Relationships are inherently risky. And our potential for harm goes up the closer we get to each other. Strangers might make us mad, but this generally doesn’t cut as deep as the betrayal of someone close to us. But while we cannot eliminate this risk altogether, it’s maturing in love that begins to expel all fears.
To be sure, fear is often operating in the background of most of our relationships.
For instance, early in dating part of the excitement is entering the unknown, and this naturally also entails fears of rejection. Likewise, a lot of the performance anxiety in sex is connected to the fears of being inadequate or otherwise incompetent. And this is why casual sex is often easier than making love with our wife – because her judgment of us carries much more weight and significance. And this is also why we keep certain thoughts, dreams, and fantasies to ourselves – not wanting to face the fear and potential shame of exposure.
Most days we don’t think much about our fears and we can live a pretty good life even with them playing in the background.
But occasionally life happens and we must decide if we’re willing to take our relationship to the next level or not. And this is where we must continue maturing in love to overcome and expel our fears.
In perfect love there is nothing to fear. We can be fully seen – the good, the bad, and the ugly – without any dread of being condemned or shamed. And instead we’re fully accepted and delighted in at the core of our being.
Of course, God is love and the only one perfect in love. For our part, we’re always growing and perfecting our love. This means we will likely always have some lingering fears to deal with. But as we mature we can expel more and more and enjoy the peace and confidence that comes with true and mature love.
In the end, relational fears provide an opportunity to continue perfecting your love – growing in your capacity to fully know each other without any doubts of being shamed or rejected.