Modern science confirms the truth of the Scripture: ‘There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear.’ Love and fear are incompatible; they can’t co-exist. Children have several basic needs. Two important ones are:
(1) A need to explore. That’s how they learn, grow and develop.
(2) A need to feel safe. If they don’t feel secure, they won’t explore. Every human being needs a secure base from which to investigate and grow.
Research confirms that, generally speaking, one parent more than the other will push a child to take chances, run risks and learn that a little danger is a good thing, while the other parent tends to be the comforter, the soother, the safety net. But the truth is any parent can give a child both gifts. When we’re afraid, our body activates its sympathetic nervous system. Our heart races, our breathing becomes faster and shallower and our muscles tense up. So we run to our non-anxious presence: our comforter, protector and parent. And as we are held, reassured and loved, the parasympathetic system takes over. Our heart rate slows, our breathing becomes deep and even, our muscles relax and blood flows back to our brain. In essence, a little voice inside us says, ‘I can go out and face the world again.’
It’s a fact in the physical realm that ‘perfect love casts out fear.’ And it’s also true in the spiritual realm. With a God who is tender enough to love and comfort us, yet strong enough to be our rock and our fortress, we can face what life throws at us and grow stronger as a result.