Choosing to Love Unconditionally in Marriage

Ten months.

I can think of three universally recognizable examples of unconditional love: God and man, parent and child, and dog and owner. But what about whom you marry? Is that unconditional love?

Isn’t that sort of the whole concept of marrying someone? To choose to unconditionally love a person you wouldn’t otherwise love to the point of “no matter what?”  To me, that’s the most romantic thing a person can do. Even stripped of emotion and sentimentality, marriage is/should be mutual unconditional love at its finest.

And maybe that’s one of the reasons that marriage isn’t as easy as a lot of people may assume going into it. Instead, marriage is an ongoing process of mutual maturity. Marriage causes people to see how hard it can be to live with even themselves, from the perspective of someone who happens to love them unconditionally.

To love someone unconditionally means there is nothing that that person can do to cause them to fall out of ultimate favor with you. Sure, some days it’s easier than others, but that falls under the whole “for better or for worse” part of the wedding vows.

Actually, for a human being (outside of the parent/child relationship) to love another unconditionally is one of the biggest paradoxes I can think of. But it helps to put things in perspective by turning the tables: I, myself, want to be unconditionally loved.

I want to know there is a person who doesn’t judge me when I’m not in the room, but at the same time is brave enough to tell me directly and privately how I can improve as a person, in both big and small ways. I want to know there is a person who understands me, or at least puts up with me, when I’m being weird or simply not myself.

So maybe choosing to love another person is challenging, but for me, the bigger challenge was finding someone who would love me unconditionally. Thank God, that’s exactly who I found.


One thought on “Choosing to Love Unconditionally in Marriage

  1. You said “To love someone unconditionally means there is nothing that that person can do to cause them to fall out of ultimate favor with you.” I believe God calls us unconditionally to love our mates in marriage as you said, nothing short of abandonment, adultery or physical abuse should end this unconditional love.

    But I slightly disagree with you on the romantic notion of it. Unconditional love from a Biblical viewpoint, has nothing to do with emotion or romance as we understand it. Unconditional love is an attitude, followed up by a series of actions. In marriage this is based on a covenant that we have made before God.

    The other kind of love, the one that is conditional, is based on emotion and romance. It is based upon what our beloved does for us, and what we do for them. This love comes and goes, it may be stronger and weaker depending on how a husband and wife treat one another.

    So what that means in practical terms is, I am to be kind and caring to my wife and her needs, to protect her and to honor her as my wife not matter how I feel about her at any given time, no matter how she treats me. The same goes for her toward me.

    However, I won’t have romantic feelings toward my wife, or her toward me unless we both cultivate that in each other by our actions towards one another.


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