Photo + Story —-
We threw my mom a surprise party over the weekend to celebrate her 50th birthday. She loved it, and was marvelously surprised.
Let me paint a mental picture for you…
It’s been a busy week, and you’re weary. Weary of the seemingly mundane tasks of life: laundry, dishes, cleaning. And a little frustration is creeping into your heart because your spouse doesn’t seem to be that helpful. They’re either busy at work or distracted by their own life stuff (while we are one, we are still individuals)..
One particular night you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, and you feel a small explosion about to occur. When your spouse walks through the door you get very expressive:
“Can you not see how tired I am? You aren’t the only one who is busy, but I feel alone in doing everything at home! Why can’t you pay attention to me? Why don’t you want to help me? Are you that selfish?”
And he quite possibly responds just as expressively, or maybe he’s quietly hurt or offended by your word-explosion.
Then you’re both highly emotional and it’s probably a little messy, and takes longer to make right.
This is a random example of a instance, but I think these conversations happen in relationships more often than we think. In any relationship, not only marriage.
I have never blown up at J before, but that’s not because I haven’t felt those explosive emotions, I just internalize things. Instead of shouting, I get silent. Not healthy all the same.
Even in my short (but still kind of long?) 3 years of being with J, whether it was from a mentor’s advice, or a book I read, or simply experience, I’ve learned characteristics of both helpful and hurtful conversation. I’ve also, with the help of the Holy Spirit, been reminded that the little choices greatly affect our relationship in the long run. So here we go…
This is long one, guys. Many thoughts. I hope you stick it out with me.
First things first: I am relentlessly and unconditionally loved by God, and have all I will ever need in Him.
Granted, we all were created with a desire/need for love by other humans. But when I expect from my husband what only God can give or be for me, the days are going to be slightly dreary. I’ll continually be disappointed, easily annoyed, and probably not very kind.
Within the first 6-8 months of our marriage, reality set in, graciously. Some of my expectations were:
Taking him and myself too seriously, my righteousness becoming my marriage and not Christ’s work, holding him under standards set by me. Poor guy, what an impossible burden for him.
Being that we are married, there is a certain healthy expectation of each other. For example, I expect J to be protective of me. I expect him to love me through my ridiculousness, to desire my companionship, and to be in my corner. He expects me to pray for him, to care about what’s going on in his day, to support him. A beautiful union.