You can ask a newly-engaged woman and a seasoned wife the exact same question, yet get completely different responses.
“Tell me about your man.”
Most women who are early in love will spew off all of the great, wonderful things about the “love of their life”.
On the other hand, the woman who has been with her man for years, maybe even decades, can tell you all about her husband’s flaws, no matter how much she loves him.
I remember during my engagement period with my husband, and my mother-in-law jokingly asked if there was one thing I could change about my husband, what would it be?
Engaged me did not quite understand.
I would not change absolutely anything. I am marrying him because I love every part of him, even the faults, I thought.
Fast forward to today, three and half years of marriage and almost 10 years together total, I may be singing a new tune. I still love him greatly, but I caught my prayer life quickly going something like this:
God, I need my husband to be this for me.
God, make him see things MY way.
Why doesn’t he care for this thing the way I do?
Ideally, my prayers were to make my husband more like me or that he would do more things for me. Oooo, even typing that has me drowning in conviction.
While being married spiritually makes you “one in Christ”, we are still two humans in our flesh, with two completely different personalities that sometimes are not on the same page.
If you never thought you were selfish before, marriage will show you very quickly how much of that is actually in your heart. Instead of selfishly praying for my husband to be more like me or to do more for me, I should be praying for each of us to be more like Christ, because nothing will be solved if there were two of me.
When my heart is not right with God, it cannot be right with my husband either. If I am not getting fed by the Holy Spirit and allowing God to meet my needs, I quickly fall to my husband to fill in those parts.
“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (ESV)
While my husband is a wonderful provider and comforter in a carnal standpoint, he is not God, and it is unfair for me to put the same expectations on him that only God can step up to. Honestly, it is idolatry.
“remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,” Isaiah 46:9 (ESV)
Ladies, a man will never be able to meet your every need. Whether you’re married or single, it is important to realize first and foremost that it is God who fills those longings and desires. We cannot try to make our husband, or the desire for a husband, our god.
It is funny how movies will teach us cliches like “he gave me the world”, “I found my soulmate”, “he completes me”.
Honestly, the only man to truly ever follow through with that is Christ. I certainly cannot expect my husband to live up to the only perfect man to walk the earth (nor can I expect him to act like the unrealistic men in romantic movies).
Letting God meet and fill the needs in my heart allows me to stop viewing my husband as a magic genie who is there to meet my needs, because reality check, marriage is about glorifying God and not ourselves. When my heart is full of God, I can see my husband through God’s lens and appreciate all the ways God uses him to nurture and protect our family. I am able to see the two of us as a team working toward the purpose of serving the One who is our actual source of happiness, joy, and peace.
Instead of putting all your energy into building a better husband, I encourage you to seek your first love, the Father, and see Him transform your marriage and your heart.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)