Conditional Love or Covenant Love?
Melanie Chitwood

"Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)

When I was pregnant with our second son, Tyler, I was not at my best. Actually, I was a mess. We lived in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at the time, a lovely but really hot place for a pregnant lady. I was hot all the time and cranked our air-conditioner down so low that condensation formed on the windows. I was huge and uncomfortable. Tyler ended up being a big baby—9 pounds, 15 ounces—but that doesn't justify the other 40 pounds I gained.

I was hungry all the time but easily nauseated, so cooking anything involving raw meat was not an option. I was also tired, so after teaching and getting little Zachary tucked in early, I was done for the day. When trying to go to sleep, I soon became very sensitive to any outside noises, so we nailed several blankets over our windows, attempting to muffle the noise.

I pity my husband, Scott, for having to live with me during that pregnancy. Amazingly, he loved me with kindness, patience, and longsuffering. Although we joke now that he earned many jewels in his heavenly crown during that pregnancy, I needed to be sure of his love during that time.

That's a kind of love that only a husband or wife can give. A love that sees the good, the bad, and the ugly and still says, I love you now, and I'll always love you. I am sure Scott thought then and has thought many times since that he married a crazy lady, but he has loved me unconditionally.
A Christian marriage reflects God's love, a covenant love. God's covenant love does not depend on anything we do or don't do. God's love just is. In the same way, a Christian couple demonstrates this covenant love as they remain committed to each other during hard times. Their commitment does not depend on pleasant circumstances.

In other words, their love is not conditional, as so many marriages in today's world are. A covenant love promises, "till death do us part," and perseveres in the hard times.

A covenant love, loves always.

Dear Lord, thank You for my spouse. We want a marriage that reflects Your kind of commitment, Lord, the kind that lasts forever. Remind us, especially in the hard times, that we made a promise to each other and to You to be committed for a lifetime. Holy Spirit, please work in me so I will be the first to forgive and the first to say I'm sorry. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Check out Melanie's blog: What Matters Most for a chance to win a free marriage conference call. Also, you’ll find more information about the "Building a Marriage that Will Last a Lifetime" conference call being taught by Melanie this week!

This devotion is adapted from What a Wife Needs from Her Husband by Melanie Chitwood – buy your copy today.

Find hope with Strengthen Your Marriage

The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

Application Steps:
For many years I've had a prayer partner who prays specifically for my marriage, and I pray for hers. I can count on her to hold me accountable to God's principles in my marriage. Also, I trust her to keep my confidences. Is there someone in your life with whom you can partner in prayer for your marriage? Pray about it and then make that call.

If you are facing tough times in your marriage right now, I'd love to pray for you and your marriage, especially if you are facing tough times. Visit my blog today today to leave your prayer request.

Read today's key verse. Name a specific way you protect your marriage. Are you trustworthy and do you trust your spouse? Do you have hope? How can you persevere in your marriage?

Power Verses:
Matthew 19:6,"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (NAS)

1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (NLT)

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie

Please pray with me, i feel like im going into spiritual warfare for the man i love.
Im trusting God to deliver us from this situation so that we can be joined together in marriage.
I know God has a plan, please pray that he is set free from those demons that torments his mind and makes him make bad choices. i dont want to give up on him coz to Jesus he is precious and choosen and i know that God can set him free. But i need women of God to uplift me in prayer. thank you for your inspiring words. God bless.

Blogger The Dogs said...

Hello! The question right now in my life is bunkbeds - do we make them out of PVC or wood. I prefer the wood. I am somewhat set against PVC for a bunk bed because I think it would look cheap. My hubby, however, is digging his heals in. As deep as my heals go his go deeper.

I wish the problem was just about bunk beds but it is deeper than that. It is about communication, trust and putting the other in front of myself. It is about loving unconditionally even when I DON'T WANT PVC BEDS!

Your devotional was very timely. I prayed for some wisdom this morning and God really used you to speak to me. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a time in my life when I went through depression and it was a very bleak time. It lasted about 5 years. I had a wonderful man who stood beside me and still does today, I do not know what I would have done during those times without him. I know the Lord gave him strength to deal with me everyday. I thank God always for the husband he gave me. We have been married 30 years now. I love and appreciate my husband very much.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous I will be praying for you and your husband. I also went through things with my husband and some choices he made, it sometimes get to the place where you feel you cannot trust him to make the right ones. Our pastor has been preaching about the cross alot lately and remember the precious blood of Jesus that was shed that day. Cover him with the blood of Jesus everyday.

Anonymous Eve said...

Let us pray for our marriages, and thank for them and our partners. Please pray for my sister, who wants to leave her marriage due to some challenges in $$ and communication (those again!). I do not want her/them to give up. I pray for God to open his and her hearts to the love he put there for them.

Blogger T-Reese said...

What a beautiful reminder that the love of God is unconditional and so should our love for one another in our marriage. My husband and I just celebrated our 9th Anniversary and right before it we hit an emotional bump in the road. It was a hard to go over it but we were able to by the mercy and grace of God. Through it all, we have learmed to grow from conditional love to covenant love, Praise God for that!

Blogger Melanie said...

Hi Ladies, I'm praying for you all, for God to hold you close and to be the one to hold your marriages together. melanie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God send devotion and a blessing. I myself have a wonderful God fearing husband. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had surgery April. My husband is in the military and he has been awesome. He has taken care of me, our children and continue to be a great soldier. God has truly been a rock for our family. He prepared us for this trial and we are thankful. Thanks for sharing. My prayer has been on marriages and God's strength in these marriages.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankful for my husband today!!! Great reminder...if we have husbands who love the Lord and do his will that all the little things don't matter so much!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. This is perfect timing. I have been struggling in loving my husband because of his attitude. Please pray that the Lord will continue to give me the grace to love my husband unconditionally - the way He, our Heavenly Father, loves us. I don't want to give up on my marriage. I pray for all hurting marriages. I made the vow on our wedding day "until death do us part". I don't want to give up on my husband and our marriage.

Also please pray for my husband to be set free from the spirit of anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness and all other negative spirit. And may the peace and joy of the Lord be upon him. May the Holy Spirit take hold of his heart so that he may have the spirit of joy, love, peace, patience, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, gentleness & selfcontrol

Let pray for all hurting marriages that they will look to the Lord for guidance during times of trouble. And that husbands and wives will remember that God heals hurting marriages and never give up on God and their spouses.

Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Everyone!!!
I'm praying for all of you and believing God for your requests. I'm a single mom of 3 with 2 failed relationships which left me with the task of being the head of the household which is getting very challenging.I ask that you all join me in prayer for God to send me the right man and the strengh to continue in the meantime. Thank you

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