A Deliberate, Unconditional, and Positive Response


"Look beyond" the flaws and imperfections of your spouse, and unconditionally and deliberately love the person — just as God loves you.

Accept one another. Romans 15:7, NIV

My (Teresa's) ability to show acceptance of another is contingent upon my deep knowledge of a loving and accepting Christ. If I am to accept my spouse as Christ has accepted me, then I need to understand His wonderful love for me.

God made a deliberate choice to allow Christ to die on my behalf. It wasn't a convenient or easy choice, either. It was a choice that prioritized the relationship between my heavenly Father and me, His child. Christ took the initiative when He came to "seek and save the lost" (Luke 19:10). He didn't wait for me to "get my act together." Rather, He looked beyond my actions and sins and accepted me as I was. This acceptance is unconditional and permanent. There is nothing I can do to earn it or lose it.

God demonstrated this unconditional acceptance when He looked beyond my faults to see my need. He didn't excuse my sin but instead gave the best He had as a remedy for that sin.

This kind of "looking beyond" makes marriage work, too.

Accepting my spouse as Christ has accepted me means making a choice. It won't be convenient or easy. It will mean taking some initiative. It may mean being the first to say, "Honey, I love you." It may mean not waiting until he changes to tell him how glad I am to be his wife.

Unconditionally accepting my spouse means looking beyond differences, disagreements, and disputes. It means looking beyond irritations, personality flaws, and idiosyncrasies. It even means looking beyond wrongs and sins committed—not to excuse these things, but to see his worth in spite of them.

In what ways can you daily demonstrate your deliberate and unconditional love for your spouse?

God, please help me to "look beyond" my spouse's flaws and imperfections and unconditionally and deliberately love this person, just as You have unconditionally and deliberately loved me

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