The first blog post I ever uploaded was on sacrificial love. That is how our heart should be postured towards other people and how we should love them. But today I want to talk about something a bit different. Today I want to talk about expectations and conditional love.
Conditional love is quite literally a love based on conditions (which is any expectation or ‘limit’ you place on others, you will only love them if they don’t push past this limit).
This is something I have struggled with for a long time. Without being consciously aware of it I operated all my relationships (even how I view myself) through conditions. That is if something got hard or if I didn’t get anything out of the relationship I would withdraw my love, time and attention.
This played out in my relationships with my friends and family like this: Whenever they would do something I would find difficult (like an argument that I couldn’t win, or if they struggle with something I struggle with myself) I would leave. Sometimes I literally go and hide in a coffee shop, other times I will not speak to them for a while. I stay around as long as I get something out of it, but as soon as I don’t anymore, I leave.
However, I also have this conditional love towards myself. A couple of months ago, I had this conversation with someone from Church. About how I set ‘deadlines’ for myself to get better and as soon as I ‘miss’ the deadline, I despair and stop giving myself any love.
However as ugly as the above paragraphs are, I think a lot of us can relate in some way.
The good news is, that we are loved with a love that isn’t based on conditions. That will always be there no matter what we do. That will never leave nor forsake us no matter how hard we push him, he will never go.
I may love people with a conditional love (that I am working with Jesus to change that), but Jesus doesn’t.
He doesn’t just love us with a sacrificial love but he loves us with a unconditional love as well. No matter how much we mess up, we can repent and know we are forgiven.
And knowing that we are loved perfectly and unconditionally by Jesus, we can go out into the world showing and loving people with that same love.