What comes to your mind?
Images of seedy neighborhoods; sordid dark alleyways; scantily clad women with painted smiles standing on a street corner? Or maybe it is one of the many songs by the same title. Whatever the image, I’ll bet it doesn’t include your spouse or children, your parents or co-workers. But maybe it should!
Its easy to cast a stone at the “skirt” who exchanges intimate favors for a sum of cash or cocaine. After all, we have our moral boundaries that will not be compromised by the simple pleasures of the flesh. We have the laws of the land that dictate a proper decorum and “the oldest profession” is not on the list of acceptable recreation! And so, the trading of favors for ‘favors’ continues to earn our scorn and we are able to maintain our lofty place of contempt.
Are we so innocent then? If the concept of “Love for Sale” is merely giving you the attention you want only after you have satisfied my price, than I believe many of us practice a form of prostitution every day in our own home! How many times have we held a grudge against a spouse until they came groveling back with an acceptable apology? Have we ever refused to give a hug or a smile to a family member because of the wrong they have done to us? Perhaps my definition is cast a bit wide, but I think the point is still valid. Consider this:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, … If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Matthew 5:43, 44, 46-47 (NIV)
We can talk about love all day long with conversations ranging from football, to pizza to our kids. But we haven’t really told anyone anything at all. Let’s add a word – Unconditional Love! Now we are forced to deal with what Jesus said AND did. When we hold our family hostage waiting for the proper attitude or demeanor, we have placed a condition on our love. Imagine the trouble we would all be in if God decided to place a condition on His love for us…it would get hot in a hurry!
This is not to say that we should tolerate disrespect from our children or withhold appropriate discipline. We don’t need to take abuse from a co-worker. But all of those situations can still be handled with unconditional love.
Every day we have the opportunity to extend unconditional love to those around us.
- Fold the clothes that someone else left out
- Let the other driver in ahead of you – even if they don’t give the expected “Thank You” wave
- Ignore the slight tone of ‘sassiness’ in their voice
- Hold in that additional comment that would have proved you right
Look for your opportunity to offer Unconditional Love for Free! Chances are, you will be more fulfilled and receive more than your original asking price.
Open mic: Share Your Thoughts
- Are there certain areas that cause you to withhold or place a condition on your love for others?
- Is there a time when you expected someone to hold you hostage but offered unconditional love instead?