Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Is love unconditional?

Is there such a thing? People say that a mother's love is unconditional or God's love is unconditional. Unconditional love meaning love that has no expectations, love that just gives without accepting anything in return.

I have had countless arguments with people when they say that there is such a thing as unconditional and used to be told to wait till I was a mother to experience this phenomenon.

Well, I waited but still haven't reached any such conclusion. I feel a love for Aleyna beyond anything I have ever felt for anyone but then she is such a joy to me. Her smile when she sees my face in the morning literally makes my heart melt. But I still can't say it's unconditional as she give me love in return. I live for the new things she does and how she's growing a bit everyday.

With unconditional love you are not supposed to expect anything from the person you love, keep giving even when you don't get anything in return. It's true that only a parent gives more than they receive and they want the best for their child before themselves. A parent's love might be as close to unconditional love as one can get but nonetheless there are conditions attached to it. There is always an expectation, expectation that you will be a 'good' child. Expectations that change with time and some that are unconscious.

Unconditional love is a myth. You may fool yourself into thinking that you are loving unconditionally and don't want anything in return but that's not the truth. Even if you convince yourself that your love is unconditional and that you don't want anything for yourself, it might be the fact that it makes you feel good about yourself to feel like you have boundless love that doesn't want anything in return. Conditions always exist, some that might not be apparent to even yourself.

When we say we love someone unconditionally we are saying that we love the person for just 'being' and not 'doing'. We are deserving of love by just being a creation of God, that is enough of a reason to have intrinsic value independant of our actions. I can't wrap by head around that.

Because God too has conditions attached to our behaviour, what are the ten commandments if not conditions?


Jean-Luc Picard said...

I agree. Only mothers can know.

Rambler said...

I tend to agree with you..its hard for me to believe there is unconditional love..even more difficult thing is to define what makes love unconditional

John said...

I Philip Yancy's book What's So Amazing About Grace he write two lines that really caught my attention.
The first is "There is nothing that I can do that would cause God to love me less."
The second is similar--"There is nothing that I can do that would cause God to love me more."

They both show that His love for us is not based on what we do. You mentioned that--"When we say we love someone unconditionally we are saying that we love the person for just 'being' and not 'doing'."

So I can't screw up so bad that it would make God stop loving me nor can I earn His favor by my good deeds. His love is unconditional.

We try to demonstrate our love for Him by our obedience to His commands.

I think that our best imitations of God's true love are lacking. You are right--we tend to want something in return for our love. While we might have the greatest desire to be totally giving in love, I think that only God succeeds in true, unconditional love.

Good to hear from you, Amber.

surjit said...

"To love someone means to see him as God intended Him.."
God bless.

Anonymous said...

You wrote that for love to be unconditional means you don't expect anything in return. Playing devil's advocate here - You can expect something - but if you love despite that expectation not being met - isn't that unconditional ?

I think there are things my child could do that would make me cut off contact or even go against them (like murder or something like that) but I don't think I could ever stop loving her.

Jeff said...

It seems you and I have something in common, Amber. We have both been gone and out of circulation from the blog world. It appears you are gone again. ;)

As far as unconditional love, yes there is. If it isn't unconditional, it isn't really love, in my opinion. I agree with John AND vinomom. God is the author of love so He knows how to do it (we don't).

In addition, I don't think loving without expectation is unconditional. Loving despite any expectation not being met, is still unconditional.

Random Magus said...

Jean-Luc Picard:

I think we read and hear about it so much and that we become even more cynical.

I really hope that it is so


"To love someone means to see him as God intended Him.."

That is beautiful

Maybe what I should have said is that love expects love in return if anyone's child constantly rebuffs them and just refuses to reciprocate any affection all their life there will be a point that the love will dry up. Part of the reason we love our children so much is the love they have in their eyes for us

Hi Jeff! But how long does that love stay - can love be unconditional indefinitely????

Pam said...

Maybe it depends on the kind of love - to your husband, to your mother, to your child, to relative...I am not a mother yet but I think that the mother's love is unconditional or at least should be, because the connections are at different level. If we talk about two people who loves each other then thing might be different. But if you receive what you expect and what you want from the person next to you, why not to love him unconditionally. This issue is very complicated nowadays...

hamster cage said...

Love is only unconditional with family imo.