What is perfect love? The Bible says that “perfect love casts out fear”. We know that our Father loves us with perfect love, but what does that really look like? We were discussing that this afternoon, and I’m not sure that I have a good handle on what it really is. I say that God is good, and I really believe it. But in His goodness, what does perfect love look like.
On the one hand, as a father I believe that perfect love means that I have to allow my children the freedom to fail. I can’t protect them from themselves and all the world around them. I’ve tried that in the past and it doesn’t work. At best, it just keeps them from learning how to deal with issues. At worst it teaches them that someone will always bail them out. So, does perfect love mean that our Father will not intervene in our lives? I’m not sure.
On the other hand, as a father I always want to provide and do the best I can to make my children have a happy life. Does that mean that perfect love means we will get everything we ask for? I don’t think so.
So, just like many other times in the Bible, we are caught in the tension of two truths and how do those truths play out in our lives. Personally, I believe that perfect love is shown in the goodness of God. In the fact that even when we blow it, He is there to help us sort things out and pick up the pieces. I believe that He lets us make bad choices because He wants to let us make the choices. So when we blow it, and we will, He is there with us to carry us through the pain.
I also believe that in His goodness, He sometimes intervenes in our lives to change the dynamics and situation of different things. If we believe in His goodness, then we can go through anything. We know that He doesn’t cause these things, and that He will either keep us out of them, or He will walk through them with us. It’s the belief in His total goodness and perfect love that will cast out and keeps out fear. How can we fear if we really think that Papa will always work things out for good if we just keep pressing into Him.
How can we have anything to fear when we know that no matter what we do, or even if we blow it, His love surrounds us, and He does have perfect love. So what does perfect love look like. I believe it looks just like it needs to in every situation. Otherwise it wouldn’t be perfect, would it?