Rememberas a child how you hoped for that one special Christmas present? Maybeafter opening some great presents, but not the just-right one, you felt alittle tug on your heart as you wondered if you were going to get thatpresent.
Metoo. Just as it seemed all the presents had been opened, my parents brought outone final box. I grabbed it with eagerness. The lavish wrapping andthe sounds I heard while shaking the box confirmed this had to be theone. I ripped off the paper, dug into the box, and pulled out…a very nicesweater, not the just-right Christmas gift. I smiled and said thank you,but could barely hide my disappointment.
I'venoticed how my expectations of my husband can often be like my expectationsover the just-right Christmas present. I think that's true for a lot of us.Just like we admired the beautiful holiday wrapping, we admire our husband'shandsome exterior. We've checked him out enough to be sure that he'll bethe one to make us happy. Certainly he's the just-righthusband! When the gift of our husband turns out to be notjust-right, not just what we expected, we can barely hide ourdisappointment. We turn to unhelpful coping mechanisms to deal with ourdisappointment.
Wemight try to control and manipulate our husband to become the just-right giftwe hoped for. Maybe we become critical and judgmental. Or maybe wejust give up, withdraw, and settle for an empty marriage. Worse yet,perhaps we grow convinced we married the wrong person.
Theseways of coping will not give us the marriage God longs for us to have, amarriage of intimacy, partnership and closeness like no other. In fact,they do just the opposite. Bitterness, frustration and anger take root in ourheart. Consequently, instead of feeling united and close to our husband,we experience distance and disconnection.
Sowhat's a girl to do when she's feeling like she got the not-just-righthusband? How can she handle expectations and disappointments in marriage?
Welay them down. We open our hands and release our husband from the tightgrip of our expectations. We pray with honesty, "Lord, I am feelingdisappointed by my husband. Help me handle this in a way that will bebest for our marriage and in way that will please You."
Aswe seek the Lord with an open heart, He'll show us when to talk to our husbandabout a disappointing situation, or when to be quiet. He'll mold ourheart, so we can pour out His love and acceptance to our husband.
Now,if you're like me, sometimes you think, But wait a minute! My husbandreally does need to change…he should be more attentive, he should help outmore, he should have remembered my birthday. I don't want to live withthese disappointments!
Maybeour husband should change, and maybe he will. I can promise you, however, thatthe Holy Spirit can do a greater work of transformation in our husband than weever could as his wife.
ThisChristmas give your husband the gift of releasing him from yourexpectations. Give yourself the gift of a contented heart in yourmarriage. And give God thanks for your husband … His just-right Christmaspresent to you.
Dear Lord, I release my husband and my marriage from all of myexpectations. As I pray with an open heart and open hands, Lord, I thankYou for the gift of my husband. Help me to view him as You do, as thejust-right husband for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For more marriage tips read
AskGod in prayer to reveal all the expectations you have of your husband. Ask Him to reveal any disappointments you have in your marriage.
Whenyou pray today's prayer, open your hands and imagine offering your expectationsand/or disappointments to the Lord.
Takea step in love toward your husband: embrace him with a big hug or kiss when hecomes home. Tell him you're so glad you married him. Many husbandswill agree that the most loving thing you can do is spend a romantic evening inthe bedroom.
Whatexpectations do you have of your husband? Your marriage?
Howdo you handle your disappointments in marriage?
1Corinthians 13:5, Love "does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, isnot provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered." (NASB)
Philippians4:11, "…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances." (NASB)
Originally published Tuesday, 01 December 2009.