One morning each week my 10-year-old daughter and I do a bible study together. I was disappointed when for the second week in a row she wasn’t 'in the mood'. Fear overcame me as my mind raced with questions like, "Why am I even letting her say no? Don’t I have the upper hand on this decision? Is she running away from God? How can she be the best she can for God when she doesn’t even want to spend 20 minutes with him?"
With a frustrated tone, I told her to go to her room to journal about how inappropriate her attitude was. Even though she listened, I instantly felt the loss in my heart. Fear separated my love for her by dictating how she ‘should be’ behaving.
Although we experience fear, the bible tells us
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
I was so thankful God immediately showed me that my response was out of fear and not love. As I considered how different my response would’ve been had it been made out of love, I recognized I made the wrong decision and apologized. She thankfully forgave me and together we held each other on the couch as we watched our favorite worship videos.
A loving response helped me to remember she could experience God in many more ways than just one. Maybe it wasn’t my first choice for her, yet there was something we could do together that would still grow her relationship with God.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…
1 Timothy 1:7
In any situation, our response will be rooted in either fear or love. When fear overcomes you and your response is anything but love, ask God to show you how you can better demonstrate his love. Perfect love comes from God alone.