Is the foundation for your relationships fear or faith? Faith says, “I can do all things.” Fear says, “What will they think of me?” If your relationship or marriage isn’t built on faith, it might be built on fear—fear of abandonment/being alone or fear of commitment/being stuck, for a couple of examples.
God must have known we would struggle with fear. The Bible says at least one hundred times, “Don’t be afraid!” The Bible says that you have been given a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind, not a spirit of timidity, cowardice, or fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Consider also 1 John 4:16-19.
1 John 4:16
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
This is not just an occasional love, but a love that is forever. If we are filled with God’s love to this extent, it will carry from us to others.
1 John 4:17
And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
“Our love grows more perfect”—this verse is not referring to sinless perfection, but mature love marked by confidence in the face of judgment. Confidence is a sign that love is mature.
1 John 4:18
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
The love that builds confidence also banishes fears. We love God and worship him, but we do come to God in love and, at the same time, hide from him in terror (Romans 8:14-15; 2 Timothy 1:7).
Fear is of the devil. Faith is of God. When we are overwhelmed by the love of God for us and our love for God, there is no place for fear. If God loves us, he will take care of us and we have nothing to fear.
1 John 4:19
We love each other because he loved us first.
Jesus taught us how to love when he showed us by example. When he is the foundation of our lives and relationships, we don’t need to fear abandonment or commitment. We can live and love without fear because of our trust in God.
Is there any fear in the foundation on which you’re building your life, or marriage? How can you choose faith over fear today?
If something is causing you to fear, take your eyes off the problem, get them on Jesus. Discuss your fears with your spouse, a trusted family member or Christian friend, or a trained counselor.
Gracious Lord, help me to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Help me to be mindful of what I say both to and about my spouse, shedding fear from our lives. Create in me a pure heart and a pure spirit that seeks to bring good and not bad to those around me. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.
This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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