Earlier this week, we looked at some common expectations that women often carry into marriage and how they can create resentment in us (here are Part 1 and Part 2). We also looked at reality vs. these expectations.
- that if I am married, my husband will spend all his free time after work doting on me
- 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.
- 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 doesn’t love you, necessarily. But you will not always be able to FEEL/hear/see his love. Our feelings LIE to us at times – when we have PMS, when we are pregnant, when we are exhausted, when we are misinterpreting our husbands’ actions because we think they feel/think/act just like we do… And then, there may be times when your husband truly doesn’t love you. That is entirely possible. He is human, and not perfect. You will hurt him. He will mess up. But that doesn’t mean there is no hope. 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.
Check out my latest Youtube Video – “Trusting God and My Husband” (11 minutes) <iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/HRpm275d6qk?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen> I describe the concept of biblical submission in marriage and the power of godly femininity.