The issue of the give and take of love gets a pretty good treatment in States of Grace. Elder Farrell's dad says he'd rather his son come home in a coffin than come home dishonored. And, admirably, Dutcher doesn't flake out with a pat reconciliation at the end--the dad stays distant and Elder Farrell stays tormented to an extent. What kind of love is that? What kind of love wants the best for a person, thus sets up expectations of behavior, and failing those expectations withdraws completely?
Holly's parents struggle with the same thing. They love their daughter, it seems, enough to send her to L.A. first class with all their support and hope for the best as an actress. But when things go south and she makes some poor decisions out of desperation, they withdraw not only their approval, but even the most basic of personal contact. Do they see that in some strange way as being loving to their daughter?
I can understand the importance of emphasizing your moral viewpoint to your children. I can understand the temptation to give ultimatums. But sending the message that mistakes are irrevocable is anti-Christ.
I'll never turn my son out, regardless of the decisions he makes, unless he becomes a threat to the safety and well being of others for whom I have responsibility. So, the trick now is, how do I make it absolutely clear that he always has my love and support without dampening the high expectations of behavior I have for him as well? I dunno. It doesn't even seem that tricky to me at the moment. Why then do people put conditions on their love?