We have been looking at our expectations and how they get us into trouble in our marriages this week. (Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)
I love the quote, “Expectations are premeditated resentment.” This is particularly true of unrealistic or unbiblical expectations.
The number of expectations I have had of my husband and my marriage seem practically limitless. I know I am only covering a fraction of them in this series! But I pray God might open our eyes.
Let’s look at some more expectations we can easily have of our men that we might need to lay down. Some of these things are not wrong for us to want – but if we make these things more important in our lives than Jesus – we can get into a lot of pain.
- My husband will only say glowing things about me to others
- There will be no need for my husband to ever give me constructive criticism or a rebuke under any circumstances
- My husband will use the same words/intensity/expressions that I use
- My husband will ALWAYS put me squarely ahead of all other human relationships in his life
- My husband will always think I am the most beautiful woman on the planet, even if I dress in sweats/jeans all the time and quit taking care of my appearance
- I should be the leader in my marriage – I am “more qualified,” “more spiritual,” “more organized,” “more responsible” and “more intelligent”
- My husband will only lead in the ways I want him to
- There will be times in life when my husband may hurt my feelings. He may not intentionally mean to hurt me, but I will be hurt sometimes by what he says about me and to me. Sometimes my husband may mess up. Sometimes I may misunderstand. What a great chance for me to practice extending grace and forgiveness! And I, unfortunately, will sometimes hurt him by my words, too. We both still wrestle with our sinful natures at times, even if we are believers.
- I am FAR from perfect. God is still working on me and helping me learn and grow. God can and will speak to me through my husband if I will listen and not defend myself. Sometimes my husband can see my blind spots that I can’t see at all. Here is my Youtube video about handling our husbands’ constructive criticism of us https://youtu.be/OEAis1auJRo
- My husband is NOT ME! He will not use the same words for the same feelings that I do. He will not have the same emotional intensity about the same things that I do. He is different from me, but that doesn’t make him wrong. My phrase, “That would be GREAT!” might mean the same thing that his phrase, “Ok, I assume that would be ok” might mean. I get into a lot of trouble when I assume that he means the same thing I would mean if I said what he said.
- My husband is human, and I cannot control him. He might put his friends, extended family, coworkers, children/step-children ahead of me sometimes. (Yes, he SHOULD put me as his wife first among human relationships. But I cannot force him to do this. I can pray for him and influence him – but I cannot force him to do what I want, even if what I want is the right thing). Reality is that the more I try to MAKE him put me first, the less likely it will be that he will want to put me first. I can’t make him put me first. I can influence him by my godly example or I can repel him with my neediness/clinginess/demands. My power is not in trying to force and control him with my hands around his neck. My power is in my smile, my praise of what he does well, my faith in him, my trust in him, my admiration, my pleasant tone of voice, my friendliness and the joy of Christ radiating through me. My power is when I put Jesus SQUARELY FIRST in my heart and set my whole heart completely on Him, not my husband, not my being in control and not anything else.
- Reality is that I am not the most physically beautiful woman on the planet. It would be wonderful if he compliments me and gushes over me – but that is not where my value and worth come from. I can accept that I can be beautiful in my own way, I don’t have to be voted “Ms. Universe.” I long to be beautiful in God’s sight and have a gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to fear and is of great beauty in God’s eyes. But I do want to put forth some effort into my physical appearance to show my husband I respect myself and him. That means a lot to most husbands – for me to spend a little time fixing my hair/makeup and wearing some beautiful, feminine clothes sometimes. I personally do this almost every day as a gift to my husband and a reminder to myself to cherish the gift of my femininity. What my husband thinks about my appearance is not really under my control. I don’t obsess about it at all. But I do want to look attractive for him.
- God gave husbands the position of leadership in marriage (I Cor 11:3 and Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:2-5). We cannot take that away from them. God says “the husband IS the head of the wife as Christ IS the head of the church.” It’s not “He SHOULD be” or “He COULD be the head.” As I learn to honor my husband’s God-given position and to support God’s wisdom (unless my husband is asking me to sin or condone sin or is clearly not in his right mind), God will honor me and bless our marriage.
- Nope. My husband will lead in ways I don’t agree with at times. Just like God leads me in ways I don’t agree with at times. But God can and will use my husband to lead me to His will and His glory in my life as I trust Him. I can (and should – in my opinion) – tell my husband what I want and don’t want and what my feelings are – respectfully and politely. But then if he doesn’t agree, I trust that God will lead him and will use him to lead me even when I don’t understand and can’t see the ultimate plan. (When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?) And what a blessing it has been for me and my whole family when I do that! God’s wisdom is way above my own. And He has taken me to places that are so much better than the places I would have gone if we had done things MY way. But even if my husband makes mistakes, I can trust that God is able to use all things for my ultimate good and His glory because I love Him and am called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) Check out my Youtube video about Biblical Submission here.