Let’s talk about expectations in marriage, shall we?
So kindly take a paper and pen and write down 5 expectations you have of your husband for the married gals, husband to be for those soon to be married gals and future husband for all our single gals.
Don’t over think. Write the first 5 expectations that come to mind. If you need a clue, they’re mostly your greatest needs ?
Now keep that list aside, we’ll conclude by looking at it.
By God’s grace on 7th of November last year my husband Sammy and I marked our 7th year wedding anniversary. He was in Tanzania and I was at home nursing our sick child ? what a way to spend an anniversary! Expectations ??
Anyway, one of the greatest marriage blossoming killers I have encountered in my short span of being in the institution has to be expectations. And worst of all most of these expectations are unspoken because they are assumed by the expecting party to be obvious to the other party; but that is almost always not the case.
What is obvious to one might be oblivious to the other ?? and that’s how most of the fight begins:
I thought you’d…
I expected you to…
You seriously dint think of…
As I meditate on this phenomena that is expectations I have been learning something from the Lord that I would like to welcome you to join me we learn together.
There are three very important men in a woman’s life. If the Lord is so gracious to you, He can grant you upto five! Some have four but we all have three.
Who are the three you may ask?
The Father, The Saviour, The husband… and the other two The brother(s), The son(s).
God in His benevolence and well aware about the limitations of our earthly fathers gave each one of us two fathers: God the Father and our earthly fathers. Some of us have very healthy relationships with their fathers, be grateful it’s not the norm. The rest of us come from well, let’s just say dysfunctional families. A father is one of the most important persons in a woman’s life. They set you up for or against life from childhood. Regardless of the kind of father you have (or don’t have) I want to welcome us to consider God the Father. He has chosen each and every one of us. Dearly loves us and calls us His children. He desires to father us if only we’d allow Him and rest in His fatherhood.
The second man is The Saviour. That man would be Jesus of Nazareth famously referred to by Matthew as the Son of Man. If there is a man whose role most husbands don’t understand in their wives lives it must be Jesus. Sometimes he is even considered as competition to be dealt with ?And why would they not, considering that He calls Himself the bridegroom ?? but husbands are included in His bride ?? how now….
Jesus is your Saviour and you friend. Hebrew tells us he is our high priest, our intercessor. He knows ooh so well all our struggles and is willing and well able to help us through all of them – because He is one of us. He is fully human and fully God yet without sin. He is our advocate before the most Holy most Righteous Father. If you read the Gospel according to St. John you will find very dramatic descriptions of who Jesus is beginning with the self proclamation title ‘I AM’ – I am the door/gate, I am the bread of life, I am the way the truth and life, I am the light of the world, I am the Good Shepherd, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the vine.
The third man is your husband, or husband to be, or future husband.
This is a mortal man, fellow sinner, limited in every way. Left on his own this man can descend to the lowest pit of moral decay. Only by the grace of God is he able to walk in holiness. He is a man prone to wander away and leave the God he loves; in his speech, actions and thoughts. That is your husband.
No better than you of course but we always want to feel like better sinners ??? so there you have it.
As I said as God wills some of us have brothers and some sons, some both (presently or in the future). The brothers need to pattern their brotherhood after our big brother Jesus as do the Sons. But that is not for today.
So what did some well meaning wise people do. They sat down and correctly evaluated some of the greatest needs of a woman: a provider, a protector, a priest, a prophet. Then what did they do next, they dumped all these responsibilities on the weakest, only mortal link in the chain – the husband!
Thereby setting him up for failure from the onset and setting up the woman for frustrations from, guess what???? Unfulfilled expectations.
Now let us all read out loud our list of 5 expectations>
Together 1… 2…3…4…5
In all honesty ladies
If a prophet sets the vision the overarching purpose of life, a provider and a protector well let’s just say the Lord’s prayer and we’ll have that covered, and a priest as said above its clearly recorded in the epistles that Jesus Christ is our High Priest….. then why do we expect a mere mortal, finite man like ourselves to ever be these things and more to us?
Are we not just setting ourselves up for unending unmet expectations (read professional naggers) and setting up the husband for a continuous unending vicious cycle of failure!
But wait a minute! Does this mean I have become the official spokeswoman of the cougar movement???????????? Let the men sleep away as the women slave away and they exchange money for sex. Let the man have no responsibility expect kamasutra moves in bed. Nope! Far be from it! God forbid!
What I am saying ladies is, let’s stop setting ourselves and our husbands, husband to be and future husbands for a life of unending frustrations and unmet expectations.
Hand over the expectations to the person who can handle it best:
Let God Father you, as only He can. If you have a functional earthly father enjoy the bonus! Stop expecting your husband to father you! He can’t
Let Jesus Christ be your High Priest, allow Him to intercede for you, to bear your burden and weakness, to help you. To be your advocate before the Father. Stop expecting your husband to be your high priest! He can’t be. Actually if you would just look at him closely He’s in as much need of Jesus as his High Priest as you are. So do yourself and him a favour, hold his hand and together be under Jesus Christ the High Priest
Let your husband be a mortal, infinite man. Take him down from the pedestal you put him on. Allow yourself to accept that he’s just a man; Limited in every possible way known and unknown to you. Now hold his hand, look him in the eyes, open your mouth and express the expectations you have of him that you honestly know only him can meet. Don’t expect him to read your mind, he’s not God! J And then wait for his response, if he is not able to meet your expectations don’t pout, run to your pity party corner nope. Open your mouth again and ask why? Is the expectation too high or too low. Have a conversation that’s all am saying.
So ladies have expectations, that great! Then hand them over to the correct man in your life! Don’t get your expectations mixed up!
NB: a redacted version of this talk was first given at a bridal shower in November 2016.