She Was in Tears
By Bruce Goff
One time, we were in front of a beautiful mountain vista on a gorgeous spring day, and I asked Maria to marry me.
Another time, she found out someone bought the I-didn’t-know-they-could-cost-that-much blender on our registry.
Guess which time made her cry? Go ahead, guess.
I mean I get it—it’s a really nice blender. It’s just that I kind of had different expectations.
When unexpressed expectations are not met, they can pulverize a marriage.
Ever done something for your spouse, expecting a certain response, and not received it?
Maybe you did the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, gave lots of quality time, lots of non-sexual physical touch, and still at the end of the night there was no sex. Come on!
Or on the flip side, maybe you noticed the trash needs to be taken out and you expect your spouse will do it while you’re out. You come home and the trash is still there. Come on!
Neither scenario is very loving toward your spouse. And both can build up resentment over time.
When I do something for Maria so that she’ll do something for me in return, that’s not love. That’s more like a business transaction.
Or when I hold her to an unexpressed expectation in my mind, how fair is that? That’s like leaving a college-tuition-priced blender off of your wedding registry and then getting mad at someone for not buying it for you.
Love, like the kind God shows us, cares about the other—no strings attached (see Romans 5:8).
God loves us by communicating His expectations clearly (through the Bible and conscience) and by loving His people without expectation of something in return (through the cross).
If you’ve been loved that way, can you love your spouse that way?
I’m able to joke about Maria crying about the blender (but not our engagement) because I didn’t ask her to marry me so she’d cry. I asked her to marry me because I love her—even more than she loves our blender.
The good stuff: In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:10-11 ESV)
- Think of a way you can bless your spouse today for the simple joy of doing him or her good.
- Ask God to reveal any bitterness in your heart toward your spouse for things he or she isn’t even aware of, and ask Him for help to let it go.
- Ask God to help you love your spouse like He loves.
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