When I was first married, I would many-a-day get so very frustrated with my husband. I had these ideas, tasks, favors, or gifts that I would expect from him. (the list could be endless, and I will stop for sake of a potentially long post!) I would not tell them to him, of course, because that would spoil the "he knows me so well and senses my needs and meets them every time" mentality I had as a new bride. You can only imagine the tendency for these thoughts to blow even the littlest infraction completely out of proportion! After we had children it got worse, and then during hunting season...! Not pretty!
Well, this Sunday we will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. I look back and some very worldly advertising comes to mind. "We've come a long way, Baby!"
Why the change, you may ask?
He smacked me over the head with a 2x4. No, I am only kidding! :-)
(though the thought would have crossed my mind had the roles been reversed! I am not nearly as nice as my hubby)
The truth, I came to some realizations. Some very obvious, and others not so obvious!
First, my dear hubby is not a mind reader. That one was obvious.
Second, some of my "needs" were so fleeting and fickle, I had a hard time keeping up with the changes!
Third, I realized that I was setting him up for failure in my eyes. I had all these unattainable goals that I wouldn't even express to him, how could he possibly reach them? The Lord showed me that I should NOT place any expectation on my husband because he is human, and therefore can only let me down!
WHAT? My mind reeled thinking it was my right as his wife to expect these things from him, and he should be GLAD I was not as high maintenance as ______ or ______!
Alas, I searched the word "expectation" and found that when it was placed anywhere but on the Lord, it was destined for failure, destruction, dashed hopes. Just read a few verses...
Proverbs 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
Proverbs 11:23 The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
Zechariah 9:5 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. (not sure of all the historical or prophetical application, but regardless, it sounds like not-so-good! )
These had put their expectation in their abilities, hopes, skill. None of them could succeed because the object of their hope was flawed.
Now read what changed my marriage. (Well, one of the things!)
Psalms 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
Proverbs 23:18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
I needed to place my expectations on and in God. I know from His word and His character that He is the one that is immutable, count on-able! No longer did I have all these dreams that my husband was a perfect, mind-reading, "flash-in-the-pan-needs" sensing man. I know he is human and imperfect, ... just like me! If I really need something from him, I tell him! Shocker how well that works! Please do not think I am at all bashing my man! I have the best husband in the universe. He is very caring, sensitive, and a great provider for our family. He is a 150% kind of person, in every aspect of his life!
How does this qualify as a Mission Monday post? ... It is a very easy transition to have unreal expectations in a ministry, just as I have had in a relationship. I know right up front, I need to count on God for our needs, and for real solid ground under our feet. Not friends, though we need and want them. And not supporters, though we need and want them, too! But, we want to have the friends and supporters that are led by God to be in these positions, really partnering and co-laboring with us. We want to follow the Lord of the vine, and the God of the brook, recognizing all the while that He has given us the vine and the brook for our use and enjoyment. Thank You Jesus!
Some prayer requests:
~ Dan and Kevin leave Saturday 10-13 VERY EARLY to drive to Savannah, GA for a conference. (Just never mind all you that put it together that he will be gone for the afore mentioned 18th wedding anniversary the next day. He clearly realizes there will be some major makin' it all up to me! ... Actually they both realize it! )
~ For our little man, Micah. There are still some anxiety issues after a year of transition. Moving 5 times has been a bit rough on him. At least he doesn't throw up every night anymore!
~ JulieMom and her family. One week til THE MOVE! 10+ huge plastic locker-style totes going with them to South Africa! Three little girls to each carry two! Ha! Pray-pray-pray!