Matthew 22:37,38 tells us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Verse 39 of Matthew 22 goes on to say, "And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Bible tells us that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Our spouses are also considered our neighbor.
We seem to forget to include our families, our children, and our spouses into the category of “neighbor”. It’s often easier to be nicer to a stranger or the family next door than the person we share our beds with night after night. We take our spouses for granted, assuming they’ll always be there.
It’s natural to love our children unconditionally. Unfortunately, many of us don't imply the same standards to our spouses. Can you imagine divorcing one of your children? Why should you feel any different about your spouse?
While we strive to love our spouse unconditionally, our actions have conditions. If the actions remain negative long enough, they can overwhelm unconditional love. That’s what causes couples to separate. They no longer want to bear the negative action even though the love may still be there.
It’s like our relationship with God. He loves us unconditionally, but places conditions on our behavior. If we choose to continue in sinful behavior, we distance ourselves from God. He’ll still love us, but will not bless us as greatly as He would like to. He will back off and allow us to experience life without His help.
Our behavior helps determine how close we remain to God. It is important to keep Him as the number one priority in our lives because we need His help, especially in marriage relationships.
God's word and His love teaches us about unconditional love. Through the Bible and our relationship with Him, we learn how to unconditionally love our spouse. We also discover the tools necessary to resolve issues that previously caused conditions on our love.