“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:24-25)
In these two verses from Genesis we have a picture of the ideal human relationship in perfect unity (one flesh), complete vulnerability (both naked) and absolute trust with no fear of judgement (no shame). It is a portrait of perfect love.
The most beautiful thing we can ever experience is to be fully known by someone else, and at the same time feel totally and completely safe with them knowing us. Of course, no-one one ever truly knows us fully – except God, but many human relationships closely reflect this wonderful ideal.
Relationships, whether marriages, familial relationships or friendships, bless us the most when each person is not afraid to share themselves and feel totally safe with the other. This is a reflection of true love, because in true love, the Bible tells us, “there is no fear.” The Bible goes on to say, “perfect love drives out fear” and, “The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Martin Luther King said, “There can be no deep disappointment where there is no deep love”. And that is because the more we are known by someone else, the more of ourselves we put at risk. Deep love risks much…to gain even more.
Sometimes, we mistakenly doubt the good intentions of those who rebuke us out of love and concern. Sometimes, we bring emotional baggage to relationships that won’t allow us to trust. Conversely, sometimes we don’t perpetuate an atmosphere of trust in our relationships because we are manipulative, judgmental or condescending. The underlying principle in all such examples is we haven’t allowed ‘perfect love’ to ‘drive out fear.’ Instead, we are bound by fear. Fear cannot trust, and therefore, cannot truly love.
Sometimes we also fear God inappropriately. Does He really care about me? Is He really in control like he says? Is He truly good? Does He truly have my interests at heart? In the Scriptures God has answered with an emphatic “Yes” to all our doubts.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
For Prayer and Reflection: Is your relationship with God free of fear? What about your closest human relationships? Is your love for others free of fear? Pray that God will lead you into ‘perfect love’ for Him and others.
For Further Reading: Genesis 2:19-25