My wife Susan is good at loving me when I am unlovable. When I walk through the door cranky, stomping my feet and hissing, she could snap at me and say, “What’s your problem?” But, instead, she approaches me gently, hugs me, and loves me.
One of the hardest things to do is to love unlovable people, especially when our spouse is one of those people. It’s easy to love them when they’re kind, sweet, and making us happy, but we must also love them when they’re not kind, not sweet, and not making us happy. This doesn’t come naturally to most of us. God knows this so he calls us to “outdo each other in showing honor” and to turn away anger with a soft answer. Yes, I know, easier said than done. Here are 3 things to remember in order to love your spouse when they seem unlovable.
1. The Pledge
When each of us got married we made a choice to love our spouse for life, for better for worse. We made a choice to love them even when they’re unlovable. In other words, we pledged to love our spouse unconditionally. Unconditional love is not an “if you do this, I’ll do that” kind of love, it’s an “I’ll do this regardless of what you do” kind of love.
Unconditional love is not an “if you do this, I’ll do that” kind of love, it’s an “I’ll do this regardless of what you do” kind of love.
2. The Choice
One of my wife’s friends is married to a temperamental man; he’s a good guy overall, but when he’s under a lot of pressure he lashes out at her, not to the point of abuse, but in that state, he’s not very lovable. Think about what makes your spouse unlovable. Maybe it’s their spending habits, their moods, or the dozens of little things they do that drive you crazy. When you feel less than loving to your spouse, repeat this to yourself, “I love you even when you…” and fill in the blank with the things that bother you.
3. The Payoff
By doing that you are telling yourself that you’ve made a choice to love your spouse no matter what. You are also saying that you are there for your spouse even when they’re not at their best. In the end, your sacrifice will draw you and your spouse closer and make the love you share even deeper.
Doing each of these things can strengthen your marriage. Tell us what has helped you love your spouse when they weren’t at their best. Share your comment below.