What's in a word....Love

So I really struggle with my faith! I think I have been really deceived. I think I have bought into the lie that I can earn my way into heaven.

In the past I was always uncomfortable with the story of the prodigal son. If you are unfamiliar with this story... It's about a son that demanded his inheritance from his father. He left his father and brother and squandered his entire inheritance. Then there was a great famine and he was starving and begging for food so he came to his senses and went back to his father. His father welcomed him with open arms and threw a party for him. The brother who was there the whole time held a grudge towards his brother.

I have always identified with the anger of the brother. But I never recognized the sin of the brother. The sin is pride. The brother thought that his father loved him because of his good deeds or his works. He couldn't accept that his father could just love him for who he was. How many of us get into the trap of just trying to please our parent's, or boss at work or someone else significant in our lives?

Do I just have a distorted view of love? The above story is the analogy of God's love. Am I just messed up because of my family of origin? My brother Paul was always in and out of jail or getting into some kind of mischief. I prided myself over being the good girl and not getting into trouble with drugs, sex, stealing or anything else. I deserved to be loved because I wasn't anyone's headache. Now, I am recognizing the flaw in my thinking. Now, I am recognizing the effect of my family of origin's distortion of love and how it has distorted my view of God's love. Is it just a matter of accepting that love? Do I just need to accept it and God will do the rest? And recognize that all of these years I have just been deceived? Deceived seems like the wrong word...I have misled or bought into a false kind of love.

How do these old beliefs affect my relationship with my husband and children? Who doesn't want to be loved? Who wants to believe in a distorted view of love?

What a revelation! And how old am I to have discovered this now?