We may sometimes be disappointed when someone's love for us doesn't seem as perfect as we had hoped it was or as lasting as we'd been assured it would be. On the other hand, do we fault our own ability to love, and fear that our love for a friend, a child, a parent or partner, might not be strong enough?
Under such circumstances "perfect love" may sound like an impossible ideal or an adolescent dream. "No one's love is perfect," one might say. "So is there any practical purpose in discussing it?"
Yes, a very practical purpose. The Bible, an authority on the subject of love, assures us, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." n1 And it further illumines mankind's path to understanding love through John's revelation, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and god in him." n2
n1 I John 4:18.
n2 v. 16.
We dwell in God, Love, through prayerful communion with Him and by conforming our lives to the model Christ Jesus has given us in the Sermon on the Mount. To dwell in this omnipotent, never-failing presence precludes fear. Why? Because our thoughts and feelings and lives are brought into accord with God's constant goodness and perfect government.
Love isn't merely an attribute of God, as John perceived, but His actual nature and being. To the degree that the consciousness of His nature dawns within us, it dawns in our lives and relationships.
he yearning for perfect love can be realized in better and more satisfying relationships. The more deeply we desire, and strive, to understand our inseparable relationship with perfect Love, God, the more clearly we'll see it expressed in tangible, practical terms. Man, as created by God, ism inseparable from Him, is His satisfied spiritual image, as the Bible clearly indicates in its earliest pages. The demand is to prove that fact, and we can do so with joy.
Inevitable changes in the human scene lead us to look toward infinite, perfect Love for stability and security. Disappointments brought about by earthly physical yearnings eventually compel us to look to a higher source for genuine love.
Is this more spiritual orientation abstract? Does it mean we no longer want or need the love of others in our day-to-day lives?
By no means! Yet, there is nothing more comforting and invigorating than to actually feelm the reality of God's love. All truly valuable relationships reflect something of it. The more closely our aims and motives pattern the divine, the more stable and truly satisfying our relationships will be.
Fears and insecurities, as well as possessiveness, will be excluded from our love as we recognize they are no part of perfect Love. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it." n3
n1 I John 4:48;
n2 v. 16;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 57.m
We may well have to work patiently to express love more unselfishly in our thoughts, words, and actions. We may need to be more willing to nurture in ourselves and others such qualities as humility and trust in God in order to see them bloom into spiritually based relationships. But as we do, we'll gain a clearer sense of our actual selfhood, satisfied in God's likeness. o matter what disappointments or fears suggest, when we sincerely turn to God for love, we'll find it, and he able to share it in increasing measure. Our relationships with others will grow better and happier as our understanding of God and of our relationship with Him grows stronger and deeper. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 1:21