The pain of unrequited love. To love so deeply without it ever being returned. To feel so strongly and be torn apart. To be rejected and despised by the very person you were willing to lay your life down for. Unrequited love is the bravest kind of love. The purest kind of love. Lacking reciprocity. Simply love.
You would think that the silliest thing to do in this world is to wear your heart on your sleeve. To give your love so freely in such a cruel world knowing that it will most likely be abused. Personally, I would rather you scratch my back in return (not literally). But for some reason, God calls us to lead a life that will lead to us experiencing unrequited love frequently.
Many times in the Bible we are called to love one another, Christian or not. No matter who they are or what they’ve done, we are called to love. Christ came to show us love, but He also revealed a greater message than that. We are called to love, but not to be loved. If our main mission as Christian’s is to be loved by everyone in the world, then we are going to fail. To be loved requires compromise, but there are many things that we shouldn’t compromise. Our love for God and people should in fact make it hard for us to compromise. When you are standing firmly on the truth, it should take more than the fear of others not liking you to make you move (see, Matthew 7:24-27).
There were many things that Christ did not stand for, but despite Him rebuking people, He did it all out of love. He angered many people. Christ displayed the greatest form of love knowing that many would never love Him back. He didn’t walk around with His disciples caring about whether people would love Him. That wasn’t the point. He was preaching something much bigger than that. He was showing people that eternity was at stake. If He cared about being loved, He would have never spoken.
Christ never went around looking to offend people. He was preaching the truth. Although people were offended by what He was saying, this was never His intention. His intention was to bring about change and to help and enable us to see God’s Kingdom on Earth. Even though unrequited love is a scary idea, it is better to not have someone return your love, then to compromise your faith to appease people and make them feel more comfortable.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
– Luke 15: 12-21