If someone were to ask you, “why do you love your husband”, what would you say?
Most women would probably say something about their husband’s good looks and personality. They would describe romantic things, like how much they love the twinkle in their eyes, their sense of humor, or the way that they listen to them so intently. They would give their approval of his integrity, morals, and character. I know these were some of the reasons that I used to give to anyone who asked me what my reasons were for loving my husband too.
What if, over the course of the years, your husband stopped being all of these things? Would you still love him? Or what if you changed, and your husband wasn’t everything on your new and revised wish list? Maybe you’ve found new interests that he is not on board with. Our differences can even be deeper issues, like you’ve become a born-again Christian, and he is not. It may be that on most days, the feeling of love and connection has seemed to have dissipated.
Would you still love your husband if all of the things you admired about him, and the feelings that stemmed from them, no longer seemed to exist?
I would dare to say that many women would answer “no” to the above questions. If the reasons for loving your husband all have to do with his qualities, or your common interests, and they have disappeared, it is likely that your feelings of love will vanish also.
The only way love can last for a lifetime is if it is unconditional. Love is not based on a feeling, but is an everyday choice to remain committed to the vows that you’ve made before God.
Love is not defined by the one being loved, but rather by the one choosing to love.
Unconditional love is unselfish, persevering, and is stable under any change of circumstances. Unless there is a solid foundation for which your marriage is built upon, then it is likely to crack into a million pieces with any unexpected change.
It is easy to love a husband who has charming qualities, but when this is the basis of your love for him, what will you do when it seems he isn’t the same man anymore? Do you make your covenant marriage an exception for divorce? No, not at all. The Bible tells us, “If a man vows to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he should not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds from his mouth,” (Numbers 30:2). We are bound to the promise of the oath “for better or worse, until death do us part.”
The truth is that when we commit our ways to the Lord, His plans will be established. It is our right as believers to have faith, hope, and confidence in Him alone. When we do things God’s way, by taking heed to His commands, our efforts are guaranteed to succeed. I know this promise was true for my marriage, and can be for your’s too.
It is possible that the feeling of being “in love” with our husbands can change hundreds of times throughout our lives, based on how well we are getting along, or how much we are enjoying our lives together. Sometimes, there can be some dark valleys with virtually no hope in sight. This is where our trust in God and our commitment to our covenant marriage must be relied upon.
The truth is that we have already been warned in 1 Corinthians 7:28, that “Those who marry will face many troubles in this life.” So, it seems clear that no marriage is an exception to this, and will face many hardships. No matter what the circumstances are, God will give the ability to love, no matter what change occurs throughout the course of a marriage.
Even if the love for your husband was once motivated for the wrong reasons, a marriage can be restored or redeemed, when it is rebuilt with an unconditional love as the new foundation.
The friendship and romantic aspects of your marriage can become more profound than ever when it is not based on circumstances, but rather on the commitment to your vows. Marriages with unwavering commitment experience an intimacy that cannot be achieved otherwise, but you must first allow God to begin growing His love within you to attain this same kind of love for your husband. When you truly have a burning passion for Jesus, then you will want to share that love with your husband forever.
Now that we’ve established that love is not based on your husband’s attributes or behaviors, but is based on your own commitment to the covenant of marriage, you can begin to accept him, and continue to show love even when it isn’t returned in a way that you’ve hoped for.
Prove to your spouse that your love is not conditional, but is based on a choice … come rain or shine.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7.