God’s love never fails, yet many people will spend an eternity in Hell. When Jesus was asked about divorce, He explained that the hardness of heart is the number one reason for divorce. The leading cause of death in the US is a hard heart. The leading cause of eternal death is a hard heart. The leading cause of divorce is a hard heart.
We certainly don’t want to pour grease down someone’s throat while shouting to them – “Don’t get a hard heart!” What I mean is, respect is an expression of love. Unconditional love will result in unconditional respect.
The Bible warns us about the deceitfulness of sin and its effects on hardening the heart.
Yes, there is unconditional love but we don’t want to do things to each other that will harden our hearts to the point where we choose not to love.
Life is in the living and love is in the loving.
So as a husband, I want to do things to demonstrate my love to my wife, not to gain her respect but to win her heart. Jesus tells us “Abide in my love or keep yourself in the love of God.” Sometimes a wife says, “He did so many things to me that I lost all respect for him!”
She is not necessarily saying that her respect for her husband was based on works, but rather that he finally broke her heart to the point where she chose not to love. Hey, and I can understand that – did her unconditional love fail?
Sometimes a man can overwhelm his wife with cruelty and break her heart.
The Bible warns us especially about fornication and idolatry, that they can break the human heart quickly and cause us to walk in unbelief and reject our salvation. Similarly, there are things that can challenge the human heart in marriage. So we not only encourage unconditional love but also protect the spiritual organ that loves – the heart! It is kind of hard to love unconditionally when your heart is broken.
I think many people make the goal of marriage staying together instead of staying in love. If I cannot be the cross that my wife carries to follow me – I will be happy – lol! It is hard to take me up and follow me – break your back kinda thing! lol.