Have you ever woken up with the Monday morning blues? You wake up and realize that the weekend is over and now you must return to “real life” for another five days. This isn't a fun feeling, and it is never fun to wake up disappointed.
I think many of us wake up with the Monday morning blues no matter what day it is. We wake up realizing that our life isn't what we expected it to be at this stage in the game. For some this is a matter of still being single at “this age,” whatever age that might be. For others it might be waking up married and thinking, “This isn't what I signed up for.” For others it might be other disappointments we've faced in our families, jobs and life in general. Unmet expectations can cause a great deal of stress and disappointment in our lives.
Through many conversations I have found that we as women have extremely high expectations of marriage…which can lead to I high level of disappointment. That is why I have chosen to spend this week focusing in on misguided marital expectations.
Now before you think I'm saying “marriage is bad,” “marriage isn't fun” or “you should have extremely low expectations so that you are never disappointed,” you must know that I LOVE being married. My co-workers probably get sick of hearing me talk about how wonderful my husband is and how much I love him. If you've ever been around us, you know that we are like two kids in a candy store when we are together. So I believe that marriage is wonderful. However, I know understand that when we have unmet expectations in marriage this can cause a great deal of pain.
One of my favorite activities that Carl and I did in premarital counseling dealt with expectations. We had a week to write down 25 expectations of marriage that we each had individually, then when we came back together the next week we compared our expectations and talked about which were healthy and which weren't. It was interesting to find out what expectations we had and which ones, a year later, are being met and which ones aren't.
One expectation I had of our marriage was that I would be the primary person to take care of the home. So I was more than surprised when Carl began to do all the dishes and all the laundry. I was blown away because I had a traditional mindset that the woman takes care of the home, and when he stepped in and helped I rejoiced!
I wish I could say every expectation I had brought this much joy, but we are both human and disappoint each. Yes, I disappoint my husband as much as he disappoints me. However, as we each grow and stay rooted in our relationships with the Lord, we disappoint each other less. Not because we sin less, but because we often realize that the needs that we expect the other to meet are needs that only God was meant to fulfill.
This week we are going to explore the idea of unmet expectations of and in marriage. This is relevant to anyone who has ever dreamed of marriage, who is married or who has ever had a relationship with another human being (romantic or not). Today, to prepare our hearts for this week, I want you to think about the following verses from Psalm 145, as David praises the Lord.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
Here are a few questions I want you to meditate on today and throughout this week:
Do I look to the Lord to satisfy all of my desires? Or am I looking so someone or something to fulfill me? If I am not looking to the Lord, who or what am I looking to and what expectations do I have of them? Is this person, job, activity, etc. meant or even able to meet the expectations I have of them?
Join us tomorrow for a look at the statement, “When I get married, I won't be lonely anymore.”