Love that Dispels Fear: Kiale Trenholme-Pihl
“What is love? Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me, no more.” Haddaway’s nineties pop hit echoes a question human minds and hearts have pondered throughout all time; what is love? How do humans understand love? American society promotes love is never needing to say, “I’m sorry,” and requires holding your tongue on difficult topics in order to avoid offending others. Modern culture also endorses love is a feeling of fluttering butterflies or burning passion that people can fall in and out of hastily. So are Haddaway and modern culture right; is love a fleeting feeling that requires never hurting others?
Or, is love both gentle yet brutally honest? Does love exist that surpasses emotions, withstands trials, and endures the test of time? A love characterized by commitment when everything else fails. It agrees to stay when there is nothing to gain, when we are at our worst with nothing to offer and even at risk of losing everything. A love defined by acceptance no matter how difficult the circumstance; love that offers imperfect people compassion and mercy. A love that says nothing is off limits. Bring me your hardships and your successes because I will be here no matter what. Even when there is no love expressed in return; a love that never abandons. A love securely established on truth that seeks another’s welfare. If this type of love exists, it would dispel the insecurity of insincere niceties and inconsistent emotions because it would be both faithfully fierce as well as fervently forgiving. Does such love exist?
Yes! It has been widely taught on, but few embrace it. It has touched many lives only to be rejected. It is love so unbelievable that people reject it out of fear that it might be true. It is the love displayed in the gospel. True love is found in the love God extends to humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the “man of sorrows” who left His heavenly throne in order to put on flesh and become acquainted with earthly human struggles (Isa. 53:3, John 1:14). Jesus lived righteously, but died a criminal’s death on a cross (Mark 15:27). Jesus absorbed the weight of our sins because He knew we would crumble under their burden (Heb. 10:12-14). He was pierced so that we could be mended, cut off so that we could be brought near, despised so that we could receive favor. Jesus became poor in order to grant humanity riches beyond comprehension (1 Pet. 1:3-5). Our sin wasn’t too difficult for Jesus to discuss with us. In love, Jesus not only made us aware of our slavish rebellion against God but he also provided a way for us to be liberated from the oppressive bondage of our sin.
Because God immeasurably loved the world, He sent His Son to be crushed in order that the people of the world would be spared (John 3:16-17). And because Jesus loved the Father, He laid down His life in full obedience to Father’s will (John 17:4-5). Jesus consciously chose to accomplish God’s purpose even when He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, confessing, “yet not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Deep in Christ’s being dwells love not dependent on emotions or circumstances, His love is anchored in the one true source of love—God the Father. Through Jesus, mankind has been offered a love contrary to human comprehension. Christ teaches us the characteristics of true love by demonstrating
love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Cor. 13:4-8
As we pursue the Art of Biblical Womanhood, let’s regularly remember and rehearse the gospel. As God’s truth saturates out thoughts, let’s extend love to ourselves as well as others. In humility, let’s receive correction from God’s word and our faith family so that we may grow into the likeness of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light—freely extending the mercy God has generously lavished on us (1 Pet. 2:9-10). Let’s emulate Christ’s love because it is the only love that truly dismisses fear.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19).