(I'm also guest-posting today at www.messymarriage.com...talking about PTSD and marriage)
It's called "Expecting the Best"/
Good expectations of your spouse and your marriage goes hand in hand with what we talked about last week - an encouraging heart.
We all go into marriage with a set of hopes and dreams that are solidified into expectations - mainly by the people around us (parents and extended family can hand down some pretty heavy baggage), and by popular culture.
"Happily Ever After" means everyone's expectations are met, right?
Well, maybe...but in real life, it means that realistic expectations are reasonably met.
And meeting implies something else.
Both sides come forward.
The key to meeting the hopes and expectations we bring to marriage begins with defining what we really want. We courted and married an individual based on (I hope!) who he or she is, and for what we become in their presence.
But too often, the "come as you are" attitude of courtship becomes a "get in line" demand, and that demand often doesn't come from our own hearts.
"The house isn't perfectly dusted, and my MOM is coming...you're not meeting my expectations for keeping a neat house!"
Meeting expectations begins with taking charge of our own lives, cleaving, as the Bible says, to our spouse alone. Don't see the word "parents" in there, do you?
It's not a matter of being rude, but your mate does not have to satisfy your Mom and Dad. If you're happy, that's enough. Period, full stop.
The second part of meeting expectations is easier. It's lending a hand.
If you want a Better Homes and Gardens house, make it a joint project.
If you want gourmet multi-course meals, both of you should learn to cook them, and take turns serving.
If you want a robust and exciting sex life, there are many books you can study together that can give you guidelines - and yes, many of them are (or should be) quite acceptable to a Christian couple. The Bible's pretty clear - sex in marriage is to be enjoyed.
The point is that if you expect something, want something...your mate can't read your mind. You have to walk hand-in-hand toward your goal, and infuse your beloved with your enthusiasm.
And you have to let him, or her, do the same for you.
Because...expectations are a gift that we give to one another.
This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage (and I got to write today's!). If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information.