“The romantic love we feel toward the opposite sex is probably one extra help from God to bring you together, but that’s it. All the rest of it, the true love, is the test.” – Joan Chen
It was William Shakespeare who said, “the course of true love never did run smooth.”
Shakespeare was right. True love will have some bumps. Especially when you consider the radical mind bending unconditional love exemplified by Jesus. If you don’t learn to show your spouse unconditional love, your marriage will not deepen. Without true love, marriage will never deepen because it is dependent on a shallow and fragile root system.
That’s why it’s so important for us to learn to love our spouse unconditionally. It is not easy. Giving your spouse unconditional, unwavering love requires grace, patience, affirmation, encouragement, respect and time. Even when you don’t feel like showing love, or your spouse is trying to be unloveable at that time, you continue to love unconditionally. It is a sure way for your marriage to experience a deepening.
Jesus Christ demonstrated how to show true love. He loved us not because we were lovable or worthy of that love, but because He is the personification of true love. Romans 5:8 describes godly love in action: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
That love requires us to be concerned for the well-being of others over our own wants and desires. God even gives us His Spirit to enable us to exhibit true godly love toward others. As the apostle Paul explained: ”…you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:9-10).
Remember that God is the author of unconditional unselfish love. If you want true love, go to God for it, for He can give you the power and desire to put into practice the little things in marriage that constitute true love. He can help you develop more outgoing concern for the needs of your husband or wife rather than concentrating solely on your own feelings and desires.
True love comes to those who are willing to make their personal wants and desires secondary in giving of themselves to their marriage partner.
Don’t expect true love overnight. True love grows as a husband and wife learn how to better meet the needs and desires of the other. True love matures through living experiences and through feeding the fires on a daily basis.
- Is true love more than acts of kindness? Why or why not?
- What is the expectation of love in marriage or in a relationship?
- What must you risk in loving your spouse sacrificially?
- In unconditionally loving our spouse, what is the worst pain we face? What will you have to give up?
- Pray and ask God to help you love your spouse unconditionally.