Starved for Love


Sunday, June 23, 2013 – “Starved for Love” (Dr. Stanley, “In Touch” Broadcast)

NOTE: The following is a partial transcription of the “Starved for Love” message delivered by Charles Stanley as part of the “In Touch” telecast on June 23.  You can watch/listen to the message at the following link, which was active at the time of posting:

What statements by Dr. Stanley stand out the most to you?  Feel free to comment.

SUMMARY:  “Have you tried to fulfill that empty place in your life with things, but continue to be unsatisfied? Perhaps you feel starved for love. It’s not the will of God for His children to feel empty, alone and without love. He has made provision for you to be fulfilled and live with joy.”

TRANSCRIPTION:  Sometimes we try to fulfill the empty place in our lives caused by lack of love by accumulating things or through repeated relationships that didn’t work out.

1 John 4:7-11 tell us that “Love is from God.” 

Many people live out their lives and the one thing that’s missing is satisfying, fulfilling, genuine love.

Until it’s Godly love, there will always be an emptiness in your love.

You can’t have enough relationships or have enough sex as a substitute for true, genuine love.

1) Get involved in all sorts of immoral situations.
Because they’re searching for something that satisfied.
Sex becomes a roadblock unless we understand what love is all about.
Sex can have absolutely nothing to do with love.
One of the reasons people are in the mess they’re in is because they try sex as a substitute
for genuine love
2) Commit crimes because they have a deep hunger for acceptance and recognition.
3) Don’t love themselves.
If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else in a genuine way.
4) Excessive spending
Sometimes if you’re not being shown affection in a relationship, you’ll turn to something you
can buy to try and fill the void.

Desire can take many avenues.  And a desire for love knows no substitute.  Those who pursue substitutes for real love can’t have enough money, sex, popularity, prestige, or position.  Nothing is an adequate substitute for true, genuine love

God made us emotional beings to be drawn to one another, to be attracted to one another.  So it’s normal for us to desire relationship.  But the only person who can ultimately satisfy the hunger and thirst in your heart is Jesus Christ.  You will not be fulfilled in your life when you reject the very source of love itself in the person of Jesus Christ.


If sex and marriage were the ultimate satisfying element, then just one marriage would be it. But oftentimes people find they are not fulfilled in marriage, with their needs not being met.  So they end that marriage in pursuit of another. 

They marry because they think the other person can meet their needs.  When the only person who can truly meet the deepest need (of joy and ultimate pleasure in life) is Jesus Christ.

One reason people are critical of others’ relationships is because they don’t have a relationship like that.

Some people, because of a lack of love, are just angry people.  It’s because of the emptiness and void.  They know they need something but they don’t know how to get it.  They’ve never experienced true, genuine love that brings satisfaction and completion.

A person can be saved and still feel this way and be starved for this kind of love.

Oftentimes people start a marriage and before long they say, “You’re not meeting my needs.  You don’t really love me.” 

Having more “things” in a relationship doesn’t solve the deepest need.

A person who is not feeling genuinely loved becomes absorbed with themselves.

Some try to buy or purchase love by doing things in excess.  They try to give gifts to another person to get them to love them.  You can’t buy love with anything.  It’s fine to give, but it can’t buy love.

Many people when they say “I love this person” are really saying I NEED this person.  They say “I love you” whether they do or not just to hear it said back.

We have all kinds of (relationship) strife because of a lack of agreement of what love is all about.

What we’re looking for is something God placed in the human heart.

Eventually a person realizes that none of these things satisfies.

There is a hunger for love that God placed in our hearts.  Such that there is a possibility for all of us to feel genuinely loved.  But if we go at it a way other than God’s way, we’ll end up feeling empty.


If all the “stuff” (in our lives) brought us a sense of love, then those who have a lot would feel full of love.  But they don’t.

Sometimes when we’ve been rejected at some point in life, we feel that we don’t count or are undeserving.   And then we try to have a relationship, but this dominating attitude of something being wrong with us prevails.

One of the most painful emotions is the emotion of rejection.  And people get stuck there.  Especially from youth.  And it can be hard to get past that rejection and truly love someone else unless God involves Himself in their life.

So they will try to find acceptance in someone else  Trying to find a cure for rejection.  The only cure for rejection is the love of God.

They end up pursuing in an adequate fashion a relationship that doesn’t fulfill this deep need for love in their lives.They don’t feel worthy of being loved.

God made us to be attracted to each other and to have relationships with each other.  Why?  Because God made us deep down to love another in relationship.  Does he always call me or want me to be married?  Not necessarily.  But if that deep abiding hunger becomes strong enough, they will do almost anything to satisfy that deep need to be loved.

God is that true source of love.

 Some people “seem” to be happy, but they’re not really.

When people feel insecure in life, they look for something to feel secure.   They do something to fulfill an emptiness that can’t be fulfilled by anything but God’s love.

Everything God does in our lives is motivated by love.

Many people spell love “s-e-x” or “t-h-i-n-g-s” or “p-l-a-c-e-s.”   But love really comes from God.


Definition of “love”:
Love is “a commitment to the satisfaction, security, and development of the one loved and a commitment to the fulfillment of their needs, whatever they are, always asking what’s best for the other person.”

The key word in this definition is “COMMITMENT.”  That’s the problem with most people.  They don’t think about commitment.  Before a pastor (at a wedding) they say “I do,” but they’re not making a true commitment.   A true commitment demands something of me, requires something of me.  And then I’ll be faithful to it.

The focus of love is the other person becoming all they can be.  In marriage the husband and wife are supposed to help each other become the person God wants them to be.

There is a difference in LOVING someone and DESIRING them.  You can desire someone and not love them.

There is also a difference between  LOVING someone and NEEDING someone.

If you’re looking for someone to meet your need, that’s the wrong motivation to get married!

It’s unfair to marry someone to meet your needs.  How many needs can they meet?!?!
But the person who is hungry for love and is selfish is not looking for marriage but someone to meet their needs.

NO ONE can meet every need of anyone!  God made us to depend on Him to meet our need.

In marriage we do meet needs but it’s in addition to God meeting our deepest need!

1 John 4:7  “Beloved, love another for love is from God.”
Love originates with God!  God is the very essence of love.

If I’m going to love someone genuinely in a way that helps to meet their needs, I have to first be attached to God and experience his true, genuine love.   There’s only one true genuine love.  It’s borne of almighty God.

If I don’t have God, I may have affection or strong desire.  But not the love that satisfies, completes, and builds security and happiness.

This is why if someone asks me (Charles Stanley) about marrying someone (officiating a wedding ceremony):
1) I ask, “Is (the person you want to marry) a Christian?”  If they say “no,” they always try to add (justify) that he/she’s a “good person.  And that he/she maybe even goes to church.
2) And then I ask them about the person’s relationship with his/her (earthly) father.  

I don’t marry anyone if they don’t have the right answer to both of those questions!

Many people make marital decisions not based on true genuine love.

True, genuine love isn’t just meeting someone’s needs.

Do you really love your husband or wife?   Do you expect him or her to meet your needs?

A lot of people THINK they’re in love but they’ve really left God out.


Many singles adults say things like, “I don’t guess I’ll ever be happy because I’m not married.”  If your joy peace and happiness depend on you being married, then your peace and happiness is determined by someone else when it should come from God!

God satisfies the yearning of our hearts “wherever” He places us in life (including being single)!

All the time I hear young people who are unmarried saying that if they don’t have love, sex, and marriage, they’ll never be satisfied in life.

Stanley’s advice: God satisfies every desire of your heart.  He can satisfy you even if you are without anybody in the world.  No matter who you are, He can satisfy you.  Because He changes your thinking.

Some people ask me, “Don’t you get lonely?”  (Dr. Stanley is unmarried at this stage in his life.)
My reply is, “No, I don’t.”  I have a loving Savior who is there with me when I wake up and all throughout the day. 

Many people think that if they don’t get married, the world is coming to an end.   I tell them, “If you marry the wrong person, the world WILL come to an end!”

God’s Provision for Those Starved of Love:
1) Love is healing.  Genuine love heals all sorts of pain.
2) Love builds your sense of self-worth.  When someone feels loved there’s a sense of self-worth they don’t otherwise have.
3) Love makes us feel emotionally complete.
4) Love makes us feel secure.

5) Love enables us to love those who have wronged us.
6) Love helps us develop intimate relationships that are real.

A true, fulfilling, intimate relationship can ONLY COME when Christ in your life allows you to share  His love with someone else.  When two Christians get married, they’re sharing their Godly love with each other.

No one can do for you what He can do for you.  You can go through things you never dreamed up when Christ is Lord and Master of your life.

Love is not about getting your needs met but is meeting the needs of the other, building the other person up, making them feel secure, wanted, and desired.

Many people will live their lives and never experience (true, genuine) love.

So where do I experience that love?  It begins with your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.   You can’t expect to enjoy the love your heart desires and reject the son of God!

If you have experienced God’s love in your life, your capacity to love will only grow.

If you don’t accept God’s love, you will take the route of failed relationships and sex, etc., to fill the void.

The love of almighty God placed within you flows from you.

Will everyone love each other?  Not until heaven.  But we’re not responsible for their response.  We’re just responsible for loving them.

You are most happy when you are giving your self away to other people.

The way to true, genuine love is through almighty God through His son Jesus Christ.

2 thoughts on “Starved for Love

  1. As i read the words, it was like looking through my soul journal. This summarizes my life before Christ better than any words I could use: “One of the most painful emotions is the emotion of rejection. And people get stuck there. Especially from youth. And it can be hard to get past that rejection and truly love someone else unless God involves Himself in their life. So they will try to find acceptance in someone else Trying to find a cure for rejection. The only cure for rejection is the love of God.” I wonder if all of that will fit on my epitaph?

  2. Thank you Pastor Greg. It is amazing how the Lord fulfills! He truly is the “only one” who will NOT fail us. He loves us unconditionally, all the time.

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