Many people reading the title of this post may assume that this would be about open relationships, casual dating, friends with benefits, or something along that line. I mean when someone says ‘no strings attached’, we tend to think of people wanting to have the freedom to do whatever they want with no commitment, however, in this case, I’m not referring to sex or casual relationships.

I’m talking about the answer to one basic question:
How do you love the people in your life and does your love come with strings attached?

Are you the person that shows people love when it serves a purpose for you? Do you stop loving someone when they do something you don’t like, they hurt you, or the relationship or friendship ends? Is your love based on some condition or come with expectations that must be met? Do we show love only when it’s convenient and easy?

Think about all the people in your life. Past and present.

It’s said that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or for a lifetime. I can definitely see that in circumstances in my own life. And at the same time, let’s ask ourselves, in those instances, for that season, after that season was over, or in the midst of our continuing relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, did and do we still express love in words and deeds freely despite anything?

It’s just a question to ask yourself and think about. I’d like to think that we all desire love that’s unconditional, with no strings attached. That even with our flaws and imperfections, bad days and times we don’t meet others expectations, that we would still be loved and give love.

And if it is the case that you desire that from those whose lives has touched you, simply take some time to reflect on, are you one that offers that to others whose lives you touch?

With that, I’ll leave you with this:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?” – Matthew 5:43-47

Be blessed…

  1. Tha'R says:

    My Take:

    We can love humanity (as God says we should) without strings, because we are loving the vast majority of folk from afar; they have no direct effect on our lives. However, there are always strings attached to the love we give to people, who actually have some contact/relationship with us (family, friends, etc.). If we were ever capable of loving absolutely, we would not require the Grace of God through Christ (who was the only living person capable of doing this).

    Let’s face it: a love without strings is usually (caveated below) for a person who we essentially do not hold in any significant regard, were forced/convinced to set free, or could not get to endear us (unrequited love: sadly, I’m a bit of an expert on that one). What we (should) fight against is the 1) number, 2) rigidity, 3) shortness and 4) strength of each string, and each of these depends on the relationship in question. We can love a person that does not respect us, but we will likely do so from afar, and likely only by reflecting God’s Love for all humanity (keep ’em in your prayers, ’cause you can’t afford to keep ’em in your life).

    1) Easily enough, we try to minimize requirements and not create unreasonable ones (“If you love me, you will [insert trivial stipulation here].”)
    2) We try to leave enough flexibility for others to satisfy our reqs the best way they can, instead of “exactly like this.”
    3) Simply put, we try to cut ’em some slack. 😉
    4) We should keep them loose enough, that if they decide that they need to be free, it’s not a painful ordeal (if you love someone…)

    Even when we show love to our community youth by assisting in their proper development and well-being, we require that they don’t slash our tires or steal our credit cards and go nuts. If they proceed to “cut those strings,” the nature of how we love them develops a significant chasm. So, we require those (near and) dear to us to respect (and hopefully love) us, as well as honor the tenants of our well-being; these are “strings.” At its best, we try to simplify that for them without doing detriment to ourselves.

    A key point is that when we want to be endeared to those, who are endeared to us (I have a related, semi-recent FB post), while they are striving to reduce how much their strings encumber us, we should WANT to be attached to their (reasonable) strings. We should want to be there for them, feel accomplished when we are, and upset at ourselves when we fail to be. We should want to maintain adoration and appreciation for their even choosing to be a part of our lives. As a man (biblical definition), I long for that kind of “responsibility” (because that is also what these strings are), and the “blessed of us” should seek-out this kind of “commitment” (yep, strings). As free and independent as we seek to declare ourselves, there’s something magical in wanting to hold the heart strings of some, who wants to hold tight yours. As we wrap and immerse ourselves, each in the strings of the other, we find that those strings become the ties that bind us.

    CAVEAT: The only other way to love completely without strings is to love selflessly, which (when not applying to life/limb-saving actions) literally is not loving yourself. When people are in abusive relationships, we tell them to love themselves enough to get out and not go back. Loving yourself is having standards, and you should not reduce or remove those standards for those, who would violate them at their whim. Neither should you sacrifice yourself to no avail; there is no good in stymieing your love, helping a wastrel, when so many more beyond have good need of it.

  2. La'Keisha says:

    Wow…this speaks to a few life lessons I am learning in the classroom of life right now. Unfortunately, for me I guess I have been demonstrating that strings are attached. Disloyalty tends to stab me deeply. Also when I realize others do not value or honor me in the ways I do them, I cut off all emotional ties. But then again, that is only with a select few people. Ultimately, we have to do inventory, some people require strings if the connection (distant family members/casual acquaintances) are hanging by a thread to begin with.

    Very intriguing piece, Fredi. Made me really reflect.

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