MARRIAGE seems wonderfully endearing to the single person who has never married, and perhaps to the divorced person who hankers for something to arrest their longing for companionship or sexual release, but marriage for nearly all of us is quite a hard work at times. (And I can say this even as a representative of my wife!)
We carry so much of ourselves into our marriages – which is both a good and a bad thing.
We bring in expectations of being ‘met’ by our partners: that they will satisfy us sexually, not spend too much money, not seek to control us, that they will want to spend time with us.
We also bring in expectations of what our partners should bring to us: their virtues of diligence and moderation and sanctity and kindness – to name just four. We are disappointed when they don’t measure up to our previously unconscious expectations – that have now become conscious due to our encroaching annoyance.
Resolutions Lie In Looking the Other Way
Expectations on our partners might be easily reversed as we seek to understand God’s expectations of us in the marriage.
God might expect us to understand our partners’ expectations – and not simply to know them (notwithstanding how peculiar they might be to us) – but to wrestle with our own ability, want and capacity to meet their expectations.
God might be saying in the field of the irresolvable issues of marriage – “How important is this expectation?” And, “Can you let it go?”
Many of our expectations might be founded on something perfectly ridiculous, unachievable or unsustainable – and in that, it’s up to us to change. This can be a very hard word – but it could be nonetheless truthful. And, in this present day, as it is eternally, the truth does set us free.
Our wives and husbands are dealing with irresolvable issues – struggles and frustrations – just as we are – but they are just different. If we can turn toward them, releasing our expectations in faith, their release is imminent, and then so is ours.
The irresolvable issues in marriage will either torment us as we hold onto our unrealistic expectations for change, or they will release us into a new season of peace and joy. The former is the will of the enemy over our marriages; the latter is God’s will for our marriages.
What will we choose to do? Will we choose frustration or peace; struggle or release.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.