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What If God Never Meant for Love to be Fair?

Fair, image design by Adobe SparkWe’ve heard it said that all is fair in love.

But what does God say?

Is real love about fairness?

We often want our way in relationships and expect everything on equal ground. Yet what if true and unconditional love was never meant to be this way?

Even the term “unconditional” conveys no conditions or rules are attached. Google lists these synonyms: “wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unmitigated, unquestioning.”

Since unconditional love does not keep score, then we can’t play the fairness card.

The truth? All is not fair in love, not in unconditional love.

When we demand fairness in #relationships, we put conditions on #love. Click To Tweet

Extending unconditional love covers every kind of relationship: marriage, dating, children, siblings, extended family, fellow Christians, the unsaved, our neighbors and friends. Jesus also included our enemies.

We can love others even when we don’t like what they do or how they hurt us. But sometimes it needs to be from a distance and through prayers spoken over them. And the world says this kind of love is not fair or right.

Still not convinced?

Perhaps we need to revisit the greatest words ever written about love.

1 Corinthians 13 describes authentic and unqualified love.

Unconditional Love is:  Fair, image design by Adobe Spark

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Rejoices with the truth
  • Bears all things
  • Believes all things
  • Hopes all things
  • Endures all things
  • Never ends

Unconditional Love is not: 

  • Envious
  • Boastful
  • Arrogant
  • Rude
  • Demanding of it’s own way
  • Irritable
  • Resentful
  • Rejoicing in wrongdoing

Real Love isn’t Fair

If this list of characteristics prove true, and they do because they come from God’s Word, then love won’t always be fair. Unconditional love is anything but fair.

Glance back over the characteristics above. After reading them again, the word fair doesn’t come to mind…just the opposite.

For example, I would never demand fairness from my grandson, Foster, who’s only twenty-months-old. Why? Because I love him. And I’m the adult, he’s the child. But do I demand it of other adults who I also claim to love?

Unconditional #love always trumps fairness. #blog Click To Tweet

Fair, layout by Adobe SparkWhen we require everything to be fair in our relationships, it paints the image of a child. “That’s not fair! I want what’s coming to me! You owe me big! Do for me what I do for you.”

Maybe we should ask ourselves if we love others like Christ loves. Or even if we love as Jesus loves us…loves the church.

Because our human attempts to offer godly love often fail miserably. We tend to mix and match our own ideas on love with what God says.

Yet, God takes no delight in us adding our own opinions to what He’s already said. When we attempt to qualify love, we cease to love God’s way.

Still further, 1 Corinthians 13 lines up with the rest of the Bible.

Love’s Full Picture

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13 NIV.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 ESV.

Because God's #love didn't consider fairness, He chose me and saved me. #blog Click To Tweet

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God” 1 John 4:7 NLT.

“‘And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” Mark 12:30-31 NLT.

So, you see, fair and love were never meant to be used in conjunction with each other.

To demand fairness is to destroy the intent of real love. And there’s this…

If fairness counted in #love, Jesus suffered and died for nothing. #blog Click To Tweet

Questions to Consider: Fair, design and text by Adobe Spark

Am I patient and kind to my family members?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how often do I bear all, believe all, hope all, and endure all?

In my closest relationships, do I let rudeness and demanding my own way lead during conflict?

Can I come to a place of rejoicing even after hearing the truth spoken to me?

Join the conversation: Which characteristic of God’s love from 1 Corinthians 13 do you celebrate the most?

Read more about love God’s way, You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling. 

Pictures are of me and my grandson, Foster. Design by Adobe Spark.

Descriptions from 1 Corinthians 13 are taken from the ESV.

Post part of these link ups: Salt & Light, Crystal Twadell/Fresh Market Friday, Crystal Storms/Heart Encouragement, Meg Gemelli/GRITupAndGoSuzanne Eller/Living Free, Lyli Dunbar/#FaithOnFire button

© 2017 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved

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September 21, 2017 at 10:00 am | Uncategorized


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SUSAN SHIPE says:

I celebrate HOPE, every.single.day.

Karen says:

Hey Susan, thanks for commenting. Yes, I love hope and it only comes from Christ. It’s the reason this blog is called, “Hope is Among Us.” Appreciate you stopping by and remember, you are never far from hope. Blessings!

Rob Moore says:

If love were fair it would be all over for me, and I would have no hope for Heaven or redemption. It would be Hell certain. Thank You Jesus for not being fair…

Great post as usual Karen. You are my go-to Christian blogger. Hi Foster, you cutie!

Karen says:

Rob, thank you for your encouragement once again. And for commenting. Yes, we’re grateful Jesus did not consider fairness or we’d be in trouble when it came to eternity. When we attempt to qualify love, we cease to love God’s way. 🙂

I love that you separated the list into “Love is” and “Love isn’t!” That was really helpful to me. Thank you for this wisdom and encouragement to love unconditionally (you’re so right, love isn’t fair and I’m grateful for that!)

Karen says:

Thanks so much Bethany. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. The Lord continues to have me in class with this one. I pray He continues to teach us what love is and isn’t and how it plays out in a practical way in our lives. Blessings!

Thank you for your insightful post. I never realized how much I’ve been doing the same thing: keeping score. My mind says one thing about unconditional love but my actions the opposite.

Glad I found this post on the Salt and Light Linkup. Thank you!

Karen says:

So true, Ashley, me too. It’s easy to claim I desire to love like God, then deny that same love by my actions. I pray we move closer in love to bear all, believe all, hope all, and endure all. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Blessings!

It really struck me how Jesus is referring to Himself in 1 Corinthians, give my body to be burned, He was and offering alright. It wasn’t fair to Him, but He was willing. Loves is always a choice, most of are just phileo -friend, but God is agape, He loves regardless and that can be hard sometimes. On that 1 to 10 scale, maybe I’m in the middle, when no one pays attention to me, yeah, I’m a zero. Patience can go right out the window with your family, but I’m glad you asked. Thanks, Karen.

Karen says:

Rebecca, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. And for your honesty. I’m with you on that patience thing and our family. Crazy how sometimes we treat strangers or an acquaintance with more love and respect than those closest to us or living under the same roof. Yet, God calls us to love without conditions and without qualifications for what’s in it for “me.” I pray I move up the scale more and more often. Blessings!

Amy Jung says:

I hadn’t really thought about unconditional love not being fair…but I do agree! I most appreciate endurance and patience!

Karen says:

Thanks for commenting, Amy. And I like your “love” choices. Enduring all things and patience can be hard, yet they both display true unconditional love. I find it interesting that the very first characteristic listed in 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is patient. Blessings!

This post just touched my heart. Wow, Karen, it is beautiful and teaches so much. Loved it thanks to you. God Bless

Karen says:

Aw, thanks so much, Marijon. Your words are kind and encouraging. Several troubled relationships sparked this post. The Lord kept nudging my spirit and reminding me what true love actually looks like in 1 Corinthians 13. Once I flipped over to it in my Bible and reflected, the words and thoughts for this post poured out of my soul. I’m continually asking God to give me this kind of love for others and not insist on fairness or my own way. Blessings sweet lady.

Lesley says:

This is thought-provoking. It is easy to say we love unconditionally but then to get upset if we feel we’re not getting it returned as we feel we should. And when I think of Jesus, I’m grateful that God’s love is not fair!

Karen says:

Thanks, Lesley. You’re so right, talking is one thing and following through with our words are another thing entirely. Because our human attempts to offer godly love often fail miserably. Grateful God leads the way in not only loving us first, but He’s also a picture of real unconditional love. Blessings!

Thanks for all this deep reflection on the nature of love — particularly God’s love. “Fairness” is a hard thing to come by in this world, and even harder to define, because we are all so incredibly biased in our own favor. Thanks be to God that He keeps track of what’s ultimately just — may we trust Him for grace and faith to leave all possible verdicts in His hands.

Karen says:

Michele, appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Yes, “fair” is defined by the one true and just God. I’m so glad it’s not up to us and grateful God didn’t consider whether we deserve His love. We don’t deserve or earn God’s love. Yet, Jesus was unfairly treated and died for us without us having to qualify ourselves. To demand fairness is to destroy the intent of real love.

Love the not-so-often spoken truths here, Karen. The photos are adorable too! Sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

Karen says:

Thank you, Sarah. It’s definitely tough to live out this kind of love in our everyday life and relationships. It will take the love of the Father and Christ in us to bring us closer to unconditional love. Appreciate you commenting and sharing!

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