“Guard my soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.” ~ Psalm 25:20
Day 27: Love encourages.
Wouldn’t we all love the perfect spouse? The one who always says and does exactly the right thing? The one who sweeps us off our feet. Knows and meets our every need before we express it. Showers us constantly with love and affection, but also knows when to give us just the right amount of space?
Well, guess what?
You aren’t Cinderella. He isn’t Prince Charming. And life most certainly is not a fairy tale!
Expecting our spouse to meet all our needs and make us happy puts impossible expectations on a human. Unrealistic expectations can only lead to disappointment. We need to accept that our spouse is human – just like us. And to choose to live in encouragement, rather than by expectations.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plan in your own eye?” ~ Matthew 7:3
Does your spouse constantly live under your microscope of inspection? Are they fearful that they will never live up to expectations? Do you constantly find yourself “having” to remind, reprimand, or nag? Or perhaps does your spouse constantly feel your silent disapproval?
When faced with constant disapproval and criticism – no one feels loved, or loving. Our natural reaction is to resist and rebel. And to harden our heart against the negative feelings we feel bombarding us.
Marriage is meant to be two flawed people coming together to encourage each other.
We’re all human. There are times when we will be grumpy, tired, forgetful, or even thoughtless. We can focus on our partner’s shortcomings. Or… we can take personal responsibility for our own, and begin working to improve ourselves.
Don’t you want to be in a marriage where you are free to be exactly who you are – knowing you will be accepted, loved, and encouraged, even when you make mistakes?
So does your spouse!!
Let go of unrealistic expectations. Stop nit picking. Stop focusing on the negative. Start encouraging!
TODAY'S DARE: ELIMINATE THE POISON OF UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS IN YOUR HOME. THINK OF ONE AREA WHERE YOUR SPOUSE HAS TOLD YOU YOU’RE EXPECTING TOO MUCH, AND TELL THEM YOU’RE SORRY FOR BEING SO HARD ON THEM ABOUT IT. PROMISE THEM YOU’LL SEEK TO UNDERSTAND, AND ASSURE THEM OF YOUR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
So, I came right out and asked the man of the house if I place unrealistic expectations on him. He says he doesn’t feel that I do.
But as I considered the question myself I thought of a few ways I could improve in this area.
It’s a known fact in our house that no one helps with laundry because I am so nit picky about how the towels are folded and put away.
I tend to focus on how things weren’t done exactly the way I would have done them, instead of appreciating that they were done by someone else – saving me some work. This has to leave the man of the house (and the offspring) feeling as if they can't do anything right or meet my expectations. That isn't fair.
When the dishes aren’t put away exactly where I think they should go – I should be glad I had help emptying the dishwasher.
When the counter isn’t completely crumb free – I should be thankful someone helped put the leftovers away.
And if the towels aren't folded or put in exactly the order I would prefer - I should be grateful that someone else folded them and put them away to help me out.