In a totally good world (which is not the case at present), a married couple might well expect (from and towards each other) total righteousness. One might expect one’s partner never to cheat, never to lie, never to defraud, never to be self-seeking, always to do good, always to be faithful.
In those circumstances “love” would be easy. The more difficult issue is about “love” when one’s partner is unrighteous – unjust, unfaithful, sinful.
Please read again the words in bold above. Jesus spoke them to the crowds in Galilee around AD 30. Perhaps we’re missing something in these wonderful words of Jesus?
In particular, did you notice these unusual words of Jesus, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”
What kind of love is demonstrated by those who only love those who love them? Is it not a self-seeking love? And what kind of love is demonstrated by those who are sinners (doers of myriad different kinds of evil) when they love other sinners? Is that also a self-seeking love?
Is this what is happening when you see (in Jersey) a wrong-doer doing good to another wrong-doer (giving them a “free” lunch) for the purposes of completing a business deal? Rarely will you find two businessmen, about to enter into a contract, discussing a moral issue, affecting the other contracting party, which might upset the deal. No, it’s true, even sinners love those who love them.
Can this be applied to married partners? It’s possible that both married partners might love one another, as it were, as sinners. They might agree each to have their so-called “freedom” and to love one another on that basis...
This kind of love – the love that loves because it suits “me” – seems far inferior to the love which Jesus had in mind when he said so clearly (twice – see above), love your enemies, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.