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Unconditional Love

Near the end of our short-lived marriage, wasband #2 and I were laying in bed talking about life and love. Sensing distance in our relationship, I asked him if he unconditionally loved me. He replied with, "I don't believe in unconditional love." Shocked, I asked about his children, "Don't you unconditionally love your girls?!?" He said he couldn't name something, but he was sure that there was something they could do that would make him not love them.

Fear gripped me as I came to realize that he and I did not have the same definition of love or marriage. I think about my own children, and there is nothing either of them could ever do or say that would make me love them any less. I think about God's love for me, and I am comforted to know that He will never leave me nor forsake me. He unconditionally loves me. 

Over the last three weeks, God has been showing me that I need to learn how to unconditionally love in relationships—especially if I am to every be married again. In relationships, I have always tried to "feel someone out" before I expressed my love. When my boyfriend would come over, I needed his reassurance that he loved me before I would allow myself to express my love. So I would wait for his hug, or I would be tentative in affection until he made the first move. 

God showed me that "feeling him out" is not unconditional love, and I have to ask myself, "Is it even love at all?" It's a trauma response. It's from a string of relationships where men told me they loved me, but they would behave in ways that were most definitely not loving. After experiencing heartache after heartache, I found myself not being capable of unconditional love and in need of healing. 

There was a meme on Facebook recently (always good writing material) that said, "Don't cross oceans for people who wouldn't jump a puddle for you." I thought to myself, that's not love. Not Godly, unconditional love. Jesus died on the cross for my sins—He would cross an ocean for me, even if I wouldn't jump a puddle for Him. So how can I show people unconditional love? Crossing oceans for them. Walking to the ends of the earth for them. Listening to them; being there for them. Praying for them; waiting patiently for them. 

So as I was thinking about the unconditional love I need to be able to show the man who will become my husband, I had to repent for the "feeling him out" that I have done in past relationships. How would I greet my children when they get home? I wouldn't "feel them out" and see if they want to give me a hug. I would scoop them up in my arms and not let go until they wriggled away from me. How does God greet me when I show up to His house to talk to Him? He doesn't "feel me out." He sits me down on His lap and rests my head on His heart. I have to learn to give that kind of love to the man I say I want to spend the rest of my life with. 

I have to learn to love with no conditions, no "feeling them out." I want to cross oceans for those I love, because it's about me loving them fiercely, and loving them like Jesus loves me. 


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