Accepting an Imperfect Person
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
This verse tells us that Christ died for us even though we were sinners. The best word in this verse is "while:' He died for me while I (David) was still rebellious and hostile to the things of God.
We are to love our spouses in the same way Christ loved us. We are to love them even though they are imperfect and sinful. How do we do that, you ask? By reflecting on the fact that He first loved us.
Most couples go through several stages in their marriage before they reach the ability to commit to loving a real and admittedly imperfect person. It takes a while for some couples to stop trying to change one another and to choose to accept one another while both are still sinners.
Which stage are you in?
Romantic Stage: You see your spouse as perfect, as everything you need.
Bargaining Stage: Your spouse surely isn't perfect, and you will change if your spouse does.
Coercive Stage: You will change your spouse, whether or not he or she likes it.
Desperation Stage: You give up trying to change your spouse, believing that person will never change.
Romantic Realism: You are finally at a point where you can live out Romans 5:8 and love your spouse, who sees and admits his or her own imperfections. This stage of marriage is summed up with this kind of vow:
"I take you to be my spouse with full knowledge that you will some¬times disappoint me gravely and hurt me deeply. In spite of all your weaknesses and failures, I commit myself to loving you. I am able to do this because of the acceptance of Christ, who loved me and died for me while I was still a sinner:"
In what ways can you demonstrate unconditional love for your spouse?
Heavenly Father, keep me aware that real love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.