is to learn to love without pain.
Pain is the result of unmet expectations,
of entering a relationship with the need to get
rather than simply enjoy."
~ from 'Cease To Need' by Almine ~
Maybe I'm the only one whose ever thought their husband can read their mind, but I doubt it. And I cannot possibly be the only one who's sat arms folded and pouty faced when my unvoiced expectations were unmet, all the while thinking "He should have known." Probably not.
Sound familiar? It's all about expectations isn't it? When I think about it, many of the frustrations that eventually led to fights started out with unrealistic or unvoiced expectations. I wanted my man to be the psychic knight-in-shining armor, ready to ride in and meet my need without ever having to say it. Saying it, in my mind would kill that romantic affect (and I know I can't be the only woman who's felt this way!)
Deep within me is the desire for someone who will know what I want before I even voice it, and will come in to my rescue just when I need it. But like me, many women put this desire towards the men in their life--and that's where all the frustration stems from.
The desire I just described is biblical. The problem? That desire should lead us towards a God who knows exactly what we need before we ask ( Matthew 6:8) and who's able to be our Rescuer, because He's the only One capable of meeting our needs.
Between romantic novels, chic flicks, and Fabio like heroes, the lie that has weasled itself into our feminine hearts is that we need a man to save us. The world has deceived us and generations of women have grown up frustrated and disillusioned by ill-placed expectations. Placing those expectations back in the right place affords us two things:
- to position ourselves in correct alignment with the men in our lives.
- to position ourselves in right relationship with the ONE able to meet and exceed our desires.
By aligning our hearts in right relationship to God, we're able to have our needs met in a realistic way--leaving us to enjoy our relationship with our husbands. (Men, can I get a hallelujah!) From their perspective, it's exhausting to try to be anyone's everything. That Fabio-like hero thing? Over-rated! By taking that burden off our men, we can finally just enjoy our relationships. (and let's be honest---they can then enjoy us--we're much nicer when our needs are being met by the One who can actually meet them.)
And for all the single ladies: ill-placed expectations can be in any relationship from kids, to siblings, to parents and friends. Nobody can meet our needs like our God can and nobody can save like Jesus does.
So next time you find yourself in a hurumph! because a need has gone unmet, ask yourself this: Is my need something my husband (insert other relationship here) can meet, or is this something I need to take to God? Believe me when I say that more often than not, it's the latter.