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Fear fuels separation and division. It highlights our vulnerabilities and we respond by putting barriers between us and others. But these barriers also choke out our ability to love. Eros, our desire for union and connection, allows us to overcome our suspicion and remove the dividing wall of fear so prevalent throughout our life and relationships.

When Adam was hiding from God in the garden, he said he hid because he was naked and afraid. His fear of being exposed and vulnerable motivated him to separate from God rather than draw closer to him. But God, as infinite love, was still motivated to draw near to him. And now, through Christ, we get to have our full access and union with God restored as well.

All the same, this tension between fear and eros still plays out in much of our lives.

On the one hand, we’re more prone to be defensive or attack others when we’re motivated by fear. Even when there’s not a clear threat, we’re ever suspicious and quick to assume others are out to get us. And we react accordingly. For instance, whether it’s our wife, neighbor, or coworker, we’re less likely to give the benefit of the doubt or seek common ground when fear has gotten the best of us.

On the other hand, Eros fuels our desires to connect with all that’s true, good, and beautiful in life and in each other. And this allows us to imagine, cultivate, and pursue meaningful connections. Rather than being afraid, suspicious, and withdrawing, we become genuinely curious and draw near – assuming there is true good yet to be discovered.

To be fair, fear has its place as we don’t live in Mayberry. But our heart attitudes should not be dominated by fear. Hatred, division, and darkness are the result when this is the case.

In the end, don’t let fear keep you defensive, isolated, and alone. Let eros stir your heart toward deeper connection and the beauty that comes through genuine bonds of love.

Photo by Quinton Coetzee on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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