The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 26, 2023 - 4:52:12

Conditions in relationships

Katie van Schaijik, May 19, 2015

A while back I wrote a post called Love is unconditional; Relationships have terms. I had noticed how often "unconditional love" gets invoked to put pressure on the victims of abuse and to protect wrong-doers from having to face the reality of what they've done. It's perverse.

Preparing for a Theology on Tap talk I'm to give next week, I've been re-reading The Way to Christ, a series of retreat talks Karol Wojtyla gave young adults in Poland in the 1960's and 70's. A passage in it reminded me of that post [my emphasis].

“Every one who acknowledges me before men”— before men—“ I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” ( Matthew 10: 32 ; cf. Luke 12: 8 ). He did not say this as a stern judge, but from his position as Christ, thinking of the necessary condition of our response to God and choice of God.

God's love for us is absolute and unwavering, but if we want to live in union with Him, there are conditions involved. We have to respond to Him; we have to acknowledge Him; we have to amend our lives...

The same is true in human relationships. If we want to keep them, we have to abide by the terms that go with them.