On Unconditional Love

I have had a few thoughts lately on unconditional love that I wanted to share.

One thought is that if someone has unconditional love, then it must be universal.  It makes no sense at all to claim to have unconditional love for someone, but not have unconditional love for someone else.  If that were the case, then there must be some condition that the loved one met, that someone else did not.

Another thought is that unconditional love is entirely about the ‘subject’ rather than the object of the love.  Or put another way, it is about the lover, rather than the loved.  By definition the loved meets no condition for unconditional love, so there is no merit there whatsoever.  It is the lover that shows merit.

Yet another thought is that unconditional love does not necessarily imply anything more than love.  It does not include trust for example.  Unconditional love must cover both the trustworthy and the untrustworthy.  One could unconditionally love someone, yet not trust them in the least.  It also does not necessarily give license to the loved either – meaning just because one is loved unconditionally, does not mean that they are free from consequences of their behavior.  Unconditional love can remain in spite of consequences for poor behavior.  Unconditional love is not the same as unconditional tolerance.  To understand the implications and value of unconditional love (for the recipient of this love), one must know the type and definition of this love.


3 Responses to “On Unconditional Love”

  1. 1 Matt W. June 14, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I like these thoughts. A question I have is what we mean when we speak of unconditional love. What behaviors does that imply on the part of the lover? If I loved all God’s children unconditionally, what behavior would I have? Is my limited capacity to extend myself across space and time an inhibitor to my loving unconditionally?

  2. 2 Eric Nielson June 14, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks Matt. Right now I think unconditional love is probably more a state of mind, or an attitude rather than necessarily an action. Would it make sense that unconditional love, on its own, may not be much of a verb? I am tempted to think that conditional love, like a covenant based love, might be more valuable. Still trying to sort this out.

  3. 3 WPM June 15, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Eric, I agree with your sentiments. As Christians unconditional love (agape love in the Greek scriptures) is never an option. It is the stuff of God (1 John 4:8) and in fact comes from God (1 John 4:7). In a sense it is the fruit /proof that we have a close relationship with Him.

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