“I love you if…” “I love you because…” “But if you don’t…I won’t.”
Most wedding vows incorporate a promise to love in sickness and health, in sorrow and gladness, through good times and bad times and without reservation. Marriage vows portray the model; reality reveals, well, reality.
I’ll love you if you wash my clothes, have my children, cook my meals, clean the yard, clean the house, make the bed, buy me clothes, pay for my hair cuts, manicures and pedicures, pay the bills… Or I love you because you have a dynamite body, have a six figure job, have beautiful eyes, have a good life insurance policy, have a house, land, cows and hogs…
God, on the other hand, simply loves. He had to remind Israel because they thought he loved because or if… The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors. (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)
I’ve been guilty of loving only if the ifs and becauses are satisfied. It’s called conditional love. But God simply loves. No ifs ands or buts. He won’t love me less if I’m bad or more if I’m good. He just loves because it’s his nature to love and because I’m his creation. So are you.
Following God’s example teaches us to love others just because, whether we think they are worthy or not. Unconditional love enhances families, friendships, work places, community organizations, sports, politics and the world. Conditional love erects barriers. What will it take for you to simply love?
Prayer: God of love, enable us to love as You do.