What makes love unconditional? The definition of unconditional is without restrictions or limits, without question. How can you be sure of unconditional love and where can you find it? There is a true source of this kind of love and that is God. If we want to learn to love others unconditionally, we must look to God, who is the perfect source.
I didn't know what unconditional love was until I met Jesus. If I'm honest, I may never fully understand how God can still love me even when I do things that tear our relationship apart. But Jesus makes us experience the love of the Father through his death. Do you want to love people unconditionally? Here are 10 things you should know:
1. God never runs out of unconditional love.
God's love is infinite. There will never be a day that God does not love you. There's nothing you can do or say to revoke God's love: That's the gospel in a nutshell.
The problem is that in our finite world, our friends reject us, our marriages sometimes end in divorce, and our parents don't support us the way we want. Is it any wonder that we don't fully understand God's love for us?
But by working on our relationship with God, turning to Him, and trusting Him in everything, we can begin to know an unconditional love we didn't know (or will know again).
2. Unconditional love involves sacrifice.
Perhaps the best known verse isJuan 3:16:„For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
God's love is so vast that he sacrificed his own son to pay the penalty for our sin and bridge the gap between sinners and a holy God.
God has already made the ultimate sacrifice for us. If we want to love in this way, we must also make sacrifices. Sometimes it means sacrificing our comfort, time, or other resources to love others as God loves us.
When we give ourselves unconditionally to love others, we can reap the benefits of all that unconditional love has to offer.
3. You don't have to earn unconditional love.
Ephesians 2:8-9dice,„For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast."This is an extraordinary concept to consider. Jesus' death on the cross already paid for our salvation. By assuming the penalty for sin, he allowed God to offer us his unconditional love.
In today's America, however, it's common to believe that everything (including love) must be earned. But following Christ means that God's love is free.
Still, I've spent most of my life trying to win it over. I felt that if I just did a certain chore, read my Bible, or prayed a certain way, I could be on God's good side. But the death of Christ erased all that. Although reading the Bible andprayerare important, there is no required amount you must do to earn more of God's love.
4. You just have to accept it.
The woman at the well was looking for love in all the wrong places. After several husbands and then with someone else, she was tired. Her love hung her up to dry-until she met Jesus:„Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst again. Surely the water that I will give them will become in them a spring of water springing up into eternal life.'”(Juan 4:13).
When Jesus offered her the living water of salvation, the woman's life changed. This once timid and cowering woman proclaimed from her rooftops what Jesus had done for her.
We don't have to settle for mediocre relationships that try to fill the void in our souls. Jesus has already offered us the living water of salvation. All we have to do is drink it.
5. You can never lose unconditional love.
In Luke's story of the prodigal son, both theprodigal sonand the eldest son are lost in different ways. The older brother can't understand why his younger sister is being celebrated for his regret while he, the older one, is doing the right thing by taking care of his father and not being rewarded.
„See! All these years I have worked for you and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you never gave me even a kid to celebrate with my friends. But when that son of yours, who squandered your fortune on whores, comes home, you sacrifice the fattened calf for him!(Lucas 15:29-30)
But the reader finds in this story an unconditional love that seems incredible:"'My son,' said the father, 'you are always with me and all I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and will be found.'"(Lucas 15:31-32).
Nothing can separate you from God's love, no matter how much you think you've screwed up your life. With a heart of repentance, you can always return to the Father. He will greet you with a kiss and he will invite you to a party in your honor.
6. To be like Christ, you must love unconditionally.
Easier said than done. It is easy to love those who are easy to love. But how hard is it when God asks you to love someone who keeps bothering and abusing you?
love is an action. It takes practice. It is not just a feeling that is there today and gone tomorrow.
It takes work to keep up and it means knowing who Jesus is so you can love others like He did. It takes communication, sacrifice, and devotion to become more like him.
Praying, listening, journaling, and regular church attendance are just a few of the ways you can practice nurturing your relationship with God so that you can also nurture your relationships with others.
7. Unconditional love means letting go of your expectations.
Conditional love is only offered when certain requirements are met: “I love you if…” or “I love you if you…” If we want to love unconditionally, we must lower our expectations of what the other person will do. for us can, give up. This means not pigeonholing a person and forcing them to conform to the parameters we impose on the relationship.
Expectations can be one of the biggest obstacles to giving (and receiving) unconditional love. When we love freely and expect nothing in return from others, we ultimately experience the gift of unconditional love.
8. When you love yourself freely, you are free to love others unconditionally.
You can only love others if you love yourself. Although some mistake this for self-help advice, it is possible (and biblical) to love ourselves.1 Juan 3:1dice,„Look with what great love the Father has lavished on us so that we may be called children of God! And that's us! The reason the world doesn't know us is because they didn't know him."
We are only known when we know God. When God tells us that we are his children, his heirs apparent, and part of his royal priesthood, we can live each day without worrying about what others think or feel about us. Then we can resist the devil's lies and see others from the same perspective that God sees us.
When we look through the lens of the Word and see people as Jesus sees them, we will see ourselves and others from a new perspective. We will take care of people in new ways who are desperate to see them experience the same things that we do. We will tell others who we are in Christ and show them that they too can be children of God.
9. As you surrender your life to God, embrace unconditional love.
Fitness, shopping, alcohol, drugs, promiscuity: these are all ways we seek to fill the God-made hole deep in our hearts. But when we give up our desire to be loved, God meets us in a way that satisfies our deep need to be loved and known.
When we try to control God by taking control of certain areas of our lives, we put a barrier between ourselves and God.
Because his love is alien, it is difficult to understand. The same love we long for is available to us in Jesus, but we refuse to relinquish our control.
But when we give everything to Jesus, including the people and things we love, he fills us with inexplicable love. When that love fills our hearts, we cultivate the fruits of the spirit and love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness and self-control spring from our lives. And that is a life to be proud of.
10. Forgiveness is the soil in which unconditional love can grow.
Very often people hurt us and we become victims of their sin. Even when we get through it, we don't always do the work to heal from that pain.
The most important healing ointment is to forgive those who have wronged you. Forgiveness is so important to Jesus that not only does he tell us seventy-seven times to forgive, but he also warns us that if we don't forgive others, he won't forgive us. Those are hard words!
Unforgiveness leads to anger, disappointment, and if left unchecked, bitterness. And bitterness becomes the root of not loving others. Left unchecked, this root will burrow so deep into the soil that it will be nearly impossible to pull out.
But when we let others out of the prison cell of unforgiveness, they are free to love themselves, and we are free to love them in new ways. That is the power of unconditional love.
Unconditional love may be strange to you, but it doesn't have to be. When we love, forgive, and see others with new eyes because we allow Jesus to meet our needs for love and intimacy, we are free. This is the power that Jesus' death gave us.
Unconditional love is available to you today. Will you love others as Jesus loves you?
Michelle S. LazurekShe is an award-winning multi-genre author, public speaker, writing coach, minister's wife, and mother. As a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services, she is a frequent workshop presenter at popular writers' conferences like She Speaks and the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Please visit her website atmichellelazurek.com.