A year ago, my life plan was to become a pimp plastic surgeon who slept around with women until even Viagra wasn't effective, so obviously, the concept of unconditional love was unfathomable to me. Divorce seemed like a normal part of today's society. If I were to get married, I would have probably stayed until my wife got old and wrinkly, and then I might have tried to find an excuse to sleep with younger, hotter women. That was just the reality of what I saw around me.
Then Jewelz came along and ruined all of that. She gave to me unconditionally. As someone who didn't understand the concept, I couldn't see for a very long time that she loved me that way. I wasn't an easy person to love either. I was a self-centered, argumentative ENTP-A absorbed in his work, but she chose to love me nonetheless. You might be thinking "Wait, but she broke up with me, so how could she have loved me unconditionally? There was obviously a condition where she decided to stop."
There's a lot of misconception about what unconditional love is or should be. Let me first summarize what it means based on Jesus' actions, which is how I initially came to understand the concept. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. He didn't have to. He CHOSE to in order to obey God's plan for his life. He was never going to be paid back for it. We did not deserve it. He gave it freely and willingly because he loved us that much.
Here is the tricky part. Unconditional love is always a choice. It's not some feeling that moves you to do it because feelings are always temporary. Unconditional love is a statement that says "I choose to love you no matter what happens to you or us." Things will always happen that are out of your control, but you choose to love that person despite those things. It does not say that you have to love them if that person chooses not to love you or worse, chooses to be abusive to you.
The question that remains then is why you would choose to love someone unconditionally. There are many, but with specific regard to marriage, you are making a commit to love that person unconditionally because you love God. God chose to save you through Jesus because He loves you unconditionally, so you are called to love your spouse the same way.
Jewelz didn’t make a commitment to me under God, but she did choose to love me that way for a time. For what reason… I couldn't even begin to tell you. I guess she saw something in me that I didn't see for myself.
I guess she saw something in me that I didn't see for myself.
I didn't learn to love her unconditionally until after she broke up with me. I fell in love with her over the last several months of our relationship when we really began to open up to each other. I loved her more than anyone else I had ever loved, but it didn't grow fast enough or with the right timing. She couldn't marry someone who didn't love God fully and who didn't give love unconditionally the way Jesus did.
I didn't understand unconditional love until I accepted and learned about Jesus, and I didn't accept Jesus until Jewelz had broken up with me and left me at one of the lowest points of my life. So it had to happen that way.
When I learned that Jesus had died for my sins so that I could go to heaven (as undeserving as I was), I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Imagine some scenario where in this moment, your mother sacrificed her life so that you might live. Now imagine Jesus doing the same thing, except he is also atoning for every bad thing you have ever done and ever will do. He is paying with his life to open up the gates of heaven for you. You didn't deserve it, and you will never be able to pay him back for it. What kind of love does that inspire in you?
When I truly understood the implications of what he had done for me, I knew I wanted to love one woman for the rest of my life in the same way. Because I was still deeply in love with Jewelz when I had this realization, I understood what that meant for what I had to do to make it work (with her or any other woman).
If I had married Jewelz, I knew I would stay by her side when she grew old and wrinkly and her hair fell out because I was in love with who she was as a person. The fact that her eyelashes clumped when she put on mascara and that her cheek and left upper lip skin peeled always bothered me, but now I found them endearing. She always had a runny nose when it was cold and filled the outer pocket of my backpack with snot covered tissues, but now I would carry them proudly (with some antiseptic on hand, of course).
I would build my relationship with her family and her friends and work to make them stronger than ever, regardless of our differences. I would support her in her endeavors as much as she had supported me in mine. I would love her even if she got cancer. Even if she went blind. Even if her face got burned off by acid and her arms and legs were amputated. Why? Because God would still love her, so I will too.
I'll do all of the above for whomever I marry. I hope to find someone who understands unconditional love in the same way and who would do these things for me as well. I don't have any proof for this, but I imagine that a marriage would have the best chance of working out, especially in today's society, if both partners honored their individual relationships with God by loving each other the way God loves each of them.