By Bob Stacy
“I’ll love you if you love me and do what you ought to do.”
Perhaps you’ve heard such statements. Or perhaps you’ve made such statements. In each case, the kind of love spoken of is not the love God desires that we have for one another, nor is it the kind of love our heavenly Father has for us. And I’m deeply thankful for that!
Two Sons/Two Kinds of Love
A student came to me years ago and wondered if his father really loved him. It appeared his father rejected him because he desired to attend a Christian college. What hurt welled up in the young man’s voice as he related to me the agony he felt in his heart because his father would not speak to him.
Another young man told his mom he was going to Bible college. She didn’t want him to leave home, but the next day she began to help him plan for his departure. The day he left she packed a lunch for him to eat on the way, embraced him, and with tears bid him good-bye. He always knew she was proud of him.
When her son was asked to preach in his home church, she invited her neighbors and relatives. “Bobby’s going to preach,” she said proudly. My mom was just that way. I never felt unloved, nor did I feel as if her love would ever fail no matter what I did.
Thank God for Loving You No Matter What
Real love does not say, “I’ll love you if” or “I won’t love you if.” It simply says, “I love you and that’s it!”
Thank the Father today for his great love that permits us to go to him for forgiveness, love that stands with open arms as we, through Jesus, run to him knowing he’ll receive us back into those open arms again. And he will, because he loves us!
Bob Stacy is has served as preaching minister in a number of churches, as founder of Christ In Youth and as a professor of Bible and ministry in three colleges. He and his wife Nell are presently serving the Spring Hill Church of Christ, Middletown, Ohio.