Marriage, a vow of commitment declared in love, is the merging of two lives that are inherently imperfect and whose righteousness will fluctuate over time. The husband and the wife each have their own list of flaws and faults, flaws being non-sin related imperfections and faults being sin related imperfections. Obviously, we do not feel affectionate at the moment when our spouse has a flaw or fault glaring in our face, but we are still committed to them as a spouse and as a best friend.
Perhaps they have a Personality Disorder (PD) which is defined as: “a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, typically manifest by the time one reaches adolescence and causing long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society.”
Or, perhaps they have an addiction to a certain kind of sin where they can’t seem to control their own impulses when a temptation arises. Addiction can be defined as: “a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences.”
Whether their imperfections are the result of their upbringing, childhood or adulthood experiences, inherent physiological instabilities, or a heart that is still not fully surrendered to Christ, our continuous unconditional love for them is powerful enough to counter the pain and damage that their flaws and faults may bring to the marriage.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
~ 1 Peter 4:8
Love is not easy because love is unconditional. The scripture speaks of Jesus’ own unconditional love for us in that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In marriage, our love-commitment may require us to “die” every day, to sacrifice our own life’s rights, comforts, and pleasures in order to ensure the marriage relationship endures and is healthy in spite of our spouse’s daily imperfections (their flaws or faults).
Naturally, the spouse in our marriage relationship that needs the most grace is not our spouse, but us! The person that we look at in the mirror is in need of the most frequent and the largest sacrifice of unconditional love.
Let’s remember how much Jesus suffered for us, even while we were “perfectly imperfect” and still sinning! Let’s remember how much our own spouse suffers for us, even while we are being imperfect in any sense of the word.
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