Lance Jacobs, for Family Matters, explains that it takes courage to be vulnerable and love another person unconditionally. God calls us to a sacrificial, forgiving and serving love.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” —Joshua 1:9.
Driving home last night, my teenagers brought up the topic of marriage and asked how you know which person is the right one? My wife laughed and said that when we were first married, her girlfriends asked for her “list” of how she knew I was the right one. They thought love was a pragmatic, logical decision similar to shopping for a new car.
I explained to my teens that Love takes courage and trust in God. We all come to marriage with previous baggage from our upbringing and life experiences—not to mention God is still shaping our lives daily. It takes courage to be authentic and show others our true inner being, our dreams and our flaws. We may be rejected and we often fear that the other person will not love us when they see who we truly are. However, the truth is, we are all fallen and flawed.
When you choose to love another person, you put yourself in a vulnerable place emotionally. There will be trials in every relationship. But if, out of fear, we do not risk authentic, vulnerable relationships, it’s an even bigger tragedy! We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. He wants us to be strong and courageous in our marriage to fully give our hearts to each other. But, the best part is that He promises to be with us as we risk hurt and pain to have authentic marriage relationships.
It takes courage to be vulnerable and love another person unconditionally. The world will tell us that love is all about ourselves, our needs, our emotions, our feelings. But God calls us to a sacrificial love, a forgiving love and a serving love. God gave us the ultimate example in his son Christ and His sacrifice for us. We did not deserve it and we did not earn it but, because of love, He died for us.
Lord, I love you and trust you unconditionally. Come into my marriage and become the center of our lives. Give me the courage to love my spouse unconditionally, just as you love me, and strengthen my spirit to reflect your love in my marriage every day. Help me to take my eyes off my needs and focus more on my spouse’s needs. Help me to be more forgiving, sacrificial and serving. I know, Lord, that you will be with me every step of the way and thank you for your example and sacrifice through your Son.
Written by Lance Jacobs