This was written by a gal involved in PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel), an organization for Christian women in the military, active duty or married to active duty. This is a lesson I was taught many years ago, but the conviction I felt this morning made it evident that I was in need of a reminder. Very much.
Anyway, I decided to share it with you, because I have yet to be able to sit and post something myself. I’ve been very dry this week, so to have this come across my path felt like a cold shower, but in a good way. It woke me up again.
Good morning, ladies–
This morning I want to talk to you about EXPECTATIONS. On the piece of paper I handed to you, I want you to write out your husband’s name. I’ll tell you what to do with that in a moment.
My husband’s name is Brian. We will have been married 15 years in June. Maybe your love story with your husband is similar to mine. Mine started with flowers, poems, sweet words, drawings, laughter, wooing and connection. I would talk to Brian about everything for hours and hours. My hurts, my joys, dreams, fears…and we fell in love.
And then, life happened. You know, actual marriage and not dating. Real-life marriage. Suddenly, coming to my husband with fears, hurts and pain–especially pain HE caused–didn’t produce the same response. This time, there was defensiveness, excuses, questions about my menstrual cycle (are you PMSing?), or silence. And yet, I had a legitimate need–I hurt. I wanted to grow and I needed help. Here was this sin in my life and I needed help and friendship, accountability and guidance. But instead of getting help and connection, walls went up. Instead of unity I found great distance. But how come? Isn’t marriage supposed to be a sharing? Isn’t he my hero, my love?
Then the Lord showed me something through very painful circumstances:
· I needed a Healer for my hurts. My husband’s name is BRIAN–the LORD’S name is Jehovah-Rapha, my Healer.
· I needed a Provider–one to count on. My husband’s name is BRIAN–the LORD’S name is Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider.
· I needed someone to be there for me. My husband’s name is BRIAN–the LORD’S name is Jehovah-Shammah, the God Who Is There.
· I needed peace and not strife or anxiety. My husband’s name is BRIAN–the LORD’s name is Jehovah-Shalom, the God of Peace.
· I needed to be acknowledged and appreciated. My husband’s name is BRIAN–the Lord’s name is Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord my Banner.
· I needed to be seen. My husband’s name is BRIAN LEE STEININGER–the LORD’S name is El Roi, the God Who Sees.
I was sucking my husband dry. He is human…a flawed human, and I was coming to him with ungodly expectations. I didn’t think they were ungodly: “you lied to me–make it right.” “I have been growing and chasing these kids all day–appreciate me.” “I gave my body up for having children and I feel fat and disgusting–understand.” “You ravaged me with your words–heal me.”
But he can’t.
And when I expect him to, I am not only sucking the life out of him, I am setting him up for failure–and ladies, that is not a good thing to do to our men. Also, I was putting my husband in the place of God. It is idol worship and it is as useless and as evil as having expectations of a golden calf.
Genesis 2:18 says, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” We were created to be a helper to our husbands. We don’t like that because it does not address when our needs will be met. But the fact remains: we were created to be a helper to them.
So what did I do? I let go. I released my husband from my ungodly expectations and I laid them all out at the feet of El Elyon, the God Most High–because HE can heal, HE can see everything. HE is provider and always will be. He is there, He establishes my worth, and He is the ONLY one who is faithful. Brian is human–he is a godly man, but he is human. And I am here to help him. I get my romance and fulfillment and peace and healing and laughter and conversation and joy and adventure from Adonai, my Lord, my Master.
I had you write your husband’s name on the card. I challenge you to go home and spend time before the Lord. Ask Him what ungodly expectations you have of your husband. Write them down. What are you asking him to do or be that he was not made to do or be–no matter how hard he tries? And then I challenge you to release him of those bonds, ask forgiveness and put God on the throne.
What will happen with your husband? I don’t know. I know what happened in my case. My pastor’s wife had some words of wisdom that I would like to share: “When you release your husband from expectations, he does not automatically wake up a failure. He’s not branded ‘LOSER’ before he even gets dressed. Instantly things are better–you are no longer married to an incompetent underachiever. Fix your eyes upon Jesus–and when your husband sees your affections are turned to the King of Heaven, he just might feel a righteous jealousy that causes him to vie for your attentions.” She was right. In my case, my husband started wooing me all over again: I get poems, flowers, perfume, lingerie and connection like I never dreamed possible.
The truth is, ladies, when our expectations are taken to God–when we are found in HIM–and when we determine to HELP our husbands, everything is blessed. It’s in line. God is on HIS throne and He anoints our relationship.
I want you to listen to this song. It speaks of the Lord’s desire to be THE ONE we have expectations of.
by Kari Jobe and Klaus Kuebn
You’re My beloved, you’re My bride.
To sing over you is My delight.
Come away with Me, My love.
Under My mercy come and wait,
till we are standing face to face.
I see no stain on you, My child.
You’re beautiful to Me, so beautiful to Me.
I sign over you My song of peace
Cast all your cares down at My feet
Come and find your rest in me.
I’ll breathe My life inside of you.
I’ll bear you up on eagles’ wings and
hide you in the shadow of My strength.
I’ll take you to My quiet waters.
I’ll restore your soul.
Come rest in Me and be made whole.