There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~1 John 4:18
I understand even more so why God created our physical lives to unfold in His way. He created man with a certain end goal in mind. That goal is to love him wholeheartedly with no distractions. To have a relationship with Him that trumps all other relationships. However, when sin entered the world, God took a backseat to everything in our lives. Because of that, people enter into all sorts of relationships seeking to fill a void, yet not realizing that only God can fill that empty place within. Marriages end because people fall out of love or seek love outside of that union.
Love is an action verb and requires showing by way of doing.
God shows us love each day He allows us to wake up. Each day provides another opportunity to show God truly what He means to us. When we pray, God chooses to honor those prayers to show his faithfulness and love to us. Yet, many of us fall short in showing God love by sharing his goodness and mercy to others. We make excuses and allow fear of rejection to cloud our judgement.
Spouses forget those things done, while dating, to show each other how much they love one another. The busyness of life takes over and eventually, walls go up, feelings are hurt and silence ensues. Sadly, folks are afraid of showing their true selves to their spouse. Afraid of being judged for blatant honesty. Afraid of ridicule and their feelings being minimized and viewed as trivial. The writer in 1 John 4:18 reminds us that “…perfect love drives out fear.” If we are sold out for God, then there is no room for fear to dictate whom we share God with or when. If God is in us, we accept our mate as they are and love them in spite of how we feel at the end of the day.
Love is continuous and doesn’t take a break because of having a long day.
If that were so, God would say, “You know what, I need a day off. Whatever happens during my day off happens. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.” I can’t imagine what my life would be like if God took a day off. Unfortunately, so many of us take days, weeks, months, or years off from God and the fruit of it is evident in the loss of the relationships we said meant so much to us. If we neglect each other, it’s no surprise that we also neglect God whom we say we love dearly.
Our love of God is reflected in how we love others because His spirit resides in each believer.
We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). It is our duty to love others regardless of what we’re going through in life. The writer of 1 Peter 4:8 tells us, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I take this to mean that an overflowing well of love, shown to others, amounts to something not only in our earthly relationships, but also our relationship with God. In choosing to put our love of God in action and love on our spouses, friends and family, we are fulfilling the law of God (Romans 13:10). He loves us in every way despite how we treat Him and others. He doesn’t turn His back on us when we become wayward. In much the same way, we are to show love to anyone who crosses our path. Spouses should never avoid showing each other love because of a disagreement had. Imagine what it would be like if God treated us that way.
He loves us in every way despite how we treat Him and others. He doesn’t turn His back on us when we become wayward.
My way of loving can be selfish at times and I’m reminded that “love is patient, love is kind. …it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).” Put in that perspective, I’m guilty of not showing love to others when I get frustrated and things don’t go my way. Instead of responding from a place of love, many of us react from a place of selfishness and frustration. A loving word turns away a bad attitude or mood because it’s soothing to the person receiving it and the person extending it. Showing love requires a conscious effort on our part regardless of the twists and turns each day takes. What have I got to lose with God on my side? Loving others has no room for being afraid of how another reacts or responds to the assertion made. I can only be true to myself knowing that I am fulfilling an age old law of loving others above my selfishness.
Who will you purposefully love on today?
- Worship in Spirit & Truth - December 26, 2018
- Am I Really Enough? - November 29, 2018
- God Promised - October 30, 2018
I will chew on the fruits of this post for a while, Denise. Thank you. All too often, I lean on grace and God to love others when I’m tired out or frustrated with them, etc., and this reminds me that God gave me hands, feet and heart to BE His love. There are a couple of EGRs (extra grace required) folks in my life that just take everything I have to love at all, much less love well. When I ‘flip the script’, I realize that I’m just as much of an EGR to many (perhaps more), and my rags are as infinitely filthy–but for God who loved me first.
This was a wake up post for me too! Funny how He reminds of of our own humanness.
Thanks for this post, Denise! A reminder of the roles we get to explore: the forgiven *and* the forgiver, the grace receiver *and* extender, the lover and the beloved.
Oh the roles we have in this life that few give much thought to. So thankful God isn’t fickle like we sometimes are.
Thankful for God’s grace in the journey of love. I’m not where I need to be, but I’m better than I was. Hope your New Year is filled with many blessings, Denise!
We’re all works in progress. Thank God He doesn’t hold our humanness against us. Thank you & you too!
“A loving word turns away a bad attitude or mood because it’s soothing to the person receiving it and the person extending it.” I like that thought – that the loving word is soothing to BOTH the giver and receiver. Interesting, thoughtful post. Much to chew on here!
Yes. Writing this post put me in a position where I had to check myself and be more mindful of my attitude and being a representative of God in the flesh.