Recently, I had a chance to talk to some musicians and speakers, getting to know a little bit about who they are and what they feel is to come in their lives. Throughout the talks, a big question decided to pop-up that my newlywed mind wanted to know: “What would you tell someone who’s in my shoes about the future of marriage?” No matter if you’ve been married for 6 months, 6 years, or 6 decades, wisdom from other’s realizations is always a great thing. And even if you’re not married, it’s never too late to get some perspective in what may be waiting in the future. So, with this knowledge, I’ve decided to start something called The Marriage Series, tackling and really thinking about what some, maybe even yourself, have giving me a heads-up on. And I’m thinking a funny story here or there will come about through this all. So let’s dive right in…
High Expectations Anyone?
The movies can cater a lot to our imaginations. If we need an escape from hurt or sadness, a Comedy is a great way to laugh the pain away. When anger tries to get the best of us, a Drama or Action can get a good chunk of the frustration out. And when it comes to those oh-so-precious feelings of love, that fantastical Romance flick can make any girl or guy feel 10 feet off the ground, and ready to say, ” I Do,” to the next person who even smiles at them.
But movies are good for one thing and one thing only: Entertainment! No, not for comparison of our own lives, or a dose of “reality” (well, except for maybe Documentaries). And still, so many people (not just teens) feel the need to use movies as a basis to how their life needs to be, should be, and will be once certain things fall into place. Sometimes the worst culprit of this is any movie that has any tinge of an idea of love, marriage and happily ever after. It’s sweet and cute, but almost every movie does a poor job on showing what real love is.
Out of this, thoughts become actual expectations for many people’s vision of their own love story. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have any expectations on what you are hoping for in the man or woman God has in store for you, but reality needs to be very present as well!
When I thought about who I wanted to marry, there was a pretty short list of “requirements”:
- Must love Jesus (and I mean LOVE the Lord, none of this wishy-washy stuff)
- Must care about his family (even if they get under his skin at times)
- Must have a sense of humor (because seriously, seriousness can get too real too fast)
- Must have a little-bit of geek in him
- Must be attractive to ME
- Must have an enjoyment of music
- Must like to dance
Minus the last one, unless you count making a fool of yourself in the comfort of our bedroom, my hubby wonderfully fits the bill for this list I mentally had for the longest time. And even though I had this list for someone else, the list of who I would be as a future wife seemed to never stay the same in my young years. I started setting expectations for myself that were just too high, too unreal, and too ridiculous! These expectations can cost many a great deal, whether they set them up for themselves or for someone else. And these are the expectations JJ Heller and her husband, Dave, discussed with me
“So much in marriage deals with expectations. But they can really hinder the marriage, especially when something doesn’t go your way. But you have to let stuff rest. If you’ve dealt with something, (especially false expectations), let it go. Love the person and yourself for the couple God sees you as.” (10 years of marriage)
God knows we’re flawed individuals, and He always wants the best for us. But He doesn’t have us follow the ENTIRE list of traditions and rituals those in the Old Testament had to follow, because 1.) Christ was the ultimate sacrifice to get rid of those rituals and 2.) God knows those are crazy expectations for us to try and follow nowadays!
So what expectations have you set-up for your spouse, or yourself, that you know you need to get rid of? Or even more-so, what expectations have blown-up in your face, making you wish you could have a redo? Feel free to comment below, because who knows who you may help!