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Motherly and Fatherly Love
05-22-2014, 04:23 PM
Post: #1
Motherly and Fatherly Love

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Passage 87. Motherly and Fatherly Love

Motherly love by its very nature is unconditional.

Mother loves the newborn infant because it is her child,

not because the child has fulfilled any specific condition,

or lived up to any specific expectation.

Unconditional love corresponds in one of the deepest longings,

not only of the child, but of every human being;

on the other hand, to be loved because of one’s merit, because one deserves it, always leaves doubt;

maybe I did not please the person whom I want to love me,

maybe this or that—there is always a fear that love could disappear.

Furthermore,“deserved” love easily leaves a bitter feeling that one is not loved for oneself,

that one is loved only because one pleases,

that one is, in the last analysis, not loved at all but used.

No wonder that we all cling to the longing for motherly love,

as children and also as adults.

The relationship to father is quite different.

Mother is the home we come from, she is nature, soil, the ocean;

father does not represent any such natural home.

He has little connection with the child in the first years of its life,

and his importance for the child in this early period cannot be compared with that of mother.

But while father does not represent the natural world,

he represents the other pole of human existence;

the world of thought,of man-made things, of law and order, of discipline, of travel and adventure.

Father is the one who teaches the child, who shows him the road into the world.

Fatherly love is conditional love.

Its principle is “I love you because you fulfill my expectations,

because you do your duty,because you are like me.”

In conditional fatherly love we find, as with unconditional motherly love,

a negative and a positive aspect.

The negative aspect is the very fact that fatherly love has to be deserved,

that it can be lost if one does not do to what is expected.

In the nature of fatherly love lies the fact that obedience becomes the main virtue,

that disobedience is the main sin—and its punishment the withdrawal of fatherly love.

The positive side is equally important.

Since his love is conditional, I can do something to acquire it, I can work for it;

his love is not outside of my control as motherly love is.
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