Scripture offers us many ways to think of God: as a parent, as a king, as a friend, as a lover. We aren’t limited to just one way of thinking about our relationship with Him.
It’s interesting that each of those ways of thinking about God involves relationship: the relationship of a child to a parent, of a subject to a king, of one friend to another, or of two lovers learning to woo and love one another. No matter who we are, or where our lives have taken us, we can find a relationship model for our relationship with God.
Each of those relationships involves some kind of love, and not all of those kinds of love are expressed in the same ways. Some focus more on tenderness and care, some focus more on watchful concern for, or action on behalf of, the other, but all of them involve some kind of meaningful interaction with one another.
When we talk about loving God with our whole heart, we are talking about all these kinds of love. We are talking about how we offer our love to God, and how we receive love from Him. And all of these kinds of love require paying attention to the relationship involved.
To love God with our whole heart means being intentional in our relationship with Him. It means paying attention, being involved, staying alert to what is happening between us. It means risking our heart, believing that the reward of the relationship is worth the risk.
We have not loved you with our whole hearts . . .