Now, if you think of a husband in terms of a sexual relationship, you won’t have a right picture of marriage to God, for it won’t be a sexual relationship. Instead, think of God as a husband in terms of the biblical role and responsibilities a husband has. For instance, a husband is to provide, protect, comfort, encourage, befriend, and love…and God does all of that! And because He is perfect and without sin, He can do all of that a lot better than any human husband could!

When I speak of the Lord being our husband, I’m not suggesting we ignore or think less of our earthly husbands. And I am by no means suggesting we give up on them or get out of our marriages. To the contrary, I am suggesting that we take certain expectations off of our husbands and leave them with the Lord, as a way of showing our husbands how much we do love them.

And when we lessen the load of expectations on our husbands, it often frees up our husbands to love us in the best way they can…without unrealistic expectations being held over their heads.

Great Expectations

My sister recently attended a marriage conference in which the couples were told by the speakers that there is only one person who can meet all of their emotional needs, and that was their spouse. Furthermore, the husbands were told that it was their duty to heal the hurts of their wife’s past and make her into the whole, confident, and fulfilled woman she was intended by God to be.

Wow! What a task. I imagine those men left that conference with a pretty heavy burden of responsibility on their shoulders—one that they probably will soon discover they cannot carry. I imagine, too, that those wives are in for some pretty stark disappointments as they realize the truth of Jeremiah 17:5-6, which tells us that when we depend on people—or our husbands—for our fulfillment, we will live like stony wastes in the wilderness. In other words, we’ll be like dried-out bushes or tumble weeds that blow here and there to whomever will love us. The fact is—and both Scripture and experience make this clear—that no man or woman can completely fill another person’s emotional tank. That’s a God-sized task meant for…well, God!

Secret to Success

I have found in my own marriage that when my husband tries to meet my long list of emotional expectations, he gets frustrated with how far he falls short. But not as frustrated as me! And I’ve also found that when I take those expectations off of Hugh and leave them with the Lord where they belong, it frees up Hugh to love me in the way that he can, without guilt or feelings of “not measuring up” in my book. Furthermore, as I concentrate more fully on my marriage to God, and I pursue my husband less, it makes Hugh want to pursue me a little more. (I think that’s a guy-thing!) And it makes our marriage to each other less of a weighty obligation and more of a willful inspiration. As I fall more in love with Jesus, He gives me more of a love for my husband, as well…but a love free of demands and disappointments.

Focusing on Your First Love

My friend, where are you concentrating your energy when it comes to your love life? Is Jesus your first love? He’s going to be your Husband into eternity. Don’t you want to spend life here on earth in a wonderful engagement to Him so that when you get to heaven you two can pick up where you left off?

I remember the four months I was engaged to Hugh. We had a long-distance dating relationship, so the few times we saw each other really meant a lot to us. We dreamed of the moment we would say, “I do” to each other and never again have to be away from each other, not even for a day! (We actually made that promise to each other as so many love-birds do!) I remember feeling, between visits, that I would just die if I couldn’t be with Hugh soon. I longed for the day I would be his wife and we would no longer have to be separated by physical distance.