But, once in awhile, there were things that confused me. I didn't know why they were in the Bible. I didn't doubt God, I didn't think the Bible was wrong, I just didn't understand.
One of confusions was in Titus 2-
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things
4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
I understood the first part, but verse four threw me for a loop. I just couldn't understand why the Lord would have to include that in the Bible. I just knew if only I had a good-looking, godly young man who had pledged his life to me at the altar, seeled with a delicious kiss after lifting my filmy veil, I would always love him. Always and forever, and forever and ever amen.
Then I got married. It didn't take me too long after the "I do" and the run back down the aisle that I knew exactly WHY the Lord put that admonishment in the Bible.
That is exactly what I need to hear.
Sometimes I have a hard time loving my husband.
Fairy tale love is easy, but fades fast. It's the fantasy love we create by watching stupid movies and reading stupid books, and picturing marriage as this romantic vacation where we always receive roses, wonderful cards and are idolized for our beauty, creativity, intelligence and faith. Add to that fantasy, the mystical idea that saying I DO will change all those imperfections that were noticed, but ignored, in the Man of Your Dreams with the first exhale of breath after the lifetime declaration.
The true is, rue love, abiding love, till death-do-you-part love is hard for many reasons.
And, it isn't my good-looking, godly husband's fault. Well, some of the time, but most of the time it isn't. It is just me.
*We can lose our love when our husbands don't meet our unrealistic expectations.
I was blessed to have an older woman, Jean, teach me to leave expectations behind when I walked down the aisle. She knew women spend a lot of time building expectations of how a husband will perform, how he will make you feel and what he will do for you. Our love fades when those dreams don't become realities.
Along with those performance expectations, we can expect them to be mind readers. Men can barely understand women when they speak clearly, they certainly aren't able to look into our complicated brains, mixed in with huge doses of feelings, and automatically know those expectations and meet them.
Fill in the blank. What did you expect of your husband to be?
"When I get married, my husband will always _______________________________"
We have the privilege of speaking with our husbands and discussing our needs, our desires and even our romantic ideals of marriage, but there is no logic in expecting it.
I haven't mastered that advice from Jean, I'm still working on it like a cow chews her cud.
I STILL expect my husband to do every item on the honey-do list as soon as I write it down. That is an unfair expectation, not seeing his needs or his fatigue from work. I've learned to show my love by doing some of the projects myself or buy all the items needed and putting them together to make his end of the project easier.
When I put the shelf with hooks and the tools in the hallway,
it only took a few days of waiting for the project to be completed.
Plus, it got done the way I wanted.
They don't read minds about projects, either.
I used to have expectations of how each holiday was going to go, especially Valentine's Day. My husband had a different idea of romance. He didn't like to buy presents and cards because Hallmark told him to, he thought it had more meaning to randomly buy me flowers and gifts just because he wanted to. He thought I would see his thoughts and actions of love were from his heart and not from a Hallmark obligation.
I spent a few years a little secretly disappointed because I wanted the Hallmark holidays. I wasn't always as thankful for the random flowers and gifts as I should have been. I was also disappointed with my reaction. How could something like that bother me? Through the years of talking and explaining, we learned to understand each other's hearts. We naturally came to a new compromise, without really planning to.
When Scott understood the foolish desires of my heart, he began enjoying making Valentine's Day gushy for me, to fulfill those longings. I learned to be thankful and express my thanks for his random acts of romanticism.
I have learned to have only this expectation in our marriage - I expect the Lord to continue to bless our marriage as we continue to bless Him.