Does fear and​ love go together?

“I was always walking on eggshells, I was never settled. I had to make sure that the food was ready to serve as soon as he walked in, that his favourite TV channel was on and that not one thing was out of place. Otherwise, there would be hell to pay!” Lola* told me. She had lived in fear and constant uneasy in her home for over two decades.

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She continued on narrating her daily ordeal as our coffee grew cold and forgotten. It felt as though we were on our own planet, the café bursting full of people faded into the background. “I was always worried that if I got home five minutes late from work, worried that if I spent time with my friends, or did not jump up immediately when asked to do something that there would be a price to pay. Most times there was. I was a prisoner of fear.” The cost of disobeying him, as he liked to put it, would range from a torrent of emotional abuse, destroying her possessions or putting his hands on her.

According to the book, The Five Love Languages, referenced Here, there are many ways of expressing love. One of them is the Act of Service, which includes catering to the needs and wants of your partner. An example of this Love Language is cooking his favourite dish, making sure the house is spotless and the like. It is a great way of expressing your love, and it only becomes an issue if you do those things out of fear of punishment or the price you will pay for not doing them correctly. 1 John 4:18 states that,There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

The verse reminded me of a story I read a long time ago about burnt biscuits. I am not sure who is the original author of the story, and it was widely circulated in the past. Here it is:

“When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

This story demonstrates grace in a relationship. Nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes we burn biscuits, but you should be able to serve them up without fear of punishment and in turn be able to accept your partner’s burnt biscuits.

If you find yourself always worried about his or her reaction to certain actions and situations, or you are always walking on eggshells, then you need to take a closer look at your relationship and evaluate it. You can also take this Quiz to help you out.

Until next time remember that there is no room for fear in Love. 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the individual. 

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