Does God love us out of free will?

Like, does God choose to give us unconditional love, or is he forced to by his nature?

We can only make a guess. We don’t know God fully, nor can we ever hope to comprehend.

What we know is God’s nature not only to love, but God is love Himself.

God,being all powerful, cannot suffer force or coercion, even from Himself. He loves us because He IS Love.

Love, in its purest form, is not something that is granted because we look for it. In its purest form, love can be seen as something beyond reality that is experienced in reality. We see God as this Pure Being from the beginning and with good reason also. (Atheists would object to that, but what do they know about God?) Love is unconditional.

Take for example parents. Parents often get a little annoyed at lack of sleep or copious amounts of crying or what not, but the reality of it is they still love the child unconditionally and beyond the realms of existence. Then you have a parent who kills their child because they get annoyed and do not want to suffer anymore. Is that pure love? No… That is not even love. I say “pure love” because sometimes it is the object itself that is sought out, like the wife of a husband. This is still seen as love though because the meaning of the word is lost in the idolatrous behavior. I am not saying said husband does not love the wife but we must admit that sometimes it is her body that he wants. That is why I say “pure love”.

But the first parents I mentioned give themselves completely to their child (sometimes taking turns to catch up on sleep and sanity and such) without regret or complaint. This is “pure love”. They created something and continue to nurture it and suffering all the meanwhile, shows that love. Sometimes they get nothing in return but the love from the child, which is the greatest gift of all.

It is true that all rational beings search for Love (in addition to Life and Truth). We all want to love and be loved by another and give ourselves wholly to the other. We all want somebody there for us and we all want to be that somebody for our loved ones. This is the whole point of unconditional. One can look at that as a selfish way of looking at love, but what is selfish about wanting to give yourself to somebody? It is not required that the love be returned anyway. It is just desired and hoped for (by us anyway).

Love itself is unconditional. Love itself requires nothing in return. But, even Love itself will suffer for Love. Again, look at the parents I mentioned. Is it too much to ask for love in return for their love? Is that a selfish desire? Let’s take a look.

“Selfish” is defined by an excessive or possibly even exclusive concern or desire to fulfill the needs of yourself. The suffering of these parents can be abused if all they want is praise and such, but then that questions the idea that it was unconditional in the first. One can object by saying it is still the feeling of personal satisfaction and love in return that the parents are seeking if it is indeed not a selfish act. Well, is that really selfish for being loved for what was good in the first place to do? And Love itself does satisfy our deepest inner desires (along with Life and Truth). Love is not selfish if it is to be in its purest form.

In any case, the parents that love the child might desire that the he love them, but that is not a requirement with love. Love requires nothing but giving/suffering. (That slashed part is just speculation on my part.) One cannot force the recipient of love to love him back.

So, if God is Love Itself and that Love Itself is in its purest form, then that very Love will want nothing but to love its own whether or not that love is returned. Although this Love is nothing else but Love, it is free to Love because Love is free to love. Pure Love is not forced in or by any nature. If He were forced to Love, then that would not be Love. God would not have created anything if it were not for His being Love. And Love needs Life to love. And Truth is what makes Love unquestionable.

There are 3 things persons search for: Life, Truth and Love. But, Love is the only Truth that makes Life worth living. God knows this more than we do. Sometimes we faily to realize this innate Truth.

I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

God bless

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.