“Perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. He that fears has not been made perfect in love”  

What is fear? I like the definition that has been used for the acronym “FEAR” and I am sure you must have come across it too (False Evidence Appearing Real). The dictionary defines fear as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Therefore this feeling of fear cripples or immobilises and stops us from taking an action. It may be something that occurred in your past, fear of neglect, abuse, being used, rejection, poverty etc. you name it. But how does this fear affect our ability to give and receive love? The quote above states that perfect love casts out fear, this also implies that the presence of fear casts out perfect love.

When we allow our fears to immobilise or stop us from loving our spouse, as we ought to, then our love cannot be made perfect. Love that is crippled by fear will eventually have its growth stunted, will become frustrating for the people in the love relationship and the relationship will struggle. Let’s for one-minute look at the legality of your fear. I do agree that some of the fears that you have are valid, some may be as a result of what others did to you, but let’s be honest, some are a consequence of your passivity to take action on your past fears. Thereby allowing them to control or deprive you of a loving relationship with others or your spouse. Some people reject love from their spouse or others because of their past experience of neglect from a loved one and some withhold love because they are afraid of being used. Whichever way the coin tosses, either you are withholding or rejecting love out of fear, this type of fear can not safeguard you from experiencing pain again but instead can prevent you from enjoying the freedom of giving and receiving love.

Although I do not like to quote a lot of scripture in my journal, albeit my messages are underpinned by biblical principles, and I know you enjoy enough of “scripture quoting” from your local church. However, in preparing for this journal, I could not but remember that scripture which says that ” he (God) hasn’t given us the spirit of fear but that of hope, love, power and a sound mind. A friend once shared how her husband struggled with fear from manipulation and abuse from his past. She described how her marriage was plagued by fear. This fear originally manifested in her husband in that he felt rejected and wounded as a child and as a result, found it difficult to truly expect to be loved. She in turn became so frustrated and disappointed in this marriage until she got to a point where she started to guard her heart and withhold loving her husband due to her fear of being abused and used. However, she said the more she did this, the farther her marriage was from receiving wholeness. She had to learn to deal with her own fear and not until then, did God start to teach her how to help her husband to deal with his fears. Do I hear you say, Comfort, what can I do then to deal with my fears?

1. Acknowledge them and try to trace them back to their origin. If you are not sure of its origin, ask God to reveal it to you.

2. Communicate them to your spouse or the person you are in a relationship with so that help can be sought.

3. Recognise that they have no power over you unless you allow them to hold you captive.

4. Choose to act lovingly in spite of your fears or even when it’s inconvenient. Remember, ” What goes around comes around” you are bound to receive love back.

5. Pray about them and use the word of God as a weapon to destroy the power of fear over your life, spouse or others. If love exists, fear will disappear and the more of love you have to share, the less room fear has to cripple you.

6. Finally, take each day as a new one. The fact that you conquered fear yesterday does not mean you may not be faced with a new one or a recurring fear. Be bold, face your fears and choose to love and receive love from the people who love you dearly.

Simply say this prayer with me.

Dear Lord, I thank you because fear has no hold over me, my spouse and loved one. He that fears cannot be made perfect in love therefore I choose to confront my fears. Help me/my loved one to deal with and overcome every fear that has suppressed my/their ability to love and receive love. I thank you lord Jesus for I have the spirit of love, power, hope and a sound mind.