By Ben McGuire
I’m incredibly hard to surprise when it comes to gifts, or so my wife tells me.
But when she manages to pull it off, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. One Father’s Day, I walked into the garage to find a brand new drill. I was floored by her thoughtfulness.
I love (good) surprises.
I also love surprising other people. I like to randomly get things for my wife I think she’ll like. Unlike me, she’s easier to surprise. Like the time I surprised her with a trip to Disney World before we had kids.
Being willing to be surprised requires a certain measure of trust in the person doing the surprising.
Thankfully, my wife is a trusting person … because a trip to Disney isn’t the biggest surprise I’ve given her.
Two years into marriage, we moved to a country I’d lived in but she’d never even visited.
When we moved our family to a new state several years later, I bought a house she’d only seen in short videos.
There have also been hard surprises in our marriage. Miscarriage. Failed adoptions. Challenges in parenting.
But those all came from outside. What about the ones that impact how we interact with one another?
The way I chew my food. The messes I leave. How angry I get at trivial issues.
The ways I fail to serve because I’m focused on myself. (Surprise!)
Maybe you take the disappointment of bad surprises out on your spouse, or become angry with God. In that moment, trust is critical.
Is your spouse a follower of Christ? Then trust God is at work in their heart, bringing that work to completion. The Holy Spirit is the deeper agent of change.
Are you a follower of Christ? Then believe you have a loving, heavenly Father who will never abandon you … no matter what surprises life throws your way.
The Good Stuff: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
- How do you respond to the surprises in life—particularly the negative ones? In some of your greater areas of dissatisfaction in marriage, what role have your expectations played?
- In what ways could you be more patient with your spouse?
- In what ways have you questioned God’s goodness or faithfulness, struggling to trust?
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