I stood their looking at my husband. I tend to have this natural resting crabby face, so I assume the look I gave him was one filled with annoyance, and sprinkled with (maybe/probably) some disrespect. He had just asked me if his pants were wrinkled at the very moment I wanted to walk out the door and get on with our jam-packed errand running day. Admittedly, my first thought was sarcasm, “Yes, can’t you tell they’re wrinkled? HOWEVER, I’m going to tell you NO because I want to get out of here.” That thought zipped across my brain, and nearly slipped from my mouth, until conviction caught it right at the tip of my tongue sending those words straight back down my throat. With a hard-forceful swallow, I responded, “Yes, they are.” Only to hear what most women dread– “Would you mind ironing them for me?” I know my eyes spoke frustration very clearly as I clenched my jaw and reached for his pants, and said, “Yes,” I quickly turned around and walked to the ironing board. As I began to iron those pants, tears began to fall and I became ashamed of my attitude, and allowed thoughts of his goodness to me, and his love for our family to flood my mind.
Sometimes I expect my husband to be Superman. I expect him to work a full-day at his job, and then hop to it when he gets home after walking through stress at the office, demands of employees, and expectations of customers.
Sometimes I actually think he can read my mind, but just as I can’t read another’s mind, it is foolish for me to believe he can, and it is wrong to expect.
Sometimes I want him to serve me. When I take on this mentality, I am not living the life of servanthood that Jesus has called us to live. I’m being selfish, and entitled. Behaviors I loathe when I see them in another.
How focusing on what he isn’t is actually making us what we are called to be.
Accepting my husband is not Superman is making me think more before I dish out orders of what needs to be done around the home (No, I haven’t mastered this yet, but it is helping. I’m a work in progress.). It’s causing me to stop, and communicate more what needs to be done, and ask him how he thinks we can approach it by working together. You know what I’ve found by asking his opinion? HE LOVES IT. You should see his chest puff out when I ask his thoughts and how he wants to do something. It’s attractive – I LOVE IT, and you know what? It’s because I’m stepping aside, and allowing him to lead our home as he was designed by God to do.
Realizing that my husband cannot read my mind has been an incredible release. It has caused me to know that most days all I have to do is just say, “Hey Babe, can you help me with this?” OR “This is what I need to hear from you.” It really is that simple. It boils down to actually having a conversation, and communicating with one another which is something we can do, and is way more productive then expecting the impossible from him.
Taking on the mentality of Christ and focusing on the fact that his life was one lived by serving others has helped me to be less selfish, and caused me to focus on the needs of my husband and family over my own. Yes, there are days, I want what I want, but there are others when I truly force myself to take on the mentality of servanthood. It is those days that I sit at the end of them and feel so full of joy, with a completeness inside of me that says, “I fulfilled my purpose today.”
Focusing on these three areas is allowing our marriage to become what God has desired it to be. God has called us as wives to be a helpmeet to our husbands. That does not call us to be a servant to him. It doesn’t mean we are weak minded or less important. What it means is we are to be a compliment one to another. We are a team. Valued by God, and purposely placed together by Him to show the world a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. When our attitude as wives rises up, that picture we are called to be to the world around us is distorted. We pull away from our husband, and that pulling away is driven by an attitude that communicates disrespect to them. This throws a HUGE stumbling block in their way as they attempt to love us the way God has called them to love, “As Christ loved the Church.” When that happens their well of love for us dries up instantly, and a vicious cycle begins.
Marriage is work.
I watched my parents struggle in their marriage as I grew up, but I never realized the consistent selflessness it requires. I didn’t know how difficult it would be even though my love for this man is incredible. I didn’t realize the amount of grace that would be required. It’s a lot. It’s hard stuff to work through, but it is worth every amount of effort it takes.
Encouragement for today.
I encourage you today, maybe you’re struggling with the same unrealistic expectations I have described here. If you are, realize you’re not alone. Many of us struggle with the same mindset, HOWEVER, realize there is more, and there is a better way to live that will lead your marriage to a place that is beautiful and feels incredible. Take a moment today and reflect. Be honest. Are you expecting the impossible from your husband? Maybe tonight is a good night for a conversation between the two of you. How about looking for a way to serve him, a way he may not be expecting (maybe it’s your garbage night?)? Just try something and watch how even the smallest thing is noticed, and how great it feels as you begin to work together, and step closer to the marriage God has designed for you.