When we place unrealistic expectations on someone, especially our marriage partner, we are setting the stage for disappointment and grief. The person you married is not perfect, but a sinner just like you. And most likely you did not marry a carbon copy of yourself. So to expect your spouse to think like you do is unrealistic. Just because you may like the dishes loaded in the washer a certain way does not mean they will automatically agree with you. And if you tend to be a neat freak, that is no grounds for starting a fight over every sock that is left on the floor. Yes, I know the laundry hamper is only a few feet away, and it would have been oh so nice for your spouse to place their dirty clothes IN the hamper instead of repeatedly letting you do it for them. But let’s remember who we married. We married an adult who is fully capable of making their own decisions. We must give them grace and allow for them to be human. Just.Like.We.Are.
So what are we to do then? We are to use encouraging words that lift them up rather than discouraging words, nit-picking every little detail. Wives…this is for you now: your husband
wants needs to feel like a hero in your eyes. When we tear down and discourage, it actually has the opposite effect we are desiring. And after years of this, it will be hard to unravel the damage that has been done.
Love places the responsibility on us, improving ourselves, rather than demanding more from others.
Read Mathew 7:4-5, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Isaiah 35:3 “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble”.
1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14 “Encourage on another and build up one another…Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone”.
CHALLENGE: Eliminate unrealistic expectations in your home. Discuss with your spouse areas where you may have expected too much from them. Pray for God’s help to become more understanding and to give more grace.