But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
Traditional wedding vows say something like “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health…” The idea is that you accept the person you are marrying not just for who they are now but regardless of whatever circumstances arise in the future. There should not be conditions placed on a marriage because then this is not true love. You don’t get to say, “I love you as long as you make $75k a year,” or “I’ll love you as long as you don’t let your body go.”
These types of vows would sound ridiculous for a wedding but they are lived out later on in a number of marriages. It is easy to forget why we married the person and the vow we made to love them regardless of the circumstances.
God set the example of unconditional love in sending Jesus to earth to pay for our sins. It wasn’t because we deserved God’s love; in fact quite the opposite was true. We rebel against God by our very nature and don’t want anything to do with Him. But He still loved us enough to send His Son Jesus to die for our sins.
There will be times that our spouses annoy us or even hurt us. To put it bluntly, there will be times that our spouses are not worthy of our love. This doesn’t give us an excuse to stop loving them. True love is unconditional. It is without strings attached. It is modeled by God who loved us first despite the fact that we had done nothing to deserve that love.
Unconditional love means that we overlook things that may frustrate us. Obviously there is a difference between this and enabling bad behaviors to continue. It means that we may have to be the “bigger person” and not stoop to a lower level and fight dirty. In short, because love is unconditional, we just keep loving regardless of whether that love is returned in the way we’d like it to be. Hopefully it eventually will but even if not, we are called to keep on loving.