Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

demanding love



As a nation we have inherited a theologically derived picture of love which is the demanding variety. Our story of God tells us that He demands our love under the threat of horrendous punishment. According to this view love and coercion go hand in hand. Love must be earned and then maintained by submission and obedience to every demand of the lover. 


Out of this understanding of what love means and how it operates, we have come to view our personal relationships with spouses, children, family, and friends as operating the same way. We think we rightfully offer our love to  others under a strict set of conditions which they are obliged to meet or else. 


Ironically, the Bible is quite clear about what love means and what results from true love. I Corinthians 13 carefully outlines the attributes of love which in effect is a definition of the God who is proclaimed to be love. No where in that description can we find evidence to support our traditionally derived theological view of divine love. 


Naturally, many Christians want to ignore I Corinthians 13 in favor of other passages they think prove a God of jealousy, anger, hatred, and threats. We have thousands of years of church history to prove unequivocally that this is not a divine description which resonates in the human heart and brings about meaningful and lasting personal transformation.


Nonetheless, a great many are sold on the idea of being "scared straight". Well, here again we have ample Bible evidence. Love is said to cast out fear not to instill it. People may well change their lives after suffering the consequences of bad decisions and hurtful behaviors, but this is nothing more than the law of reaping ands sowing at work. Being jolted out of bad behavior requires nothing more than observing how things work out if we continue as we have been. The law of reaping and sowing does not require God to lift a finger against us. The law rules the universe just like gravity does.


In reality love is very demanding. The demands all fall on the lover and none on the beloved. However, the benefits of love flow both ways.