Unconditional Love

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My heart is heavy this afternoon because I keep thinking of some unsettling information I picked up on last night. It had to do with family strife that, in my estimation, borders on mental and physical cruelty. If we can’t love our own children, step children included, how can we presume to call ourselves Christians? Yes, I know that children (spouses too sometimes) can try our very souls, but at those moments, we need to ask ourselves the sometimes over-trivialized question of WWJD. I don’t think He’d berate, criticize, humiliate, belittle, or beat another person just because the other person wasn’t living up to His expectations (if that’s the case, we’d all have welts and bruises!).

In the LDS religion, as in all other Christian faiths, we’re taught to follow the Savior’s example and to “love one another.” To me, that loving feeling starts in our own homes. 

I was thinking of all of these things a little while ago when I logged on to my daughter’s blog and read what she had written about an incident that happened in her home yesterday. Peeking around the corner to make sure everything was okay, she heard 4-year-old Brooke saying these words to her baby brother: “You are so adorable! I love you so much! I love you when you are crazy! I love you when you are crying! I love you when you are whining! I love you when you are stinky! I love you when you are chewing on your hand! I love you all the time, no matter what!”

Brooke’s sweet example of not only sibling love but also of unconditional love touched her mother’s heart…and her grandmother’s too! Why can’t we all profess that kind of love and acceptance to our family members? What’s the value in being cruel? Don’t people understand how distancing that can be? Don’t they understand how damaging to a child’s psyche that can be? Don’t they care?

Why am I writing this? I wouldn’t say I’m exactly on a crusade, but I will say that those of us who are aware of these types of physical, emotional, and mental abuse need to speak up. Unless we do, then we too will be holding the Lord’s name in vain.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

3 thoughts on “Unconditional Love”

  1. Excellent post Jayne. Another thought I had is that people will sometimes say or do things to children that they would NEVER do to an adult.
    I understand the cycle of abuse but it is never an excuse to continue it. Additionally as in the case you are mentioning why would the other parent not SPEAK UP loud and clear????

    I'm paraphrasing (what else is new???), but as the saying goes, all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to say nothing. As for the other party's silence, who knows? It makes no sense to me.

  2. Great Blog. Think about how much better the world would be if everyone learned to deal with dissappointment in a loving and understanding way.

    You are 100% correct about cruelty not helping anyone and not only does it hurt the victim in the short term it is extremely damaging in the long run.

    kudos for you for speaking up about it and saying something!

    http://www.endingviolence.net
    http://www.breakthecycle.org
    http://www.thesafespace.org

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Jon.

  3. Great post Jayne! Thinking of Brooke’s conversation with her brother makes me think of the Savior’s conversation with us, something along the lines of “I love you when you mess up, I love you when you’re righteous, I love you when you’re in the depths of despair, I love you no matter what!”

    Isn't that great to know? I have to wonder if people who mistreat others see that connection? Do they find it perfectly okay to be cruel and yet think it's perfectly okay (and expected) for Him to love them.

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