One of the ways God is teaching me this year is through my relationships, specifically close relationships that are near and dear to my heart. He is teaching me what it means to love unconditionally, and he is also preparing me to love my future husband in a way he has never been loved before. While God continues to teach me ways to love unconditionally, he also placed it on my heart to share some of these lessons with my readers. I cannot keep the hard lessons I am learning about love to myself, it’s my prayer and hope that someone reading this is inspired to love on a higher level by practicing the things I share in this blog.
The first place to learn how to love like this is to be connected with your creator God because God is love. In order to understand what it means to love unconditionally, you have to get to know God on a personal level. This close relationship that you develop with God will help you understand his nature, the different ways he reveals himself to us (his children), as well as the depth of his undying love for you. To know God is to know about his love. Once you have an understanding of who God is and you have developed a prayer life that allows you to see into God’s heart for you, it allows you to cherish the people he has placed in your life. And this is when you truly begin to understand what it means to love someone unconditionally.
To love unconditionally is to step outside your own comfort, your own pain, your selfish nature, and to put aside your feelings and emotions so you can fully accept a person and love them as Christ loves them. No other kind of love will stretch you as much as this love will because unconditional love is not based on feelings/emotions or logic, it’s a love that has no conditions attached to it and a love that never fails. Unconditional love will test your faithfulness, commitment, and devotion to a person, it’s a love that will kill the selfish side of you, it’s a love that you wouldn’t be able to control the outcome or the person involved, and it’s a kind of love that will push you outside your comfort zone to a place where you would be totally dependent on God; to give you the ability on to keep loving a person even after they have hurt you, disappointed you, or failed you.
It’s really important to wait upon God when you are seeking a future partner, because when you choose to marry someone outside of the will and plan of God for your life, you’ll end up miserable. There is grace and strength that comes with marrying the person God has for you, you will be able to love him/her the way God loves them because your heart will be focused on him. When you sense God’s hand is upon your relationship, even when you have every reason to be angry with this person, and may have even thought of walking away from them, God wouldn’t let you because he brought you guys together in the first place. This will also cause you to want to love them unconditionally, because you recognize that they are a gift and a blessing from God. This does not mean loving them unconditionally will come easy to you, it means you will continue to demonstrate love to them despite the challenges you face. it will make it difficult for you to walk away from that person not only because him/her is God’s best for you but also because the cost of losing them outweighs the pain/challenges you’re currently facing. In the context of a friendship unconditional love will prevent you from turning against a friend that has been loyal to you, it will prevent you from doing things in the relationship that will jeopardize the trust and believe you have in each other, and that will destroy the bond that you have in your friendship.
One of the most powerful way of showing unconditional love to your partner is by seeing them through the eyes of faith. And by that I mean being able to see a person not as they are but who they can become, and being able to love them through the process of becoming. Unconditional love will not try to change a person instead they will become the change they would like to see in their partner. When you look at a person through the eyes of faith you’ll be able to see them beyond what they present to you on the surface. You will be able to see the side of them that no one else gets to see, you will be able to understand the true desires of their hearts and things they may not have expressed to you, you will be able to see beyond their imperfections, and get to see them as they truly are, and you will know how they desired to be loved. To love someone is to understand them. Understanding brings about a level of appreciation for your partner and everything that makes them who they are. Once you appreciate a person for who they are, you unknowingly give them the freedom to open up their essence to you.
Often times the things that sustain a relationship is not what drew us to that particular individual. To sustain a lifelong healthy relationship is to be faithful to a person. Faithfulness means being consistent in doing the things that brings joy to the other person regardless of how we feel from day to day. When I am faithful to a person, I study him/her to find out what their needs are, what makes them happy, and I commit myself to doing those things because of the love I have for them. Love requires a great deal of sacrifice because you’re placing the other person’s needs above your own. Faithfulness means even when I am going through a difficult time I am still looking out for you, I may not have enough time on my hands but I will make time for you because you are important to me. Even though I have a lot going on in my personal life, I understand how much my support means to you, so I am going to be there for you. We just had an argument and I don’t feel like talking to you right now, but I am going to make amends, because disagreements do not keep me from loving you. Faithfulness will say I do not have a lot, but I will give you my last because I care about you and I want your needs met.
Unconditional love is making a commitment to loving a person no matter what. When you commit to a friendship/relationship what you are really saying is: my love for you is not dependent on external factors or personal issues going on in my life. My love for you will remain in the midst of trying times, I will stay committed to you even when I am not getting my way, or when it seems like you are making things difficult for me. My love for you will not change even when you misinterpret the things I say or do, when you doubt my devotion and commitment to you/or don’t believe I am all in, and when I am having a bad day or feeling sick, I will continue to love even the parts of you that you that you may never change, or love you in spite of the problems we face in our relationship. I won’t stop loving you even when my feelings are hurt and I feel like we need some time apart from each other, when we facing financial difficulties, when either of us is trying to pursue a lifelong dream that demands a lot of our attention, you’re still number one in my life, I wouldn’t give up on you when it feels like either of us are both neglecting the needs of our relationship, or when I don’t feel like putting in the effort to making the relationship work. I am sticking to you like glue and I am never going to completely give up on you.
Unconditional love is patient with a person you are in a relationship with. It gives the other person room not to be perfect all the time. Whenever you see the other person’s flaws and shortcomings you extend grace to them because you also have areas you struggle in. You display patience by loving your partner/friends in spite of their imperfections and weaknesses, and you are also the agent of change to help strengthen those weak areas. Love will be patient with a person when they are going through a difficult time by offering support and treating him/her with kindness, love will be patient not to draw conclusions about a person they care about but will give them the benefit of the doubt. Love will continue to persevere in a relationship even when things are difficult for you guys.
I will have more to say on unconditional love in future blogs, and why it’s the most important aspect of any relationship, especially a romantic relationship. But I will stop here for now, I hope you were touched by this post in some way, and you can prayerfully apply this things Ito your relationships. Please me comments and don’t forget to share this blog with someone, you’ll never know whom you’re helping. Thanks for reading!