Unconditional Love

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My wife, Lenore, and I have dealt with a great many people who, because of various circumstances in their life, are unable to feel loved—by God or anyone else. In fact, they often describe how they feel as “numb” or “empty.” They often view themselves as unattractive, unlovable, and worthless. This is in spite of the fact that many of these people are considered successful in their chosen field.

My wife, Lenore, and I have dealt with a great many people who, because of various circumstances in their life, are unable to feel loved—by God or anyone else. In fact, they often describe how they feel as “numb” or “empty.” They often view themselves as unattractive, unlovable, and worthless. This is in spite of the fact that many of these people are considered successful in their chosen field. In the most extreme cases, these people have even contemplated ending their life. Why? What’s so special about feeling loved? Isn’t the need to feel loved just a sign of immaturity? Shouldn’t we outgrow the need to feel loved by others and be content within ourselves, doing our own thing, regardless of whether anyone else cares or not?

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Comments 5

  1. Hannele Pardain
  2. Pingback: Three Keys to Personal Happiness | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

  3. Where does scripture teach that God’s love is unconditional?
    I have no hesitation in saying that God’s love is extremely generous and I am hugely touched by it, but to say it is without a single condition seems wrong to me. God’s love is demonstrated in action just like our love is. How can God’s judgement of death to those who do not respond to him equate to “unconditional love”? It just doesn’t make sense.
    For me, unconditional – which means absolutely no conditions attached – is the wrong word to use with regards to God’s love. God’s love is generous, extravagant, amazing and probably a whole range of other adjectives, but I can’t see it as unconditional. That sounds like popular psychology to me.

    1. Ken Mullican Post
      Author

      You are right–your view is one perspective of the issue. I have found that many issues are multifaceted, however. As light reflects off the multiple facets of a cut diamond, revealing beauty not apparent in viewing it in a single plane, various issues may be more fully appreciated when viewed from different perspectives. Although any analogy between finite humanity and the infinite God will eventually break down when pushed far enough, I might compare God’s love for his created humanity to my love for my children. Even though I love my children deeply, if one of them commits a crime, for example murder, I know they must face judgment in a court of law. I still love my child even though I must allow him or her to receive the punishment required for violating the law. Although my heart would be breaking, I could still choose to love him or her; i.e., my love would not be conditional upon my child living a perfect life.

      1. I also have a hard time with the word “unconditional” regarding God’s love, but this discussion helps to clarify some things. I think we all agree that our Loving Creator Redeemer God does not require some kind of performance from us his creatures to prove to him we are worthy of his love. “If you do this, then I will love you.” would be an example of conditional love, but then that would not really be love, would it? Maybe it is a kind of twisted, self-serving love, but it isn’t the kind of pure, generous, life-changing love that God has for us. But once we accept God’s love and new life, then it follows that we will be the kind of people that express that love in meaningful, concrete ways to those around us. cf Isaiah 58; Matthew 25.

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  • Ken Mullican

    Ken Mullican

    Kenneth R. Mullican, Jr., was reared in Oklahoma and holds a B.S. in Zoology and an M.A. in Medical Microbiology, both from the University of Oklahoma. Ken and his wife Lenore reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ken attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary prior to his appointment…
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