To better know love, we need to understand love, fear and hate. This improves our discernment. In the process, we can receive love better, we can be loved better, we can start enjoying the richness and resplendent facets of love, far more precious than any diamond sold by even Sotheby’s.
What does the Bible say about love? Fear and hate?
The Bible says God is love. The Bible says that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Here fear of God is a desirable quality. The Bible also says to fear only God, not to fear man.
Fear of a parent can separate the child from the parent. A possible scenario is when a parent is indiscriminately violent with the child every day month after month. A student can also fear a teacher who is abusive and inconsiderate all through the year. In both these cases there is a separation, a desire from the child or student to stay away from the presence of the parent or teacher.
The Bible speaks of desirable fear, which builds the relationship between God and mankind. This fear is due to the awe and glory of God. It’s a fear of God which draws us to obey God, obey his law and commandments. A reverential fear, a fear birthed from love wanting to please God for His abundant grace and multitude of his mercies.
When love between a parent and a child matures, it reaches a stage where the child does not fear the parent, but out of the immeasurable love the child’s only desire is to please the parent. Only a child capable of receiving the immeasurable love of the parent can cast away all fear, yet please the parent doing good, all by the perfect love from the parent.
We have this verse from 1 John 4:18 which articulates the above situation well. “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.”
Examining love and hate
Loving something implies hating the contrary something else. If you want to be disciplined, you should hate indiscipline. Only then your love for discipline gets reiterated and grows. If you love light, you should be able to hate darkness. If you love joy, you should find it difficult to hate sorrow.
Majority of adults would agree with this verse from Proverbs about their childhood. Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. —Proverbs 13:24 Whereas children going through their childhood may not easily understand this.
As we love the Lord, we love what He loves, hate what He hates. Psalms 97:10 states, ‘You who love the Lord, hate evil.’
Romans 12:9 states, ‘Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.’
Oh how we wish each day to be richer, richer in knowing the Love of the greatest lover of all, greatest valentine of all, Jesus Christ who loved each and every one of us with His life.
But one thing we know, even our ignorance, or anything can not separate us from the love of God. But should we wait, delay our knowing His love, should we not be richer even when it is today, richer in His love.
Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ( Ref. Romans 8:35-39)