Here is a comment I received from a single woman on a post I wrote on www.peacefulwife.com last week. Thank you SO much to this reader for allowing me to share her questions and comments! GREAT STUFF. 🙂
I notice you said: If YOU feeling loved is your goal in marriage – you will almost always be profoundly disappointed.
I am a single woman and I aspire to be a wife one day. Let me preface I fully intend to meet his needs, lavish respect on him, make him feel successful both in our home and around others and submit to him.
If respect is of utmost importance to the man and women want to feel loved why is it okay for his needs to be met and not hers?
If she gives 110% and meet all his needs and he doesn’t meet hers what’s the point of marriage anyway?
Maybe I have the wrong perspective being in a loving marriage is a goal of mine maybe I’ve been disillusioned and marriage is an act of service and worship to God where you give fully not expecting anything in return?
This is an awesome question!
WHAT IS WRONG WITH WANTING A LOVING MARRIAGE?
Nothing is wrong with wanting to feel loved and have a romantic, loving marriage. The issue comes when we put that desire above all else, even above God. And trust me, many women do just that! If my feeling loved is the most important thing in my life, then I will be willing to do ANYTHING to get that feeling – even if it means disrespecting my husband, trying to control him to try to FORCE him to give me what I want. I will be willing to sin and rebel against God’s Word to meet that primary desire if I put my desire to be loved as an idol in my heart. Idolatry ALWAYS leads to disappointment, fear, anxiety, and eventually to death on some levels (death of relationships – with my husband, and death of fellowship with God).
This applies in dating relationships, too, not just marriage. If I expect a man to MAKE me feel happy and lay all of the responsibility for my happiness and my “feeling loved” at his feet – IT WILL NOT WORK!
I am responsible to put Christ first in my heart and HE will bring me joy, peace, security, REAL love, strength, purpose and identity.
We have to be SO CAREFUL here! It is very easy to desire a man, romance, feelings of love, marriage, a committed relationship, a diamond ring, a wedding, a husband, a family, a house, etc… MORE than I desire Christ. That is idolatry. “The human heart is an idol factory” – quoting one of our ministers at church. We must CONSTANTLY evaluate our motives and ask God to search our hearts for idols. We must constantly repent of any idolatrous thoughts and focus back on Christ and seeking His will and dying to our own will.
Ideally husbands would be lavishing love and respect on their wives and wives would be lavishing love and respect on their husbands and everyone would be unselfish, full of God’s Spirit and always joyfully meeting one another’s needs.
The truth is though – we as women are big-time sinners and we marry big-time sinners. It is IMPOSSIBLE for our husbands to always meet our needs perfectly. They WILL sin against us. They WILL let us down. We can’t control that. We will also sin against our men, and we will let them down.
WHY MUST WIVES RESPECT HUSBANDS BUT I DON’T TALK ABOUT HUSBANDS LOVING WIVES?
We can only control ourselves. So I only address what women and wives can change – that is our own attitudes, our own relationship with Christ and our own behavior.
I don’t address men in my posts. I believe the Bible gives me authority as an “older” wife (almost 40 now! And I have been married 19 years in May 2013.) to “train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” Titus 2:2-5
Scripture says in several places in the New Testament that women are not to have authority over men or teach men. So I only address women. There are blogs that address husbands and those blogs are written by men, for men, and they teach men how to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her and how to lead in a self-sacrificing way like Jesus does.
WHY FOCUSING ON TRYING TO CHANGE MY MAN WILL NOT WORK
I spent 15 years focusing on what my husband “should” do and how unloving I thought he was – never realizing the whole time that I was being disrespectful to him, being prideful, being self-righteous, committing idolatry against God and not meeting his God-given needs. He never told me I was disrespectful or that I needed to change. And I didn’t see it AT ALL.
When we focus on what another person “should” do – we have ZERO power in the relationship.
It is also VERY easy to make our own needs idols that are more important to us than God or even than our husbands and then if we don’t get what we want, we sin to try to get what we want so desperately.
God intended marriage to be a beautiful, living parable of the relationship between Christ and the church. There will be times in marriage where your needs are met and it is wonderful. But there will be times in marriage where your husband cannot or will not meet your needs. So, of course you will have a desire for a loving marriage – but that desire cannot occupy God’s place in your life! We all need to have an understanding that marriage is a covenant before God to serve and honor Him regardless of what our spouse does or does not do.
Our high expectations create a very easy route to failure for our men when they don’t meet our expectations. Then we resent them. And many women do not forgive well – I know I used to hold grudges for years. Unforgiveness prevents me from having God’s power filling my life – so then I MUST act only in my own sinful flesh. NOT GOOD! Resentment destroys relationships. We MUST obey God’s commands to forgive or we are swallowing poison for ourselves and our relationship with God and people.
So – I would recommend that you marry a man who loves Jesus WAY more than he loves you but then once you are married, have practically no expectations of your husband and concentrate on obeying God’s commands for you as a wife and trust God to work on your husband.
Go into marriage fully accepting and respecting your man as is. Do NOT plan to change him! You cannot change a man. Entering marriage expecting to change your husband is a recipe for disaster and profound disappointment – and many women go down that path every day.
Did that help?
Yes that helped a whole lot. Thank you!
Your post got me thinking…
I do realize I get swept up in expectations and hopes planning the future before it even happens. I turned 25 this year and I have never really dated or had an actual boyfriend. I am waiting on a godly relationship.
I met a guy recently a few months ago who was not spiritually grounded and we became acquaintances. He wanted to be more than friends but I wouldn’t budge and unfortunately I fought tooth a nail for a friendship his didn’t want (he wanted me as a girlfriend) I clung to it way past it’s sell by date and ended up getting slinged with mud and insults and laughed at openly by him and his current girlfriend. Ouch!
But God helped me survive and I’m glad I didn’t compromise. But I started to become attracted to him even though I didn’t want to admit it… his ambition and drive and work ethic reminded me so much of my father whom I esteem highly; so in my heart of hearts I prayed God would save him and that he’d love me and somehow respect my values, and we would have live happily ever after with our 2.5 kids.
He saw me as sheltered and naive and said my views on dating were antiquated because he has dated Christian girls who were more open minded about dating and sex. That I needed to get a life date like normal people and get some new clothes
If it means I’ll never may never find a partner ( no Christian guys have approached me, not one) unless I go against my conviction about being unequally yoked and having premarital sex I am willing to pay that price and do what God says whether I’m 25, 35 or 55. I am trying and learning to trust God and relax instead of trying to sit and decode my own future and see how I’m doing in reaching expected life milestones so to speak.
I am learning so much from your blog and agree that now is the time BEFORE marriage to understand what submission and Gold womanhood really are. I have a sharp bitingly sarcastic wit and I am kind of outspoken, a perfectionist a control freak who never wants to make mistakes. I believe God is refining me even if not for marriage, as a young woman for his glory.
PRAISE GOD you didn’t date that man! What a disaster that would have been! DO NOT change your convictions! They honor God.
Our job as a believer is to glorify God and seek His will and HIM above all else in life. Other things can so easily become idols if we are not super careful.
BIG HUGS and much love, precious sister!