Love Demands Correction

Unconditional love has become a popular theme, both from religious as well as secular voices. What is love? We can illustrate this from the following example. In the old newspaper column "Dear Abby," many teenagers wrote to the effect that their parents did not love them. As evidence of this, they often cited the fact that their parents did not set boundaries for their behavior, or correct them when they carried things to the extreme. The fact is that there is no such thing as "unconditional love." Genuine love always considers the needsof the individual, not simply the feelingsof one. Genuine love has responsibilities and is really action, not just a feeling or emotion. Real love is beautifully expressed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. God's love as expressed in the Bible is alwaysconditional, and He does enforce these conditions with discipline or correction. Notice this from Hebrews 12:6-9 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

 Parents have the responsibility of teaching their children how to function in society. The parent lovingly directs their child to "look both ways before you cross the street." If the child does not, he/she is corrected so that they understand the consequence of being injured or killed if they disobey! A responsible loving parent also teaches their child to respect others. Respect for all is terribly important. If a teenager approaches an armed thug in a belligerent way, he is likely to suffer serious consequences by being injured or killed. Armed, responsible police officers can react in the wrong way by such an approach. Most police officers are doing their best to protect and serve, and deserve our thanks and respect. The Bible says "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24). Even the church is exhorted to discipline immoral members when they sin (1 Corinthians 5). Immorality is not only a sin, it is not good for one and it will bar one from the kingdom of God! (1 Corinthians 6:10).

 It is difficult to believe that any thoughtful person would not see the importance of conditions, enforcement and discipline in every realm of life. The very concept of "unconditional love" is a product of our modern "plugged in" generation. Folks today, want money without working for it, free medical care for life, and religion without any encumbrances or conditions. One of everyone's favorite verses of the Bible, John 3:16, quoted by some on the subject of "unconditional love," has conditions. Jesus said, "For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth I him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16, emphasis mine, ER). If you study what "faith" really means in the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 11, you cannot help but see that Biblical faith ALWAYS includes conditions such as obedience! Those who place their confidence in the so-called "unconditional love" will be sorely disappointed and condemned eternally in Hell, separated from God and all that is good.

 Ed Rodgers, Forney, TX