You cannot love if you fear! That’s my quote and I know it to be true.
Fear causes you to run away, to want to protect yourself at all costs, to withdraw, to hide away – to negotiate with any and every sort of “what-if” scenario that crosses your mind.
Negotiating every and any what-if scenario in your mind, leaving behind a legacy of fear in your heart, your emotions, in your soul means that you are not living in the real world – you are not extending your heart in love, you are not reaching out, touching, connecting, making contact. You are withholding, drawing in, hiding away in fear.
The Bible tells us not to fear 365 times. So, for each day of the year, God is telling us to not fear. Do not fear. And why is that? Because fear holds us back. It kills the drive to move forward, to connect, to reach out.
How can you truly love your spouse if you’re hiding away in fear?
The answer? You can’t. You can love your spouse to a point, but to truly move freely in the world that exists between you and your spouse in love and grace – that you can’t do if you’re carting fear around with you.
So, how do you love without fear?
Firstly, I think, is to realise that you are perfectly loved. God loved you so much that He gave His son to die for you – so that if you believed, you will spend eternity in glory. Even those parts of you that you don’t like, or are ashamed of, you are completely and perfectly loved. In fact, not only are you loved, God thinks you’re wonderful – He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Once you accept that you are loved, it is easier – I think – to reach out in love.
You cannot give what you don’t have. So, accept God’s love, accept that you are loved, then reach out in love.
Then get rid of fear. This isn’t easy to do – as I can assure you I have walked this path and I am continuing to walk this path. But, in order to love freely, and to give freely, and to move within your marriage freely and with grace, you need to get rid of fear. You need to know that God doesn’t tell us 365 times in His word not to fear for no good reason. He tells us this because fear will take away from our faith. If we fear – we don’t have faith.
Why is it such a hindrance? Because fear is the opposite of faith. When we focus on our fear rather than having faith in God to deliver us from evil, we are much more likely to lose the battle for sexual and emotional integrity. How can we focus on what we know God will do when we think we are doomed? Such lack of faith says to God, “Even though you’ve carried me this far, you are probably going to fail me now, aren’t you?” Overcoming our fear and exercising our faith says to God, just as David did in Psalm 9:9-10, “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” – See more at: http://www.shannonethridge.comEmphasis mine
What worked for me, may not work for you – but I want to love my husband perfectly. I want to work towards attaining the perfect love, even as I know I will never reach that perfection, I want to work towards that. Only God can truly love us perfectly. But, for me, it is worth doing the hard work of getting rid of fear in order to love freely.
My first strategy was to change my thoughts – get rid of toxic thinking and embrase God’s thinking.
In my last post, we chatted about anxiety equating to unbelief, or rather a belief in all the horrors that this life has to offer. Instead of believing the good, you believe the bad – and thereby start expecting bad things to happen. So, clearly, the first step is to then change what you believe. And the best way to change what you believe is to start believing in something – or someone. Becoming a Christian won’t take away anxiety or fear or depression, but it is the first step in believing in a God who only has our best interests at heart, who loves us, who knows the number of hairs on your head. And even if you never take another step after this, this has to be the most important step to take. God loves you. He wants what is best for you. And battling fear and anxiety isn’t part of His plan. Taking this first step is acknowledging that your current belief system isn’t working and forming a relationship with God who only wants what is best for you is moving towards changing that belief system. The second step is to challenge what you currently believe – what thoughts or fears are giving rise to your anxiety? As Joyce Meyer says, “doubt your doubts”. And how do we do this? Well, we go to the source of all truth – God’s word. Worried about eating or not-eating? Well, the Bible tells us not to worry about what we will eat or drink. Baby Mamas Blog
This is what worked for me – I challenged myself. I challenged my doubts, those ‘what-if’ voices in my head. I looked at reality and decided to believe that God says more than what thoughts were running rampant in my head.
Then I decided to believe what God said about marriage, my husband, sex – and every time I felt (or still do feel) fear, I turn to God’s word. His promises and His word have stood the test of time and I choose to believe Him instead of my toxic thinking. Love freely given, can be freely received. Love freely received, can be freely given.
If you want to move to greater and deeper intimacy with your spouse, get rid of fear. And toxic thinking.
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You / Intimacy -The Good, The Bad and The Ugly