I tend to expect a lot out of myself. Some might say it is perfectionism, but over the years I’ve eased off, and now I try for excellence with a dose of grace when I fall short. So, ten years ago it was natural for my expectations for marriage to be high. I had a good relationship with the Lord, but I expected my husband to complete me. I was naive.
As the years rolled along, the expectations I had so confidently placed on my husband and our marriage seemed to have been lofty. I started to feel empty or less than full. My job kept me on the road; weekly I battled the internal conflict of being a working mom, and my husband’s work seemed to require more and more of his time. I couldn’t keep up. I felt pulled in many directions and never felt like I had enough to give anyone. And I began to take it out on my husband. Why couldn’t he keep me happy? I began to blame his work and became jealous of how everyone else seemed to get his undivided attention except me.
But I knew he loved me, and that I was blessed in so many ways. So, why was my tank always feeling low? Why couldn’t I feel completed by my husband? God revealed Himself and the answer to these questions in a low valley.
After one healthy baby, my husband and I lost two babies to miscarriages. My husband loved me so well through it all. But there was still a gap. He didn’t understand the physical pain I endured, the emotional rollercoaster that lasted a year, or the spiritual despair that led me to cry out to the Lord with everything I had lost. But God understood, and He wanted it all. He wanted all of me. And He wanted to be the one to fill my tank in a way that I had longed for all my life - completely. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus wanted to be my unending source for love and life that I could draw from and pour out of. I wouldn’t give out or be less than full if I turned to Jesus instead of my husband as my source.
It was like a new beginning. From this foundation of God as our source for everything, my husband and I have learned to show more grace to each other, understand each other more, communicate issues early and be intentional in seeking to love well. This all started with the understanding of allowing God to be my source for a full life instead of my husband, marriage, family, kids or work.
- Read Ephesians 3:16-19 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
- How do you know what source you are drawing from?
- How can you prioritize drawing from God so that you can love your husband well?
- How can you best love your husband today?
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