I have often seen, heard and even said the words, “unconditional love”. I’m sure if you were to ask yourself if you express unconditional love, especially to those closest to you, you would give yourself quite a bit of credit by saying yes.
Our family has been thrown a test in the unconditional love category and if I am being honest, I have thought long and hard these past few weeks about how well I have done in that category. I am telling you today, that I failed. I failed my kids, my husband and even friends. My greatest comfort is that I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally.
That knowledge is what I want to try to share in this blog entry. I KNOW God’s love is unconditional and because I KNOW that, I also know that He doesn’t make mistakes when it comes to His children.
My son is gay. That is simply one small part of what makes him who he is. It’s unfortunate that when he broke that news to us, I expressed poorly my unconditional love for him…that definitely had conditions. It still hurts my heart to know how terribly I handled it. When I replay the conversations in my head, I feel sad for my son. We are working on repairing that and I pray that someday he can fully forgive me but if he doesn’t, I’m okay with that too because he should have been able to count on me, his mom. I promised to protect him and instead I hurt him.
I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation and analyzing why I placed conditions on my love and I realize now it was primarily due to fear. I think that is what causes most of us to love with strings attached. As a mother, I had no control of how the world was going to treat him or see him. To me, he was the same person that he was before but now people were going to attach a label with preconceived notions. I know this because I did that.
I talked a good game about being a decent Christian while letting fear control me and believing the bad instead of the good about people I didn’t even know. Here is the reality, because I know that God’s love is both unconditional and unchangeable, I know His love for my son didn’t shift simply because of his sexual orientation. He loves him exactly the same as He did before sending him down to this earth and entrusting me to be his mother. I need to follow that example a whole lot better.
Reading one my son’s Facebook posts to his fiancé was a serious reality check, one I needed, when he expressed that he was the first person to teach him what true unconditional love was. And he was right. I got that wrong, but I am grateful for his patience and willingness to trust that I will do better.
So, here’s the bottom line. Quit claiming unconditional love while still justifying why someone’s life or choices are wrong according to you. This is for anything, the way they dress, who they love, their professions, their hobbies, their culture, literally anything we judge others on. Also, quit claiming what you know about God and His love for His children because the God I know, loves ALL of His children.
This post is not about my son being gay, but I want to state the obvious for the people in our lives who are conflicted in whether they should support us or not. Please don't take offense to how harsh this next statement will come across. We don’t need nor do we seek your approval or your support if it is not in your heart to offer either, that is not at all what this is about. I just wanted to share some lessons I learned through this journey and I am grateful that God gave me a beautiful soul to teach me what unconditional love is truly all about.
Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions.