Tomorrow is the long anticipated “Free Candy” day (i.e., Halloween). Whether you choose to celebrate Halloween or not, I think we can all agree that fear is a natural part of the human condition. We all face fears. What frightens us may differ, but we can all empathize with each other. Fear is an all too familiar human emotion.
The first recorded fear experience came in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’” (Genesis 3:9-10, ESV)
Sin entered into the world through one man’s disobedience – and we might as well not be angry with him because we would have failed too – and we have been battling fear ever since.
One of the greatest fears in the world is the fear of rejection – the terror of putting oneself in front of another and being pushed aside. It is understandable. We were created to be social – to have relationships with other people. Sadly, because of sin, so many relationships go sour, leaving people afraid to put their hearts on the line again. Is this you? Do you want to find love, but cannot seem to rip the walls down around your heart?
If so, here are five reasons you may be dragging your feet.
- I have seen too many relationships fail. I just cannot put my heart through that pain. Maybe you grew up in a home that endured much turmoil. Maybe you heard your mom cry herself to sleep night after night. Or, maybe your siblings or friends were hurt repeatedly by someone they loved. Whatever the case, if you have seen loved ones hurt by their significant others, it makes sense that you would have a bad taste in your mouth.
- Giving myself to a relationship means opening up and being vulnerable. Perhaps you have witnessed many successful romances in your day, but you still fear showing your heart to another person. Maybe you do not feel worthy because of past mistakes. Maybe you do not believe anyone would find you sufficient. It could simply be that you are a private person – not accustomed to opening the door to allowing others to your emotions. Dating does require a certain level of vulnerability. Some people jump into it head first and others struggle to open the gate or tear down the walls.
- Being tied down is not my style. What if I get married and lose myself?! Are you an original? Do you love going out on the town and doing whatever you want whenever you want? Marriage could certainly throw a wet towel over that lifestyle. ~smile~ In marriage, you now have another person to consider and your actions affect him or her.
- What if I am not “good enough”? Is there a nagging fear inside of you that says, “I will date someone wonderful, he or she will find out who I really am, and then go looking for someone better.”? If so, you are not alone. This fear annoys the best of us. Rejection, after all, is one of the most common fears on the planet. We were built to love and be loved.
- What if a relationship interferes with my goals? Have you seen too many friends get married and then ditch their dreams for a mini-van and house in the suburbs? Have you been present at the union of multiple couples and also present later during the hell of their divorces? Does marriage seem like the death of a lot of dreams? The spousal support sounds appealing, but the cost seems too high? Marriage does not necessarily have to interfere with goals – although it may (and sometimes, it turns out to be for the best).
Can you relate to any of these concerns? If you are currently single, is it because you have not met the right man or woman? Do you look forward to your wedding day? Or, are you fighting the idea of marriage? If so, why do you think that is?
If you are not interested in marriage because you have so much else you want to do with your life, that is okay. (Seriously, it is.) Married Christians are no better in God’s kingdom than unmarried Christians. And, once God calls His people home, none of us will be married (except to Him). ~smile~
If you are fighting off marriage, is it because you are not ready for it, or is it because you feel a crippling fear of the process? The dating. The questions. The wondering what he or she is thinking. The knowledge that you may invest time and energy in someone who may ultimately choose another path.
All of these concerns are 100% understandable. All I really want to say today is that someone understands and you are not alone in the struggle. You do not have to look far to find someone else battling these same fears.
If you are hiding from love out of fear, I would encourage you to take one step – just one – into your fear. Go to a singles event. Ask to sit with the pretty girl at lunch. Speak to the handsome mystery man at work. Once you conquer one small step, conquer another… and then another. Even if you only gain a few good friendships from your efforts, that is still priceless!
I hate fear. It has ruled me for far too long. Do not let it rob you of a long and fulfilling relationship. End fear week with a bang. Do something out of the ordinary – even if all you do is say “hello” to someone you find interesting who you have never talked to before.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV)
Has fear robbed you of the opportunity to make a love connection?