Authentic Christianity….Love: No Strings Attached

When I was a tiny child I had horrible tonsils that kept me sick with a sore throat for most of the first five years of my life. At the age of 5 I underwent surgery to remove the offending tonsils and suddenly I could eat. I ate and ate and ate. In fact, I gained no small amount of weight in a short period of time.

At that point, my sweet Mother, whose intentions were pure and good, began her campaign to make certain I did not become ‘fat’. ‘Fat’ became a word that eventually engulfed me like a disease.

“You cannot have that. It will make you fat.”

“Bread…corn…potatoes…dessert… is fattening.”

I adored food, but food soon became the enemy. By the time I was 18 I was in the throes of an eating disorder, and the demons of anorexia quickly took the message that my Mother had spoken to a whole new and devastating level.

Fat = unacceptable = unlovable

Suddenly love had strings attached to it which led me to do things that I should never have done in order to obtain ‘love’ from humans. I brought my strings-attached love into my marriage and that was disastrous on many levels. Thankfully, my marriage survived and I eventually understood that ‘I will love you if….’ is not genuine love.

 

Authentic Christianity Love No Strings Attached

 

 

In Romans 12:9 Paul speaks of the kind of love that should be part of the life of an authentic Christian.

 

Let love be genuine. (ESV)

Love must be completely sincere. (GNV)

Love must be sincere. (NIV)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. (NLT)

Obviously Jesus is our model for this kind of love. He loved sincerely, without strings or hypocrisy. He did not pretend to love those with whom He came in contact. He loved them in spite of. He loved them…..

when they were fat.

when they were tall or short.

when they complained.

when they were filthy rich.

when they were dirt poor.

when they were sick.

when they were legalistic.

when they were dirty rotten sinners….like me.

 

Jesus loved sincerely.

Perhaps you, like me, have a history of love with strings attached. Guess what? Jesus can take that kind of love and turn it into a love in spite of. That is the kind of love Jesus has for you and me. Surely you and I can love other people in the same way.

So, tell me. What kind of love resides in your heart? Be honest now!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links.

Here a few links to some great books that go along with my post theme today.

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  • Marie Bungard

    Thank you for this post! I struggle with this issue, too! Your perspective is what I needed to see today.
    I’ll be including a link to this post in my Friday Faves this week.
    Blessings to you and yours!
    Marie

    • Oh Marie, thank you so much for stopping in to visit. I am so glad this piece spoke to you. Thank you for linking to it. God bless you!

  • Shirley Lawrence

    As a child I was not allowed to have friends and was told I was told by my mother that so-n-so didn’t like me. I grew up feeling unacceptable and unlikeable. Like you, “love had strings attached to it which led me to do things that I should never have done in order to obtain ‘love’ from humans. I brought my strings-attached love into my marriage and that was disastrous on many levels.” I became a mother of 4, eventually went to college and became a teacher but struggled to make friends and still do. I have become an award winning “people pleaser”. My husband and I have been married for 54 years by God’s grace. And by His grace I have accepted His unconditional love which in turn has helped my marriage. I am learning through scripture like
    Galatians 1:10 “AmI now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” to be me the person God created me to be, acceptable and likeable first by Him and by others.

    P.S. I have read “Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. Wonderful book. I’ll
    have to check into the others.

    • Oh Shirley, how sad that your mother told you that you were not liked. That breaks my heart. I’m so thankful for the love and acceptance of Jesus and that you have found His unconditional love to be more than enough for you. bless you, my friend. Thank you for stopping in and sharing your testimony.