Conditional vs. Unconditional LOVE: What is it?

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Conditional vs. Unconditional LOVE: What is it?

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Conditional love is traumatizing. It is the reason that so many people are dealing with emotional trauma, attachment issues, and fear of intimacy. Conditional love teaches people that they have to DO something, BE someone else, and PERFORM for someone’s love. It teaches us that we are not good enough as we are. It reminds us that if we mess up, our loved ones will stop being kind and loving towards us.

I’ve learned the meaning of love within a relationship or friendship is deeper and harder than most think. Maybe I shouldn’t say we, maybe it’s only me; Either-way, this year I’ve learned alot about what love is and love isn’t. I realized my expectations for love were completely selfish and prideful. My expectations were conditional

The most interesting thing I’ve learned about love: Love is unwavering, patient, kind, perseverant, vulnerable, and humble. And, those words are NOT just words. They are actions that can be HARD but will always be totally worth it.

I thought, I was literally one of the most humble, vulnerable, non-offendable, selfless and easy-going people I’ve ever met! Such prideful thoughts *sigh*, lol!  But, when those ugly emotions came… horrible thoughts to hurt others with revenge or withdrawing my love came to mind. I realized, I’m no different than people who have issues with humility, vulnerability, selfishness, control, and bitterness! It was painful to admit, but I am capable of destroying others if I’m not careful.

So, does someone have to be perfect for me to be kind to them? I felt like I had the RIGHT to rage at people that had hurt me. But, that is what conditional love is. We treat them based on the conditions of their behavior rather than being loving no matter what!

“Realizing the pride and other ugly areas of my heart made me feel that it would be impossible for someone to love me.” In the moment of feeling unqualified to receive love, I realized what unconditional love really is. Love is a gift that cannot be earned. Love is given to someone when they deserve and don’t deserve your affections.

Related QUIZ: Do you know how to receive love?

Can you imagine being with someone that sees all your flaws? Someone that deals patiently with all of your fears and insecurities? Someone that patiently and kindly waits as you act difficult? Someone that understands you? Someone that listens to you? Someone that expects nothing from you but friendship? Someone that sees you as beautiful when you’re at your ugliest and lowest moment? Someone that chose you, knowing that you are imperfect?

What is true unconditional love from the Bible?

If you can identify someone that does all those things, they carry true unconditional love from the Bible. True biblical love can be exemplified in friendships, parent-child relationships, work environment, romantic relationships, etc.

Carrying true biblical love means you don’t disappear at the sight of a person’s  imperfections. Unconditional Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love is caring tenderly about another the way you would care for yourself. Love is seeking to protect someones’ heart and see the gold even when its hard. Sometimes we will have those beautiful feelings in a relationship but other times we must decide that the person we love is worth standing beside – through thick and thin.

Love is a decision to give that person good and not repay them with evil – no revenge, pettiness, passive-aggressive remarks.

Related Article: Building Trust: 6 Steps To Encourage People To Let Your In

Unconditional love is patient. It does not seek to get revenge. It gives love when the other person doesn’t deserve it. It’s kind when the other person is cranky. Real love is a commitment to give another person the best version of ourselves at all times.

*Please be aware that love also puts boundaries up with abusers, cheaters, drunkards, manipulators, etc.*

Real love is powerful.

Real love IS the most powerful agent of change and healing. When someone receives real love they feel safe in relationships. Being loved despite your imperfections makes a person blossom. Being loved for who you are rather than what you do, empowers people to let their creativity or unique flavor out for people to see – To be themselves. We were all created to shine in different areas and real love unlocks that potential. It removes fear of  not being good enough or making a mistake.

Lastly, receiving real love can remove feelings of  loneliness, perfectionism, rejection, and isolation.  Love reminds people that they have an ally that will fight to see them as a beautiful reflection of God and stick with them through life’s difficult moments, No matter what!

So, my prayer is that we would not desire relationship with others for just the “good feels”. I pray that we would be so fiercely in love with our friends, family, spouses that we would want to stand by them through their darkest moments (with boundaries if needed).

Lord — remove selfish ambitions from our hearts, give us hope for hopeless circumstances, and give us a pure and unshakable love for others.

Bible verse about God’s unconditional love:

Remember: Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) 

Christina Daniels is the founder of Adorned Heart. She is devoted to learning about human behavior and its affects on society. She received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Public Policy. She hopes to use her life and academic experience to empower & heal the hearts of women!

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