church, the Creator and our role as believers. Books, articles, blogs and online discussions abound with new thoughts about the true meaning of life and where God fits into what we do each day.

But it all comes back to love.

Thousands of church denominations exist because of the tiny differences we have found in our experiences with God. If we could simply agree on the truth of His love for us and our love for Him, I think the world would be transformed. Yes, this is Susie being simplistic again. It seems to be what I do. I no longer feel silly or stupid for it though.

The world is full of variety. God designed it this way. We are not all the same flavor and I believe that our differences are not a problem for God. I don’t think He cares that we have divided ourselves up into thousands of denominations and clubs of thought. As long as we can look outside our specific group and agree with the others that God is love.

God loves me and I love Him.

These are the only important facts. When I believe these truths, it will lead to my ability to love others like God loves others. Because when God loves me and I love Him…and He loves the lady over there across the street, I am going to love her too. It happens like that. Too simple? Maybe, but I think it is important to the Father that we believe it to be true.

3 Responses to It All Comes Back To LOVE
  1. Dawn Paoletta (
    February 13, 2015 | 7:47 am

    Love it all …but the last two paragraphs pack a powerful punch. No sucker punch…just good powerful truth!

    • Susie Klein
      February 13, 2015 | 5:16 pm

      Thanks Dawn. Simple, combined with powerful is a good thing.

  2. Mary Geisen
    February 14, 2015 | 2:59 pm

    God loves me and I love Him. Beautiful, simple truth which I pray more people would embrace. That is truly all we need isn’t it? Thank you for these words!