Wikipedia defines unconditional love as loving someone regardless of the loved one's qualities or actions. I am finding in my own life that it is one thing to say that you love someone uncondionally and another to actually live it out. Love is more than just saying that you love.
This is what unconditional love looks like in my life...
...saying yes to my husband when he asks if he can go hunting on a Tuesday when he was gone all day that Monday for school.
...having patience with Josiah when he has trouble communicating what he wants and gets mad and starts throwing things when I don't understand.
...gently rocking Eli back to sleep when he wakes up at 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, and 5 am because he is teething and his gums hurt.
I could go on and on and on. Unconditional love can manifest itself in so many different ways. How do you respond when situations arise in which you are given the opportunity to show and give love to someone despite their qualities, actions, behavior and so forth? I'll even take it a step further...How do you respond to the call to love others uncondionally when you don't feel loved yourself or things just haven't been going your way?
I can only speak for myself and say that I often put my own wants and needs above the call to serve others and love them uncondionally. It is especially hard to show and give uncondional love when I myself feel run down and at my wits end. The events and happening of this past week are all too fresh on my mind. It seems like it has just been one thing after another. I will not mention everything but here is a little glimpse at what has been rocking my world (in a not so great way)...
...I had Josiah evaluated and it turns out that he has a major speech delay. This left me worried and full of questions. How could I let this happen? What did I do wrong during the pregnancy? Did having him vaccinated cause this? I though I had given him the best start. I breastfed...I made homemade baby food...I read to him...I talked to him contantly.
...Eli got ahold of my cell phone, slobbered all over it, and now it won't turn on.
...and countless other little happenings that just kept building up and up.
I started being not so loving to my loved ones. How could I show them uncondional love when the world was turning against me?
This morning the Lord answered that question for me. I really needed to seek the Lord out in scripture but the boys just wouldn't allow it. So I loaded them up in the stroller for a walk. While walking, I prayed and prayed and prayed. I gave it all over to the Lord and he lifted my burdens and renewed my spirit. He whispered in my ear the greatest story ever known of uncondional love...how he had made the ultimate sacrifice for a worthless sinner...me...and He did so despite how the world treated Him...is that not the ultimate example of uncondional love?
All I can say is thank you Lord for loving me unconditionally and giving me the opportunity to show others a fraction of that love...Lord, seek me out when I don't run immediately into your arms for renewal. Remind me of Your uncondional love for me so that I can see them, the way that You see me...in need of a Savior...in need of love.