"He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." ... Matthew 10:37
Until I was 35, every time I'd hear that Bible verse in a sermon I'd hang my head in embarrassment right there in the church pew. Why? Because I loved everybody more than I (truly) loved God. Oh, I appreciated Him like crazy, but love Him more than even my family? Well, not so much.
And I'll tell ya.... back then I had one rough emotional life. When you love people more than God, you are nearly always disappointed, devastated. lonely or upset. The people in our lives make tons of mistakes, say hurtful things (usually unintentionally), ignore us often when we need them most, laugh in the wrong places, get offended when we're not perfect and __________ (fill in the blank. You know I could go on and on).
So I'm thinking that one of the reasons God asks that we love Him most is because it's healthier emotionally, mentally, even physically (since I believe all are connected). For God does not disappoint. He never walks away. He always listens, helps, counsels--even at two in the morning when you wouldn't dare call a friend on her cell phone.
If there's any disappointing and abandoning going on--it is not God doing it. It's something inside our head or heart accusing Him or just plain misunderstanding what He's done. God has never made a mistake and He's not about to make His first one with any of us.
But since 1994 when I fell hopelessly in love with God at age 35? Everything changed. Now I truly do love Him more than anyone, thanks to a work He's done in me after I finally "gave Him the steering wheel" and oh, my emotions do thank me! Gone (through process, much time and surrender) are my wild mood swings when the people in my life let me down. Gone is my tendency to invest more in people than I can emotionally afford to lose.
Now I can forgive people's imperfections and slights because hey! I still have Jesus. He is still here. He is still perfect. He's still hanging out with me and I still love Him most.
As long as I have Him, I'll be ok.
In this new Life, there is tremendous peace and stability. And as I said, my emotions thank me.
If I love God most, I'm able to love people better.