There is No Fear in Love
I’ve always been passionate. Passion for me spills over into just about everything I do. I cook with passion, trying to improve each recipe. I write with passion, about the things I really care about. I speak with passion and I am easily charged about things I deem right or wrong. I am raising nine passionate kids and they have an opinion about everything they deem right or wrong, too. Unfortunately for me, somewhere in the mid-teen years, some of my beautiful children have decided that most of what I say is wrong and all of what their friends say is right.
So it overwhelmed my heart with joy to hear the interaction from my college-aged daughter’s speech and debate class. Her passion led her to stand up for abstinence and when her instructor asked, “Who is your example?” she passionately stated that she was. When my son recently came home from college he was passionate about all that he was learning and I see a new zeal for Christ in him.
I now have four kids off preparing for life and career. My new oldest at home are three girls (less than three years apart) who are passionately growing in PMS, hormones, and teenaged self-centeredness.
Recently it was getting real close to one of my girls’ birthdays and I knew we needed to prepare for her party. I approached her and said, “We need to prepare for your birthday. But no slumber party this year.” She not-so-gently told me that I always squelched everything she wanted to do and that she would just ask her daddy. Now, I don’t know how you would have reacted, but the passion in me was asking me to get up and turn over the chair she was sitting in.
It took everything that was in me to deny my passion at that moment.
As I tried to sleep that night, I remembered that Jesus was persecuted, mocked, spat on, and crucified by those that felt that he was wrong though everything about Him was right. He could have come down off that cross and flipped every taunting voice off their feet, silencing them by death. But our Savior instead asked God to forgive them.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
My sweet daughter and I talked the next day; both of us having had adequate time to cool off our passions. Passion has its place, but passion should never cause the ones we love to fear us.
There have been many times I have so desired to “put the fear of God” in my children by doing something so fierce that they would fear me. Yes, fear may bring compliance for a little while, but I am more concerned with my children’s heart for Christ.
I thank God for His truth. True love will always look for ways to forgive.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.