“Every day you place expectations on your spouse. Sometimes they meet them. Sometimes they don’t. But never will they be able to totally satisfy all the demands you ask of them—partly because your demands are unreasonable, partly because your mate is human.” —Love Dare, p. 102
I love that quote. I know for me that I’ve struggled at times with (a) wanting you to be perfection and (b) wanting myself to be perfection for you. It’s a losing battle. You will never be perfect. I for dang sure won’t be perfect.
We’ll both get better, but we won’t be perfect. And if I expect you to fill up all that is lacking in me, then I’m putting too heavy of a load on you. It is not your job to make up for my deficiencies, to prove that I’m worth something, to make me feel good all the time about everything.
I, also, will break under any pressure that I feel to try to satisfy every single thing that you might need. I’m just not equipped to do it and I’m not strong enough to bear it.
My loving you is not to be all things to you, but to serve you. My job is to be satisfied in God, myself, and help lead our home so that we ALL are satisfied in God first, then serve each other next.
I see four potential problems when we start putting ourselves or each other in front of being satisfied in God:
- My expectations of you: If I hold you to satisfy each and every need emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically, then I’m asking way too much. This can lead to stress on you and resentment in me.
- Your expectation of me: See above, but reverse the mess.;
- My expectations of me: If I expect myself to tend to each one of your needs, then I create false expectations and I fail to allow God to do what he’s supposed to be. Stress and resentment can creep in.
- Your expectations of you: I can’t speak to this. I’m not sure where you feel your pressure as it relates to me, but I would imagine it’s similar.
I’ve taken to writing a short prayer in my journal after my quiet times. A short, specific prayer for you. A short specific prayer for our kids. A short specific prayer for myself. I’m trying to take my hands off the wheel and scoot into the back seat.
I’m also trying to make sure that those quiet times happen daily so that I’m feeding myself and I’m becoming more and more satisfied in God. Let’s face it—that’s not been a strength of mine in recent years.
Love Dare Day 22 Preview: ‘Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them in words similar to these, “I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don’t love me in return.”’ I’ll do it. J