Yes… it is. With all due respect, don’t try to convince me otherwise.
Think about it. How can your love NOT be conditional? Since the apple issue in the Garden, nothing here on earth is perfect… including our ability to love.
I love my husband. He is a gift, and a saint to deal with what I can dish at times… believe me. But as much as I love him and want to spend my mortal life with him, I know there are things he could do to make me question my ability to love him. (Of course that is where forgiveness comes in to play, but I’ll save that for another post)
And then there are my kids… Sam and Sara. In raw honesty, I sometimes find it’s easier to love them “when” or “if” or “because.” Don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely ADORE my babies and if you threaten them, you’ll get momma bear, and that ain’t pretty. But I have come to understand that while I have a baseline love for them, there are conditions to the depth of my love at any given time.
I’m sure if you were to really spend time dissecting your life and your relationships, you would have no choice but to agree we are flawed-lovers who can do nothing to stop our ability to love… with conditions.
Let me back this up with scripture.
Genesis 37:3-4… Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Conditional Love.
1 Samuel 1:4-5… Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her… Conditional Love.
But look at this…
Romans 5:8…But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Unconditional Love.
Get this. WHILE we were in our pits of sin… and rebellion… and hatred… and pride… and selfishness… He sent His ONLY son to die for us. We didn’t have to do anything. Be anything. Act any acceptable way. Hard to wrap my brain around that one.
God sets the bar high, eh?
So maybe, since scripture tells us that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us, we should take Him up on His offer/promise.
On those days when we are struggling to love someone… and since we have the Holy Spirit living in us and therefore can tap into that divine power… why not ask God to give us the ability to love that person with a love we are humanly incapable of giving?
What’s amazing about His divine love is that it is full of mercy and grace and forgiveness (along with others things) and we – as Christ-followers – have the chance to experience it.
Go on… tap into it!