I think it is important to define what love is. Especially perfect love.
Agape: Unconditional Love. Love that God has for humanity, His people, and His son Jesus. This is never changing, never moving love. This is love of action. It causes things to happen and to change. This agape love is rare and powerful. It is perfect.
Phileo: Brotherly love. This type of love is based on commitment, but it changes. There has to be reciprocation with this love. A balance of give and take. This is living in community and grinding out the daily living together. This can be broken and shattered.
Eros: This is erotic love. Love that is based on external cues and desires. This is the type of love we get while dating or in the beginning of romance. This is an I NEED you sort of love. This love is based on emotion and changes regularly. This love can cut and wound.
So when we talk about love in our culture it can be confusing. I love pizza for example, is drastically different than the love I have for my wife. I love football is different than the love I have for my best friend. Jesus loves you this I know is a way different type of love than the love we receive while growing up.
These ideas and definitions of love are important because they are the deep rooted belief systems that shape the way we feel and act on a daily basis. At some point all of our versions of love get shattered. They break and break us. Love as we understand it and experience it becomes scary and unsafe. When we as humans become unsafe we resort to all kinds of unhealthy coping strategies. The broken edges of our past leave us with cuts and scars that run very deep and in most cases still remain very raw.
This is when fear starts to bubble up. It starts to tell you things that are not true; You are alone, You are not good enough, You are ugly, You deserve this, You should have been better, stronger, smarter, Everyone is out to get you, Everyone will hurt you, Everyone is against you. This isn’t the fear that you get when you watch a scary movie or when you get surprised. This is a bone deep, dread that steals you very breath and takes your energy. This stops you from following your dreams of being in a relationship. Of becoming a parent. Of taking that class or getting that degree. Of taking healthy risks. This fear becomes anxiety and depression and in some cases leads to self harm or suicide.
At CDC we have the ability and the honor to walk along side people and fight their fears. We do this by accepting that fear is a liar. This is is not of God. We do this by first accepting the truth about ourselves. That we are loved and that we are safe. We accept this truth so that we can pass it on to others. We love our clients with the love that God has given us. We do not look at them with judgement or condemnation. We do not see them as a problem to fix or a crazy person to deal with. This type of love cast out fear. We want people to feel valued and heard. We want people to be able to tell their stories and rewrite them in a way that is healing and restorative.
We know that love is a sacrifice and comes from a servants heart. We know that love can be risky. We want to help people to learn to love in effective and healthy way. To accept love in a safe space so that they can be comfortable in their own ways of loving. Mostly, we want agape love to change hearts and minds. To be so pervasive that you cannot help but to go out from our offices and share that love with others in order to change to world. There is a lot of darkness in our world, but with every session and every step there is more light. Every family that finds healing, every marriage restored, every trauma that is weeded out is one more person that finds contentment and happiness in things that are internal and not external. This light shines so brightly and this type of love purifies. This love cast out fear.
If you are afraid today, reach out. We are in the business of loving and walking along side people so that we can all experience this type of love in Shreveport/Bossier.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18