No Conditions
Off the Wall, February 15
, 2013

Not long ago, I happened to be talking to an associate about various things, one of which included loving one’s mate, either as a life-long partner outside of marriage or as a spouse.

The question I posed was this: “If your partner (spouse) were to cheat on you, would you forgive him or her or dump the individual?” In the blink of an eye he blurted out, “Get rid of her.”

I guess that could be a reason of sorts for not getting married, as so many couples do nowadays, when they live together out of wedlock, but how about the spouse? How should a married person react when hearing this question?

As many of you know, I am a Christian by faith. That means I strive to abide by the rules and laws set down before me as defined in the Holy Scriptures. Need I tell you, I am far from perfect, but at least I make daily attempts to do God’s will.

It was back on Christmas we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. He introduced a way of life we all should maintain regardless if we have a soul mate, close friend or neighbor.

It’s called ‘unconditional love.’ Defined, it’s a love that has no conditions.

We as human beings, ever since we were kids, that I can remember, have placed conditions as to our relationships with others. “I’ll let you play with my dump truck if you trade me that shovel and bucket to dig in the sand.” “Mother said you can take three steps forward,” and “Close your eyes and I’ll run and hide” are all statements of conditions. There were more, plenty more that come to mind, but that should be enough.

On the whole, we all do one thing or another with certain expectations attached. To say we have unconditional love for our brothers and sisters would state all our actions would be carried out without ever expecting anything in return.

A good example is today being Valentine’s Day. Is it not enough to tell our partners or close friends that we love them as Christ would want us to love them with unconditional love? Instead, we feel we have to buy them something to prove our love for them. If the recipient says, “Thank you, I love you too,” and then goes to a movie with friends that evening, the giver, in all likelihood, becomes emotional to the tune of feeling very hurt.

Why? The words aren’t enough. Some kind of reciprocity has to take place to make the giving of a gift valid in the eyes of the beholder. But, that makes it conditional love, and to some extent, we all have it.

Professional people will work so they can put food on the table, pay their bills and with use what’s left over to recreate. Others may invest in the lottery, buy raffle tickets or go to the theater or playhouse hoping for a night of entertainment. It becomes a ‘tick for tack’ (if that’s the expression) turnaround expectation in the eyes of the participant(s).

Since this is Valentine’s Day maybe I should talk more about one couple – Grace and Ken (two names pulled out of the blue for purposes forthcoming).

Ken met Grace at a roller rink. They dated shortly and fell in ‘love,’ at least that is what they told their friends. It wasn’t long thereafter they decided to tie the knot. Three years went by and everything was peachy. Then one day Ken saw her entering a house down the street and confronted her about it. At first, she said “it was nothing.” Then she spilled the beans. Ken had a fit, screamed at her and asked for a divorce.

Here are a few questions. Did Kenny do something to drive her to another man? Should he stop loving her and seek happiness from someone else? Finally, does ‘unconditional love’ fit into the picture? Communication, counseling and reconciliation may help here.

I think each of us must examine our actions regardless of the position one may have whether it be in a family, company or in a church. If Christ originated a group of believers with the idea of spreading God’s philosophy, then we as His body must exemplify His teachings – pure and simple. That is the only way the rest of the world is going to know about Our Lord and Savior.

Try this as a New Year’s Resolution. Give without expecting anything back. But keep in the back of your mind a very important ‘fact.’ God will bless you for your actions. Believe it with all your heart, because that is a certainty. He’ll never let you down if you live according to His Word!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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