Love is Unconditional!
God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5.8
If someone were to ask you, "Why do you love your spouse?"- what would you say? Most men could mention their wife's beauty, sense of humor, kindness, inner strength. Women would probably mention their husband's good looks, personality, steadiness and/or consistent character.
But what if over the course of years, your spouse stopped being every one of those things. Would you still love them? Based on your answers above, the only logical response would be, "NO." If your reasons for loving your spouse all have something to do with his or her qualities- and then those qualities suddenly or gradually disappear- your basis for love is over.
The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this- LOVE IS NOT DETERMINED BY THE ONE BEING LOVED BUT RATHER BY THE ONE CHOOSING TO LOVE.
The Bible refers to this kind of love by using the Greek word agape (uh-GOP-ay) It differs from other types of love, which are- phileo (friendship) and eros (sexual love). Both friendship and sex have an important place in marriage, of course, and are definitely part of the house you build together as husband and wife. But if your marriage totally depends on having common interests or enjoying a healthy sex life, then the foundation of your relationship is unstable.
Phileo and eros are more responsive in nature and can fluctuate based upon feelings. Agape love, on the other hand, is selfless and unconditional. So unless this kind of love forms the foundation of your marriage, the wear and tear of time will destroy it. Agape love is, 'in sickness and health" love, "for richer or poorer" love, "for better or worse" love. It is the only kind of love that is true love.
Agape love is God's kind of love. He doesn't love us because we are lovable but because He is loving. 1 John 4.10 says, "In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." If he insisted we prove ourselves worthy of His love, we would fail miserably. But God's love is a choice He makes completely on His own. It's something we receive from Him and share with others. "We love because He first loved us." I John 4..19
If a man says to his wife, "I have fallen out of love with you." he is actually saying, "I never loved you unconditionally to begin with." His love was based on feelings or circumstances rather than commitment. That's the result of building a marriage on phileo or eros love. Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstance.
That's not to say, though, that love which began for the wrong reasons cannot be restored and redeemed. In fact, when you rebuild your marriage with agape at its foundation, then the friendship and romantic aspects of your love become more endearing that ever before.
But you will struggle and fail to attain this kind of marriage unless you allow God to begin growing His love within you. Love that"bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (I Cor. 13.7) does not come from within. Only from God.
And don't be surprised, when your spouse begins living confidently under its shade(agape love), if he or she doesn't become even more lovable to you than you remember. You will no longer say, "I love you because..." You will now say, "I love you, period"
Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse- something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash the car. Clean the kitchen. Buy a favorite dessert. Fold the Laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.