There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. I John 4:18
I recently had a conversation with a client about codependency and how that differs from a more mature kind of loving relationship. The Bible says that “perfect love casts out fear”. I take this to mean that “perfect love” is secure. One does not need to worry about that kind of love failing or going away. That mature kind of love is secure because it will not be withheld or withdrawn when there is an argument or disagreement.
Codependent love tries to mold another into something for the good of the lover. Love becomes an appendage that reflects rather than builds up. Threats and fear are not in the equation of real love. If there is a hint of bondage, that “I love you because I fear losing love”, it may be codependency.
Indeed, sacrifice and encouragement are the hallmarks of the mature love. None of us are perfect at love, just as we are not perfect in anything. Yet we are called by God to “love our neighbor as ourselves”- a very high calling and impossible to do without supernatural help.
God’s love for us is unconditional, secure, and not dependent on our good behavior.
That is certainly reassuring, right?
Prayer: Father, you show us real love, and we often miss the mark with our own, Amen