“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
I was reading this morning in 1 John. I just don't read that book enough. But today it stood out so clearly to me. Ever have those moments where you can read something several times, and then all of a sudden a light goes off and there is clear understanding?
In reading 1John 4:7-19. I was actually reading all of it, but this one part really caused me to pause and think.
It starts out with "beloved, let us love one another"....
Then in verse 16, "And we have come to know, and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.
The part: "And we have come to know" stood out. How have we come to know? Through our relationship in Christ. He drew us close to himself and lavished his love on us, and we have come to know it.
In 1John 4:10 it says, In this is love, NOT that we loved GOD, but that He loved us and sent His son...."; and then 1John 4:19 says, "We love, because He first loved us."
Romans 5:8 says, "God DEMONSTRAES his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Is anybody seeing a pattern here? A model if you will for parenting our children?
If we are to follow Christ's example to us in our parenting, there will not be fear, because perfect love casts out fear. Our love for our children will make them feel safe and secure.
We will not cause them to question our love for them, but we will demonstrate our love to them. Even when they are not responding to us, or are so fearful they are acting out... we continue to demonstrate that unconditional love to them, and as they learn to ABIDE in our love, and come to know and trust us, they will then no longer act in fear of punishment, or fear of being cast out, but they will respond in a new and perfected way. They will respond in recriprocal love.
Of course, we are not perfect and therefore do not parent perfectly. However, I believe we can seek the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, praying for wisdom and direction, and God will grant that to us.
While God has no need to apologize to us, as He is perfect, there are probably many times we need to apologize to our children. :) I know some of the sweetest times I have with my kids is after I have not responded perfectly, and I ask them to forgive me. This gives them opportunity to show unconditional love to me in a reciprocal fashion, and helps them learn to forgive.
I am so Glad that God Loved me, before I loved Him. I am so glad that I have His words to abide in. I am so GLAD we have access to the scripture, for study, for reproof, for instruction. What a treasure it is.