Midweek Push: Love Without Expectation

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

But love ye your enemies and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luke 6:35)

Have you ever just wished your husband would take your plate up after dinner just one time? Maybe you’ve thought, “I’ve done all the decorations for this event and no one said anything,” or “Did my boss even notice the card I put on her desk? She should at least give a nod or say thank you!”

Many of us have expectations like these. When people fail to meet them we respond in anger, bitterness, and may even hold grudges. What if they don’t have the same values as you? Would you just stop showing love, stop picking up after people, or stop doing nice things for others because they don’t respond like you think they should?

Leo Buscaglia said, "Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love." What a profound statement! When we truly love another person (whether a family member, friend, or a complete stranger) we do things for them, not to get anything back in return, but to express physically what we feel emotionally for them. We want them to know that the love of God in our lives teaches us to give without hoping for anything in return (Luke 6:35).

We all know about agape or unconditional love, right? It simply means loving without conditions. Even simpler, “I’ll do this for you, but you don’t have to do anything for me.” Having an expectation or demanding a response for giving a gift of love ruins the value of that gift. It makes love conditional, not sacrificial. Selfless acts pay for themselves. A thank you or an act in response is not necessary if it’s done from the heart. What’s important is realizing that God is pleased.

Find joy in giving some of these Unconditional Love Nuggets:

Be a listening ear. You don’t have to offer advice. Just listen.
Pay it forward by purchasing something for the person behind you in line.
Cook breakfast without expecting someone to wash dishes or do the same for you.
Help someone complete a project. Then don’t mention your part in the process.
Give away used clothes without expecting a tax deduction receipt.

Loving with expectation says I’ll give to this charity today, because they will publicly recognize me for my generosity next week. However, loving without expectation says, because love told me to, I can’t help but give. This type of love doesn’t say you owe me. Leo Buscaglia goes on to say, “Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.” Love is giving of yourself, unrestrained and candidly. It is not a show, but a sharing. It doesn’t expect, it expresses. It is not giving others the right to mistreat you, but giving others the right to see the Master through you.

How else can you exhibit Love without Expectation today?

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  1. Allowing a friend to stay over for a while without expecting her to pay for groceries.

    1. That is an excellent way to show Love without Expectation! Sometimes the simplest act makes the greatest difference. Thanks for sharing!!!


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