“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV
It is so disturbing when you hear about abusive relationships. At some point, that same couple was in love. They cared for each other, then sadly, the abuse begins. It may start as a small thing and build gradually over time, or happen all at once. However, it happens the result is the same, one of the partners lives in constant fear of emotional and physical abuse they will face each day. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.”
In today’s scripture, the author is talking about God’s perfect love for us. Unlike human love, which can start perfect and perversely turn to fear, we have nothing to fear in Christ -- EVER. Not only is Christ not abusive, he willingly gave his own life for us, so that we might have everlasting life. God does not want us to live in fear, put experience his pure love.
Holy Father, we give thanks for your perfect love. Unlike human love that can sometimes turn into relationships of fear and abuse, your love for us is continuous and pure. We pray today for all human relations, but especially for those trapped in abusive relationships. May they feel your love, peace, hope, and the courage to escape. At the same time, we pray for the abusers. May they come to recognize their sins, become truly repentant, and seek your pure love. In the name of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
If you are currently in an abusive relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233.
“NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” The Nation's Leading Grassroots Voice on Domestic Violence, ncadv.org/statistics.