There are moments in marriage whereby both spouses feel intense love and affection towards each other. During such periods, both parties do their best to please each other and everything looks perfect in the marriage. Such moments are characterised by the feeling of “unreserved love” by the couple for each other. The marriage remains sweet as long this “unreserved love” is maintained. Unreserved love is a love which does not limit itself, is not affected by past wrongs and keeps on loving completely without holding back in any way.
One feature of most marriages is that, there is a constant paradox of “unreserved love periods” and “periods of hatred”. The lifespan of the marriage may depend on how long each of these periods is allowed to last. Marriages characterised by extensive “periods of hatred” mostly break up.
It should be noted that the husband or wife who feels unreserved love towards the other spouse normally acts in love towards him or her. Unreserved love enables one to carry out nice and heart-warming surprises for his or her spouse. These have the tendency of generating love and calming tempers in marriage.
Showing love has the tendency of igniting love in the one on the receiving end. A typical example can be seen in the case of Jesus and His disciples. This analogy is applicable because the Bible admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church Eph. 5:25 (KJV). Verse 28 states that “He that loveth his wife loveth himself”. In Jhn. 21:3 onwards, Jesus’ disciples returned to fishing after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus came back to them, joined them and roasted some fish for them to eat. After that, He asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter responded in the affirmative. Although they didn’t show love to Christ by returning to fishing, Jesus brought them back onto Himself and reignited love in them by still showing them His love.
Although it sounds difficult, when married couples resolve to love each other without reservation and despite the offences of the other, a lot of marriages would be saved. Husband, although she has hurt you, keep on loving her; and wife although he hurt you, keep on loving him. The extension of “periods of unreserved love” would ignite love in the other spouse and in the marriage.
Just as love can produce intense love in marriage, hatred can also produce intense hatred in marriage. As much as possible, each spouse should do away with all feelings hatred towards the other. Hatred for your spouse may come, but doing away with it and replacing it with “unreserved love” will save the marriage. I am qualifying the love with unreserved because some spouses claim to still love their spouses, but limits the love in certain areas due to an offence by the other spouse.
In order to maintain a happy marriage, it should be saturated, if not totally filled with “unreserved love”. Prayer and determination should be invested in maintaining this.