Never really expected to be writing about a Katy Perry song, honestly, but evidently here we go. This song is written about the beauty of unconditional love. This song hits some really great points about unconditional love. Unconditional love is the kind that doesn’t just know the picture perfect you that has got it all together- as the lyrics point out, it knows the real, not so perfect you- the insecurities, bad days, and past history that are buried deep inside.
It’s the part of love that can make people nervous, because you have to be honest and real and trust the other person to accept you in spite of your imperfections. You have to be willing to be hurt and be stomped on and be tried because you don’t get to the love part without the sacrifice part, without the fear part, without the unknown. But it’s also the type of love we all need and crave, because its the only way you really can be honest and free with someone. In looking this song up I realized there are several songs called unconditional. I think it’s a concept that is greatly desired, but slightly misunderstood. There’s quite a few songs recently that have had lyrics to the effect of “I love you so much I would do anything for you, will you do the same for me?” I think it’s a strange thing to say, because that puts a specific condition on your love- I only love you if you love me back equally, and it’s a really common theme for top-40 songs lately. Obviously, no one wants to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love them back, but this is actually the opposite of unconditional love. Unconditional love says that there’s nothing you could possibly do to change the way I feel about you. Unconditional love doesn’t say “Here’s what you’ll give, and here’s what I’ll give,” it just says I love you. Unconditional love cannot put limits, stipulations, or demands on it- It is a pure love that exists regardless of what it gets back. We can try, and hope for this in relationships, and try to show this kind of impartiality to people, but we are not capable of that kind of love. We always demand something back for that love- help, comfort, obedience, protection, fun, or reciprocation. We want for love to go back and forth- you give a little and I’ll give a little. And as much as we try, we will never get to the point where we just love, no questions asked, no requirements, no stipulations. We always want a relationship- we want to get something back when we offer love. But that’s not unconditional love, that’s actually love with a pretty big condition on it that can’t always be met.
But true unconditional love is more then simply loving someone who has faults. It’s offering total love that will not be changed based on what is returned. The only person who can offer this kind of love is God. God loves you wholeheartedly, without question. There’s nothing you could do to make him love you more, and no mistakes you could make that would make Him love you less. His love is truly unconditional because God didn’t ask anything at all of us before he offered his full, complete, love. His love is unconditional and undeserved. Romans 5:8 says that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this- while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God loved us while we were still sinners, still messed up, while we cared absolutely nothing about Him. Not only did he totally love and accept us, He died for us then- when we still hated, ignored, and despised him. Jesus did all the work, and then still offers us his love now. Now to be fair, yes, he does want a relationship with you- he wants you to believe His love and accept it, so he does ask for some conditions to be fulfilled to have a relationship with him. But the big difference with God is, even if those conditions are never fulfilled, even if you continued to hate him, even if you refused to acknowledge his love, He would still love you the exact same. Isaiah 54:10 says “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” He doesn’t say, “Oh this person doesn’t love me, I’m going to find someone else to love;” his love never changes. He continues to love us whether we accept it or not. That is true unconditional love.
There is one other thing that is different biblically then shown in this song. It is true that with unconditional love you come just as you are, without fear, and without perfection. But God’s unconditional love provides an additional art- You don’t just continue to live in apologies, and bad days, and insecurities; God’s love changes how you were, into something more that isn’t scared, painful, and insecure. You can give up those imperfections completely and instead of just accepting, ignoring, or dealing with them, He frees you of them. If you take the time to get to know God’s love you won’t come out the same. The Bible says “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.” (Ephesians 1:3) I prefer love where I actually come out better in the end instead of continually scarred and insecure. That’s truly unconditional love.
Deuteronomy 7:7,9a- “God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important- the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery… Know this: God, your God, is indeed a God you can depend on.”