How to Find Perfect Love
“Perfect love casts out all fear, for fear hath torment. And he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:18
We are created in the image of God and designed to have intimate relationships bound in love. I guess it would be safe to say we are created with a “need” to love, and be loved.
As an infant, the first time we are touched and held by our parent, our initial experience with physical love is activated. But, only for a moment. At the stage of infancy, the ability to hold-on to love has not been fully established. The ability to hold-on when someone says they are holding you is what we label as trust. Just as a baby will continue to cry until he/she learns how to trust, we as adults will continue to whine and complain until we mature and learn to trust God completely.
We first learn to trust through loving, nurturing parents. Since they are our first source of nurturing, we begin to trust them as a source of comfort and “love”. We trust them to return, even when they are away for a day. Once trust has been established, they can be away for longer periods of time and we still feel secure and loved. Their continual flow of love keeps our hearts soft and open to trusting.
Unfortunately, some people never fully experience that sense of trust. A lack of love due to neglect, rejection or abuse is painful and causes emotions to shut down and their heart begins to harden. Each time pain is felt, a stone is formed in the heart. After a period of time, the stones form a wall around the heart for protection against further pain. A person with a stony heart has a difficult time receiving love from God or others – and also have a tough time offering love to others. Relationships are difficult, and unfortunately, the very thing that is needed to heal the pain is blocked out.
We all have areas of our heart that are stony due to the fact that we all have been hurt when love did not flow properly from early relationships in our lives. Sometimes parents are unable to provide the relationship and unconditional love that helps build a soft, trusting heart. Perhaps their own struggles caused them to have a hardened heart – and unable to love properly.
The fact is, as adults we need to understand that our example of love is Jesus Christ. Through him our hearts can be softened in order to love others. Regardless of hurts or lack of trust from early relationships, by opening our hearts to Christ we can love through hurts and disappointments.
Ask God for His perfect love to fill you; for God is the only one who has perfect love, (I John 4:18).
Imperfect love hurts; perfect love heals.