As we enter the Christmas season, I begin begging my husband to watch “just one more Hallmark show” with me. While I know which parts of the movies I love and which movies are my all-time favorites, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the one simple truth that draws me in to each show – the one element that unifies the favorites for me. In the November 4th premiere of Marrying Father Christmas, Margaret wisely tells Ian “You are fearless with your love.” That’s it. In every one of these movies that makes its way into my heart, I hunt for the character who is fearless with his love – the one whose love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I don’t know about you, but for me, loving someone can often be a crazy, scary mess. Having someone love me often feels the same – like it demands more of me than I can handle. Yet, I want to be fearless with my love, and I want others to love me so much that it makes them fearless in return. How can we turn the crazy messy love into miracles? Here is what I’ve discovered: the right kind of love is a superpower that creates courage and bravery. It is a power rooted in grace and truth. When grace and truth overflow, the result is a love that knows no bounds.
I think about my two precious boys. To supply them with unearned blessing and never correct them would leave them entitled, spoiled, and perpetually unsatisfied. If we supply them only with the harsh realities of life, or the honest-to-goodness truth devoid of grace, we risk the chance of raising two cynical and sad individuals. There must be a balance, and in that balance true love blossoms.
We are often reminded to “speak the truth in love.” In other words, we must speak honestly and openly with those we love, but do so out of an outpouring of the love we have for them. Our thoughts, words, and actions must be grace-filled, no matter the truth they contain. For, in blessing others with grace upon grace and truth in love, we build a trust that is unbreakable. Others are able to trust our word, trust our actions, and trust our integrity. When we trust someone implicitly, and when they trust us in return, there is no fear of failure or hurt. Thus, we create a bond of love that is truly fearless.
I want to to be fearless with my love, to love with abandon, without thought of negative consequences or of getting something in return. I want to love through the good and the bad. I want to love and be loved fearlessly.
I look into the eyes of my two beautiful sons, and I see love that is fearless. They run to me with abandon, arms open wide and smiles spreading across their faces like glorious rays of sunshine. On the first day of school, when their little legs shiver with nervousness, they slip their hands in mine and squeeze tight. In that one touch, I love them fearlessly right back. It is their trust in me even through my imperfect mothering, that grows this most powerful of loves.
I rest my hand on my husband’s shoulder as he sleeps in the recliner in the corner of the living room and my thoughts drift back to the day I stood at the end of the church aisle, in a creamy white wedding dress. As I stood there, my soul sang at the sight of tears streaming down my almost-husband’s face. I’m pretty sure it was fearless love that got me down that aisle without tripping on my dress and falling flat on my face.
When did you last feel that way, as though you loved someone so much that you could face anything with that person by your side? As I add another Hallmark movie to my “to record” list, I realize why so many of us fall in love with the characters and the romance of these movies. There is an innate desire in each of us to love fearlessly and to be loved fearlessly by others.
1 John 4:18 says 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.” We all desire that perfect love that is abundantly gracious but sees us for who we really are and for who we can be. So, we must remember that where grace and truth abide together, we will find a trust that makes love our superpower.