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Expectations – Part 2

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Yesterday, we looked at some common expectations that wives often carry into marriage and how they can create resentment in us (For Part 1 of Expectations, please click here).  We also looked at reality vs. these expectations.

Here are some more expectations that we often bring into marriage that sometimes create resentment

  • that if I am married, my husband will spend all his free time after work doting on me
  • my husband MUST initiate prayer with me every night and initiate devotions/Bible reading with me or he is not a good spiritual leader
  • that I am always right and leave no room for my husband’s perspective at all
  • I should always get MY way
  • if I am married, I will always feel loved by my husband
  • if I am unhappy, my husband is to blame and he must change
  • I am not a big time sinner – I won’t cause my husband any pain/wounds/grief/distress
  • I am better than my husband (spiritually/mentally/morally/emotionally)

This is not remotely an exhaustive list!

REALITY VS. THE ABOVE EXPECTATIONS

  • Husbands have a lot of things they want and need to do.  Not all of it will always involve us.  That does not mean they don’t love us!  It just means sometimes they need time with their guy friends.  Sometimes they need time to chill out.  Sometimes they need time to cut the grass.  Sometimes they need time to work on their hobbies and passions.  Sometimes they need time with just the children without us.  It is easy for wives to interpret, “If my husband doesn’t do things with me every possible minute that he is home from work, he doesn’t love me or want me.”  This is usually NOT at all true!  Allow your man the time he needs to recharge and do things he enjoys – even without you sometimes.  That will give him a much greater appreciation for you and he will enjoy the time he spends with you infinitely more than if you are clinging to him and resentful of him spending any time away.  A wife who is a bottomless pit of need REPELS her husband far, far away.  A wife who is understanding and supportive of her husband’s hobbies and recreation will tend to have a much more loving husband.
  • The Bible does say Christians should pray continuously, without ceasing, for our leaders, with thanksgiving, with faith, in a closet so that the God who sees what is done in secret will reward us, in groups of 2-3, corporately as a church…  There are many instructions about prayer.  But I can’t find a verse that says, “Husbands must initiate prayer with their wives.”  I believe couples SHOULD pray together.  But if  your husband is nervous about praying out loud – please don’t shame him!  He may feel intimidated or too vulnerable.  Please do not try to force him into praying with you, and don’t judge him as being less spiritual if he hesitates about praying out loud together.  Pray on your own and/or with a godly female prayer partner.  Pray for your husband, thanking God for him.  If there is NOT a lot of tension, you could try, politely, respectfully, pleasantly asking your husband sometimes if he might pray with you/for you.  If he doesn’t answer or gets upset – then leave that topic alone and let God work on him.  You focus on praying yourself and on your own sin and your own intimacy with Christ.  If your husband is far from God, I Peter 3:1-6 is your prescription from God.  If he is far from God, words from you about spiritual things will only repel him farther from God and from you.  If he is far from God, make sure you are obeying God and honoring your husband’s leadership and showing respect for your husband – that is how God can use you to influence your husband.  But ultimately only God can open his eyes.  You can get out of God’s way in your husband’s life by obeying God yourself.
  • Be open to your husband’s ideas.  They will be different from your own.  That does not mean he is wrong.  God may well be speaking to you through your husband at times (if he is not asking you to sin or condone sin).  Be willing to hear your husband and accept that your husband has a masculine brand of wisdom and a masculine perspective that is very different from yours, but that he has a lot to offer.
  • Expecting to always get your way is one of the fastest ways to misery I know.  And trust me – I have been down that road MANY MILES.  It does not go anywhere good!  Be gracious and selfless and allow your husband to do things the way he likes to as a gift to him.  Lay down your own desires at the feet of Jesus and seek His will, His glory and His way, not your own!
  • You will ABSOLUTELY NOT always feel loved by your husband.  That doesn’t mean he won’t love you, necessarily.  But you will not always be able to FEEL/hear/see his love.  When your heart is set fully on Jesus, you can ride out those times because you have your identity completely in Christ, and you have your security in Jesus, not a man.  You keep obeying God for your part, don’t react in sin, stay close to Jesus.  And see what God will do.
  • I am responsible for my own happiness.  My husband is not responsible for my emotional and spiritual well-being.  He wants to see me happy.  He will probably try to do things that make me feel happy.  But every time I am unhappy it is not his job to make me be happy.  I am an adult.  I am responsible for my emotions and my spiritual condition.   I look to Christ to find my fulfillment and joy and strength.  My husband will add extra things to my life that do make me happy – but my primary source for my wellbeing is Jesus.
  • We are all big time sinners.  All of us tend to commit idolatry, be prideful, selfish… the list goes on and on.  I WILL sin against my husband.  I will hurt him.  Probably many times.  I have to be able to accept that I am human and understand that I need the blood of Jesus to cover my sin.  I need grace to give to myself.  And I will need grace from my husband.
  • We are all on level ground at the foot of the cross.  We are all equally wretched sinners.  None of us are good.  Only God is good.  My husband may fall for temptations that don’t tempt me.  But I have other sin-tendencies that are just as heinous to God’s holiness.  My husband is my fellow-traveler on this road of faith in Christ.  We are equal in sinfulness and equal in the amount of the grace of Jesus that we desperately need.

We’ll look at some additional expectations vs. reality tomorrow!

16 thoughts on “Expectations – Part 2

  1. I’m really struggling in my 20 year marriage. I need an outlet to express myself when things are going very bad. We have two teenagers, ages 14 and 16 and I’m an elementary school teacher. We are Christian. I’ve read the book “How to Respect an Irresponsible Man” and have tried very hard to approach my husband’s immature and selfish behavior with God’s intentions in mind. Basically, he’s very irresponsible with money. He’ll spend us down to nothing so that he can have latest Smart Phone or go on a trip. He’s been fired from previous jobs for poor judgment. He has kept his current employer for 8 years but has been in dire straights a couple of times. He is the cause of most of the chaos in our home. Sometimes, Christian advice seems like wives are supposed to put up with their husband’s behavior and adjust their own attitudes. I’m sure there’s more wisdom underneath, but I need to find it without a lot search time because I don’t want to be seen reading this by him and my work computer blocks all blogs. I am guilty of disrespect in response to his behavior. I “go there” when I’m desperate. Because his immaturity has been chronic, I’m also guilty of feeling superior in some areas, such as self-discipline. I need help so badly but feel so very isolated. I have no one to talk to when I need it. I mean no one. I have a hard time believing that God’s will is for wives like me to just put up with our husband’s behavior while the family goes down the tubes. In fact, I know it isn’t. God’s answer to my prayer last night was to take back the bill paying responsibility (I gave it over to him at his request about 2 or 3 years ago), straighten it out, create a new budget – basically, “stabilize the boat” and then move on to working on the marriage issue. Please, please, help me find a source of support. Thank you and God bless you. VK

    Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 10:01:12 +0000 To: kennedysinaz@msn.com

    1. Valerie,
      It is wonderful to meet you! You are always welcome to express yourself here. 🙂

      Are you dealing with any addictions or mental disorders?

      I tried to control and change my husband for 15 years. It did not work well! I made us both miserable and things got a lot worse. God can change our men, but we cannot. When we cooperate with God and focus on our end of things, our respect, our attitude, our sin, our responsibilities, our accountability before God – we have so much more power than if we try to make our men change.

      There are times when we must confront sin in our husbands’ lives. But we can still do that respectfully, gently, humbly, realizing we are just as sinful as they are. And, as Jesus commands, it goes much better when we get the log out of our own eye first before we address our husband’s sin. That was my problem!

      What does your husband say he wants/needs from you/the marriage?

      I would suggest reading the posts at the top of my home page about what is disrespectful to husbands, what is respectful to them and the one on biblical submission.

      Then maybe you would like to email me? Or you can answer me again here and let me know what God is speaking to your heart.

      my email is aprilc@sc.rr.com

      You can definitely find support here! I will be praying for God’s healing for both of you and for your marriage!

    2. Valerie, i am sorry to hear how frustrated you are with your marriage right now. I know it can be heart breaking and make you want to pull your hair out when your spouse isnt as responsable as they should be. I did however notice a few things in what you wrote. You said that it seemed from the christian perspective it seemed that you are supposed to just back down and put up with his behavior…. respect is so much more than just keeping your mouth shut and seething on the inside. As a man and a husband i can tell you that i would be able to “smell” that a mile away. It would still feel like rejection and disapproval of who i was….it would just be like the quiet before the storm, so to speak. I’ve read before that a man will rise to your level of expectation. If your husband feels that you accept him and believe in him he will want to meet your expectations. Within reason, like April is pointing out in this series. He would feel more accepted and respected if you pointed out the areas that you are happy with. If my wife came to me and said that she felt loved when i did something i would be much more likely to continue doing it and to look for other things to do to. Maybe thats just me and im different than every other husband, but its worth a shot. I know a lot of men who havent been able to keep the same job for 8 years!

  2. Some really great thoughts you have! I’m a newlywed, well almost a year now, but am still learning how to rid myself of some of the expectations that I came into marriage with. By Christ’s grace and mercy and guidance I am learning how to love and respect my husband as God calls me too. We went to a marriage conference at Watermark (www.watermark.org) called UNCOMMON. It was the coolest thing we’ve been too. Check it out!

  3. We are always a work in progress thats for sure! Closer to where we want to be with each passing day and further from where we had started. I am really enjoying the blog & I am so thankful to have stumbled across it while searching on Pinterest for Modesty & Modesty clothing. It was meant to be! 🙂

  4. These are good April. Spot on from my own life… and shameful that I’d have never said before “I expect to always be right or that I know more than my husband” outloud…. but in reality, that IS what I felt for years!!

    Great posts to share!!!

  5. April,
    I am only about four months into my respect journey and I fall…..a lot. It can be very discouraging, but when I remind myself that God knows my heart I can accept His grace to give me the courage to keep trying. Tonight I had an expectation of my husband that he did not meet and I when I felt the hurt feelings starting to overtake my emotions instead of sharing my feelings with my husband, I instantly went to Jesus. First I tried the bible, but as I’m new to this, I wasn’t finding the verses I needed. So I googled “scripture on expectations” and received a long list of verses about hope and expectations, but that wasn’t helping to make my struggle feel any less hurtful.

    Then I went to your blog, typed “expectations” into the seach bar and voila! A whole four part series on exactly what I needed and just as I was reading, my husband said he was going to do the thing I initially expected of him, but he wanted to do it tomorrow so he could do it face to face (I’m out of town on business right now).

    Thank you for this series-it was exactly what I needed to reset my mind and focus on my own sinful expectations. Just taking the time to turn to Jesus instead of giving my husband an earful of hurt, gave me the ability to be still and wait. God answers so many prayers when we take the time to be still and wait on Him!

    .

    1. Cori,

      Woohoo! I praise God that He used that series to bless you. Thank you very much for sharing. How thankful I am for all that God is doing in your heart and soul. I am so glad to be on this journey with you!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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