Too often, our relationships sink under the weight of our expectations. We could spend hours talking about why this is the case, but there’s a simple explanation: There is only one who can love us the way we are created to be loved.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” – Jeremiah 31:3
No other love can reach the standard of God’s love. When we tie up our worth in the measure of anyone else’s love, we are selling ourselves short. Not only that, but we are putting a lot of pressure on someone who has no way of living up to who we need them to be.
Let’s talk about the things scripture does not say:
- “Your spouse will rescue you.”
- “Your parents will always protect you.”
- “Your best friend will never leave nor forsake you.”
- “Your children will carry your burdens.”
The majority of fights in my marriage have stemmed from the unrealistic expectations my husband and I have put on each other. Neither of us entered our relationship believing it would be perfect or that we wouldn’t fight, but there were so many times we couldn’t figure out why we were fighting. After our daughter was born, we went through a period of time where we just didn’t like each other.
One night as we were sitting on our couch, we both agreed to be completely honest about the root of the problem. As it turns out, we said the exact same thing to each other: I just thought you were going to be there for me.
While I had been going through postpartum depression and struggling to balance my new role as a full-time working mom, wife, and friend, I had expected him to understand the emotions and stress I was feeling. While he had been picking up extra jobs on the side and trying to provide for our growing family, he had expected me to see his motives and appreciate the effort he was putting in.
There are many things we could have done differently during that time, but the truth is that we are going to let each other down sometimes. My husband is one of the strongest people I know, but it’s not fair for me to ask him to carry all of my burdens.
That night, it’s like we wrote a love letter to God. We took all of the things we had been saying to each other and, together, we started saying them to Him:
“God, I know that You will never let me down or leave me. You are my refuge, and Your faithfulness is my shield. You will be with me in my trouble, and You will deliver and honor me. You will take my burdens and give me rest. You, God, will heal my broken heart.”
Don’t sink your relationships by hoping that someone else’s love is going to save, cleanse, deliver, redeem, justify, and fight for you, but don’t sell yourself short by thinking you don’t deserve a love that will. Just take those expectations and place them on the One who was meant to carry them.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5