Sometimes people in a marriage get to the point where they are just fed up with the way the other person acts. The things that they do and say annoy one another, and they decide that they just can’t love them anymore. The love they had for each other was not an unconditional love. It was limited by their reactions to everyday events.
We all have days where we feel frustrated by our spouses’ faults, but do you show unconditional love at those times, or do you slip into a pattern of focusing on the negative? If you continue being negative, even those small problems can begin to put your marriage at risk. You need to be proactive.
True love is a choice to keep on loving.
Is Your Love Unconditional?
In life, we often put limits on love. We will only love someone if they act or respond to us in certain ways. But that kind of limited love will eventually destroy your marriage if you don’t get ahead of the problem.
Are you limiting the love you show your spouse? Think about these questions.
- Do you accept your spouse’s flaws or do you try to fix them?
- Do you say unkind things to them on a regular basis?
- Do you tease your spouse in front of other people?
- Do you make ultimatums to force your spouse to change?
If you saw glimpses of your behavior in those questions, you do not love your spouse unconditionally. You are expecting your own way in your relationship when you should be showing your spouse how much you love them just the way they are.
Putting conditions on love for one another creates a dynamic in the marriage where you both end up acting like children who are not getting their own way. You know, temper tantrums, yelling, the silent treatment. Did I strike a nerve yet?
How Can Unconditional Love Affect Your Marriage?
Do you want to have a marriage where your spouse accepts you for who you are right now? Then you need to do the same thing for them if you ever expect them to have it for you. Hopefully, you see the need for working toward an unconditional love for your spouse. It’s a decision that, if you make it, can improve your mindset and perhaps begin to draw your spouse back to you, closing any gap that may be growing.
“The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. – Jeremiah 31:3”
Think about the love God has for you. He loves all of us in utterly unfathomable ways. To be willing to send His Son to us, to be brutally killed for us, especially when he knew that so many would refuse to accept that love, is something that should burn into our hearts and minds daily.
Because God loves us unconditionally, he expects us to love others in the same way. In 1 Peter 4:8, the Bible says:
“Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause people to forgive each other for many sins.”
He wants us to apply that verse to everyone, so I would think he expects you to do this especially for the person you chose to marry, don’t you think?
If you recognize that you have room for improvement in the unconditional love department, there are several choices you can make that will develop your decision mindset in which you love your spouse unconditionally.
Decision #1: Love Your Spouse
Deciding to love your spouse requires that you fully accept your spouse just the way they are. This new view will relieve any feelings of disappointment in them, and it will remove some of the stress from them because they don’t always have to worry that they are not living up to your standards. See them as perfect just the way they are, even though they have faults. You do too.
Decision #2: Extend God’s Love
God loves you, so pass that kind of love on to them. He loves you unconditionally, no matter how badly you screw up. And I think we can all agree; God’s been pretty forgiving towards us. Project that kind of love onto your spouse, and strive to love them the way Jesus does.
Decision #3: Choose to Serve
Try this. Be intentional about serving your spouse instead of demanding service from them all the time. And don’t have strings attached to these deeds. They will see right through the act to your selfishness. Instead, do these things with the proper motive, love. Don’t give up serving them because they are not reciprocating right away. You may be surprised sooner than you think.
Decision #4: Extend Forgiveness
Decide to leave the past where it belongs, in the past. Whether it was from events ten years ago or ten minutes ago, drop it. Grudges are never healthy. Live in the present and create hope for the future.
Keeping a positive biblical attitude toward your spouse will keep your marriage from slowly eroding away until there is nothing left to build on. Make a decision today to work on this mindset and put it into action.
So what is your next step? Which of the decision ideas in this article would improve your marriage the most? Give it a try, and then come on over to Facebook, click on this post, and share in the comments what you did and how it worked. I’d love to celebrate with you!
Are you interested in learning more about changing your mindset and improving your marriage, sign up for our email list and get a free copy of the 7 Constructive Marriage Mindsets Workbook. It will have you evaluating your current mindset and see places where you can make changes to make your marriage worthy of celebrating. Click here to sign up.