Sunday, November 17, 2013 – Day Ten: Love is Unconditional
If someone were to ask you why you love your significant other, what would be your response? Most often, people start naming the qualities and traits that they appreciate and admire about them. But think about what would happen if all of those qualities and traits, over time, started to go away and disappear. If you were asked if you still loved them, most likely your response would be ‘no’. The only way to create a love that lasts a lifetime is if it is based on an unconditional form of love.
In the Bible there are three types of love that are listed. Agape, which refers to an unconditional love that is determined by the one choosing to love, not on the one being loved. Phileo, which is a friendship form of love and eros, which is a sexual love. While friendship and a healthy sex life are both important factors in a successful marriage, these two things alone will not guarantee a lasting, or happy marriage. If a marriage is based on these two components alone, it will be rocky. These two forms of love, phileo and eros, are based on feelings and can change and fluctuate over time. These forms of love are fickle and are changeable based on situations and circumstances.
The Love Dare made an interesting statement when it said that “you can fall in and out of love with your spouse hundreds of times throughout your life, depending on how much you get along and how much you’re investing in the relationship.” Circumstances and situations change which can either deepen or weaken your phileo and eros form of love for your spouse. Yet, when you learn to establish agape love, it is unselfish and truly unconditional. It is unwavering. It is based solely upon a choice and commitment, versus feelings.
When you said your marriage vows, you most often said, “In sickness and in health…for richer or poorer…for better or for worse.” It is that type of love that is agape love, it’s unconditional, and holds fast and steady regardless of the circumstances. When you let agape love take the framework for your marriage, the romantic and friendship aspects will become stronger. You will form an intimacy that could never be created in any other way. You will develop a strength and bond that cannot be broken.
The dare for day 10:
The questions for pondering: Has your love typically been based on your spouse’s attributes and behavior, or have you based it instead on your own commitment? How can you continue to show love when it’s not returned in a way you hoped for?
Well again, since our time was limited til just seeing each other in the late afternoon and evening, I didn’t get much of a chance to act on the dare. 😦 But, I took a small step, a small gesture. He came over in the evening and I usually say goodbye to him at the door, but last night I walked with him out to his car. Even though it was SUPER windy and chilly, I thought it was just a little bit extra to show that it was worth it, despite the weather, to walk him out to his car.
And yes, my love in the past was defined by all of the things that I liked about him. All of his attributes and characteristics would be the first things I would say that I like and love about him. And it’s true, my feelings could wane and either be stronger at one given time, and then weaker in the next. But I need to remember that it’s not an option to give up on us, and that in order to have a strong and lasting relationship, I really need to cultivate and maintain that ‘agape’ love.
Day 10 down, 30 to go!