Love seeks the good of the other even when it’s not fair. Keeping score and ensuring everything is perfectly balanced is not the way of love.
It’s only natural to desire mutual love – the effort, energy, and affection we give to another we want reciprocated.
The problem comes when our actions become conditional.
When we refuse to practice love unless it is equally reciprocated we are operating as immature men.
And this is not how we have learned Christ. Jesus offered himself on our behalf long before we did anything to return his affection or even express our gratitude.
As our example, we are to love as he loved us. And many times this is not fair.
An easy example is with our children. Generally, we do not expect them to pour into us in the same way we pour into them. Loving our children unconditionally tends to be easier than loving others.
With others we are more likely to keep score.
I took care of you when you were sick, but you act like I’m such a burden when I’m ill.
I celebrated your birthday, but you didn’t even remember mine.
You barely even acknowledge I’m hurting, though I sent you texts, called, and spent hours with you when you needed me.
The desire for love to be reciprocated is not the problem here. And at times, it is very appropriate to even challenge the other to grow in their practice of love.
However, someone else’s failure to love does not rob us of our freedom and responsibility to love.
We are still called to love even when it is not fair.
Certainly, we grieve when our relationships are not balanced in our displays of love towards each other.
At the same time, as mature men we do not wait on fairness to offer our strength and love.
Our integrity demands that we offer love even when it is not fair.