So here’s a new blog- what’s the deal? What is this going to be about, and what can readers expect? What do I mean by “Love Without Fear”?
Quite simply, my life has changed over the last several years, and this blog is an attempt to share the great benefits of the work God has done in my life. I’ve gone from a damaging marriage, to a broken spirit, to a healing man, to an empowered believer with confidence and strength. Along the way God has done great things to me and through me. When I thought I was alone, he brought me to A Cry For Justice and I learned that I was not the only one hurt by the evangelical church. I also learned that I didn’t have to give up my evangelical faith to gain freedom. But God wasn’t done with me yet. He had even more ahead of me.
For a long time I lived in fear. Even once I was out of my destructive marriage, I worried that if I didn’t believe the right things or have the right public image, people would reject me. I’d already been judged enough by Christians when I divorced, I didn’t want those who still accepted me to abandon me when they got to know the real me. I didn’t even realize I was in fear, but looking back I see how it crippled me. I kept quiet when I disagreed and tried my best to go along.
And then I met someone.
This is not a “you complete me” post or anything like that. She was not my savior and I work very hard to never put anyone in that position. But she did give me a gift, a gift I will always treasure: she was (and is) “for” me. She accepts me and gives me room to work out all of my struggles. Suddenly, no matter what happens, I know I have someone in my corner. That makes all the difference in the world.
I’ve believed in the Gospel as long as I’ve known what it was: that because God loved me he sent Jesus to free me from the effects of death and sin. That is the content of the Gospel and it is good news indeed. But I’ve only known the effects of this acceptance in a limited fashion until now. And then recently, in his mercy God has provided someone to allow me to experience that kind of grace in a flesh and blood, tangible way. How good he is.
My soon-to-be-wife is not a perfect woman, and I am certainly not a perfect man. She injures me from time to time, as I injure her. But whatever has come along, she has been behind me, accepting the rough bits and encouraging the good bits. She has been Jesus with skin on, because ultimately it is Jesus who has accepted me as I am. I cannot tell you what that does. It gives me strength like I’ve never known before.
She and I have had so many positive, encouraging discussions. We’ve talked about boundaries, relationships, John Lennon’s “Imagine” and countless other topics. We’ve disagreed about big church vs small church and we’ve wrestled with sermon’s together. And through all of it, I come out a better man. I am encouraged as I get to explore and be refined while we bump up against one another in our thoughts and ideas.
And there is SO much life here that I just cannot keep it inside. We can’t keep it contained to just the two of us. We are experiencing a freedom that is in no-way beholden to a romantic relationship- the basis of our joy is acceptance and encouragement, not romance. (the romance is great too- I just don’t think anyone wants to read a blog about it!) And so I want to share what we’ve experienced with whoever needs that kind of life. I hope for what God has graced us with to spill out into the pages of this blog.
The result of the Gospel should be a love without fear. We should be confident that we are accepted and loved, and as Christians it is our duty to live that out for one another. I don’t have all the answers, and finding some of them will be the work of this blog. But if there’s anything I want people to know, it’s this: there is such thing as love without fear, and you can experience it. Better yet, you can give it. You can be Jesus to those around you by accepting them and allowing them to be who they are, wherever they are on the journey of sanctification.