We all love a good story when the hero steps in just in time to save the day.
The problem is when that narrative seeps into our marriages and affects the expectations we have of our spouse. That our spouse will meet all of our needs in exactly the way we want them to, when we want them to.
Joe and I have had moments where we both have needs that we need met. And with us it’s not that Joe doesn’t want to meet my needs, but that he might not even know what those needs are or how to meet them. We now have a joke about this when we get to that point in a tense conversation where Joe says, “Tell me what it is you want me to say!” Before we learned to laugh about that, it would hurt me because I thought he was being callous. I was frustrated that he didn’t get it, he was frustrated that he felt like he was failing as a husband. I had to learn that he really did want to help me but truly didn’t know how.
It’s so incredible when you have a need and this other person swoops in, knows just what to say and do, and you hug and cry and cue the movie music and you think, that was a God Moment!! Thanks for being there and telling me what I needed to hear. God is so good!
But marriage isn’t always defined by those moments.
I could share some happy God Moments in our marriage that we could all ooh and awwww and sigh over and oh my that is soooo sweeet!!!
But in reality those kind of moments are often outnumbered by the days your spouse doesn’t say just The Right Thing. When you’re struggling to be understood and you’re discouraged and your spouse has a blank face. And then he says The Wrong Thing.
That’s a God Moment too.
Not when your spouse meets your needs perfectly but when he doesn’t.
There’s no stringed instruments playing in that scene. More like cymbals and drums and a loud battle cry. Time to take up offense and assume the worst about the other person. My, that’s so easy. I look back at hard conversations Joe and I have had and realize now, wow, I took offense to that so easily and so quickly, what was wrong with me??
This is when God wants to show me what real love looks like.
What grace looks like. Jesus had a lot of moments where others said the wrong thing and how did He respond??? What can I learn from His example? Real love is responding with kindness and grace rather than snark. Believing the best about your spouse even when you don’t want to.
We’re still working on this. Taking those moments God gives us using it as an opportunity to practice grace . Putting aside the expectation that my human spouse can and should fulfill all my needs, my way, my timing, because me, me, me. Choosing to rest in being fully known and understood by our Creator. It is abiding in Christ and being gotten by Him that our needs are truly met! When we start from that place, the pressure is off our spouse and we’re not as crushed when our spouse doesn’t get it!
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19.