I was hesitant to write on this particular topic this week, honestly because it was an area that most recently I've struggled and failed in. Praise God that he is a God of mercy, of forgiveness, and of making all things new. New days, new opportunities, and second, third, and fourth chances.
Something I have been learning lately is that while communicating one another's expectations of different areas in your marriage is important, always communicating to the other what you expect/desire is not always the right thing to do. “Always” is a God-only word.
I must be careful to discern when what I desire from my husband or what I would like to expect from him is becoming self-seeking. Love is not self-seeking and I made a promise to love Matt for the rest of my life.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Sometimes after I have really come to realize that my actions or my words are not loving or respectful towards my husband, the temptation is to dwell on those struggles, those failures. To feel sad and down. But that is just what the enemy (Satan) wants. He wants you to stay and dwell in the dirt. It’s like we feel "that’s what we deserve". But sticking around in the dirt, in the mud, we sink rather than move forward and get better. What I can expect every day is for God to pull me out and to start new. All I have to do is decide to grab his hand!
So how do we have a marriage without disappointment because our spouse failed to meet our expectations? Surrender those expectations over to the Lord. Then seek him everyday in everything you do. Jesus is the only one who can make us full. No human being is perfect, and expecting Matt to be the one to perfectly fill all of my needs and all of my desires is so unfair to him.