God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
If someone were to ask you, "Why do you love your wife?" or "Why do you love your husband?"---what would you say?
Of all the things you would and could say about why you love your spouse, most of them would be qualities which can and will suddenly or gradually disappear. You can not base the love for your spouse on qualities.
The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional.
The truth is this:
Love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.
In the Bible there are different words for "love".
Phileo: Friendship love
Eros: Sexual love
Agape: Selfless and unconditional love
Phileo and Eros love can fluctuate based on feelings and will wear thin as time goes by. Agape love is "in sickness and health" love, "for richer or poorer" love, "for better or worse" love.
Agape love is really the only kind of love that is true love. Agape love is how God loves us.
He doesn't love us because we are lovable but because He is so loving. The Bible says, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
If He insisted that we prove ourselves worthy of His love, we would fail miserably. But God's love is a choice He makes completely on His own. It's something we receive from Him and then share with others. "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19)
Marriages built on phileo and eros love are based on feelings and circumstances which is not a strong, lasting foundation. In this kind of love you can say, "I've fallen out of love with you" and what this really means is, "I never loved you unconditionally".
Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstance.
Love which began with phileo and eros love can be restored and redeemed, but only when we choose to begin to love with agape love, unconditional love as the foundation. When your foundation is unconditional love, you will find that the phileo and eros love is even more precious to you.
But you will struggle and fail to attain this kind of marriage unless you allow God to begin growing His love within you. Love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7) does not come from within. It can only come from God.
The Scriptures say that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). This is God's kind of love. And thankfully---by your choice---it can become your kind of love. But first you must received it and share it.
And don't be surprised, when your spouse begins living confidently under its shade, if he or she doesn't become even more lovable to you than you remember. You will no longer say, "I love you because..."
You will now say, "I love you, period."
Excerpted from The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick, day 10, emphasis mine.