Oh, those pesky unrealistic expectations
I love my sweet guy. I do. He’s kind. He’s funny. He loves God and lives his faith.
But he’s not God.
When we first married I was a bit of a mess. The Lord had begun an incredible work in me, but there was a lot of work left to do. There were times I felt inadequate, overwhelmed, too shy, and I had a long way to go in the area of confidence.
So I wanted Richard to be my safe place. I wanted him to make me feel better about myself. If I felt overwhelmed, alone, or insecure, I looked to him to step in and fill those gaps.
That’s a huge order for any relationship, but especially in a new marriage.
To make it even more complicated, this was not a conscious act. I had no idea that I was placing unrealistic expectations on our relationship. I didn’t have a healthy view of marriage, so I was flying by love alone. And this is what I thought love looked like. Though our marriage was sweet and I loved this man so much, cracks started to develop.
What I didn’t realize then is this: There is no person on earth capable of filling our every need.
Only God can fill those gaps. Only God can wrap around those insecurities and show us who we are. Only God can lead us step-by-step into his plan for us. There’s a seat waiting for us with our name on it, and letting go will help us find it!
Eventually I stepped into confidence. It took work and growth and maturity on my part. It required healing in some areas. It also sprung out of the knowledge that Richard’s job was not to be my need-meeter. That was God’s job and my role was to trust Him in the process.
Releasing unrealistic expectations gave Richard the freedom to be human, to sometimes make mistakes. He wasn’t required to fill the gaps but to come alongside me as God filled them, one by one.
In today’s More Than Small Talk podcast conversation, Holley Gerth, Jennifer Watson, and I discuss the pitfalls that might get in the way of healthy, happy relationships. These were a few of the things that surfaced in that conversation.
- Don’t underestimate the “trench work.” This hard place is also where we grow.
- While it feels good to be needed, it’s not healthy when we try to be God to anyone else.
- Releasing unrealistic expectations allows God to show us his plan, which is sweeter, greater, and deeper than we can imagine.
I hope you’ll check out the conversation. It’s Episode 7, titled, “Happy Healthy Relationships.” You can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with us at KLRC.com and join the conversation!
If you are struggling in this area, hold close this promise today. “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). If you need prayer, please share that. This community is here for you.
I’d also love to hear from you. What is one unrealistic expectation you’re willing to release today?
Love you like crazy,
Resources listed in the podcast that help us as we release those expectations are: