What is perfect love? It seems reasonable for the beloved disciple to be the only one to write about perfect love (1 John 4:18). I have been curious about this descriptive term for much of my life.
Perfect love is not where a relationship starts. As a teenager, I remember my mother brushing off any crush I had as ‘puppy love.’ I distinctly remember being irritated by those words at the time. Equally irritating is the understanding over time that she was right.
Perfect love is not even a love that comes mid-term in a relationship. There is no question that love in a relationship is perfected over time when allowed, denoting a process.
What is Perfect Love?
Perfect love is a love containing no doubt of reprisals in the relationship, which takes time to develop.
There is a temperament called “Supine,” which is motivated by the promise of reward and the fear of punishment. These dueling motivating forces can be very challenging.
John references a fear of punishment. It is this fear that is dispelled by perfect love. But when does the dispelling of the fear take place?
I have met with many who questioned their faith in God because they wonder how God’s love can be in them if there is fear present? Something must be wrong with them. So, their relationship with God contains doubt, which negatively impacts that and other relationships.
Doubt in any relationship is a destructive force. And, where there is doubt, there is a lack of trust. And, love does not flourish in an atmosphere of distrust.
Perfect love is a love that comes to fruition at the end of the relationship. It is a mature love that takes a lifetime to develop.
Don’t focus on your human imperfections. Instead, focus on the perfectness of God. Trust in the Lord. Have faith in His Word.
When you come to the end of your journey, the promise is, the perfect love of God will have dispelled all fear of punishment, leaving only the promise of reward.
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