Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
This is one of my favorite bible verses because it gives us a roadmap on “how” to love without condition. One of life’s best examples of how to love is the way a mother loves a child.
Let me start by saying that I was blessed with an amazing mom and wife. Both of them continue to prove that a mother’s love is like none other. Their patience, sacrifice, commitment and dedication are unparalleled. When I look at my life, there is no doubt my mother loves me unconditionally. When I look at the bond between my wife and son, I know that she loves him unconditionally.
But what happens when a child disappoints his mother? Does her love fade or is that the time that her love shines through?
Way more often than not, a mother’s love allows her to overlook her child’s faults and mistakes in life and love them in spite of the disappointment she might feel. This is the definition of unconditional love. But in order to love unconditionally, a mother has to forgive her child and the action that led to the disappointment.
As a child, isn’t that the best feeling to hear your mom say, “don’t worry about it, I forgive you?” Even as an adult, those seven words still have amazing healing power. There is nothing that hurts me more than to know that I hurt or disappointed my mom, but to have her forgive me always made and still makes me feel better immediately. And the same is true when it comes to my beautiful wife.
So why can’t we love and forgive each other unconditionally as a mother does her child? I assert that it’s because we view forgiveness and unconditional love as vulnerability and not for the power that it brings. We feel we just can’t expose ourselves for fear of rejection, pain and abuse. This fear is often driven by the disappointments we have experienced in relationships early in life.
Wounds from disappointment run deep and never heal. However, just as with all wounds, if we do not treat our past wounds they get infected, scab up. The result is a hardness forms in the place of a once tender wound. Though not immediately visible, such an emotional wound is noticeable to others that get close enough, and definitely evident when healthy emotional involvement is required for any relationship to grow. The fact is, you know what wounds are in your heart and you know what caused them. Hence you never forget the pain and protect your heart at all costs.
These wounds prevent us from loving unconditionally because we haven’t forgiven ourselves and the person that hurt us. So we get stuck and it’s hard to move on. We have to understand there is power in forgiveness and that love never gives up, never loses faith, and is always hopeful. It endures through every circumstance. There’s just no love without forgiveness.
Give this remedy a try. Examine your past wounds. Apply forgiveness and love generously to the wound. Then, watch closely for the healing that follows.