Marriage Killer #1: Unrealistic Expectations

I'm absolutely "crazy" in love with my husband. In fact, I think sometimes people get sick of hearing me talk about how wonderful he is. I'm ashamed to say I haven't always felt this way, nor have I always treated him with the love one Christian should demonstrate to another—regardless of feelings.

As we focus on marriage this month, I'm going to be brutally honest and share with you some things I've learned the hard way. Probably none of you entered marriage with such a self-centered immature perspective as mine. Hopefully, you won't recognize yourself as I share, but in case there are a few out there who struggle as I did—these posts are for you.

This month I'm going to share with you five ingredients that can kill a marriage:

  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • The Control Factor
  • Vain Imaginations
  • Condescension
  • Harboring Hurt

I didn't grasp the "big picture" when I entered into my marriage covenant. I was thinking romance, sunset walks holding hands, cuddling together on the couch. Basically I thought marriage was going to be something like a fifty-year date! I had a rude awakening.

Reality settles in quickly, and a young bride can end up crushed with disappointment if she enters marriage with unrealistic expectations. Some of mine were:

  • Expecting my young husband to instinctively "know" how I was feeling. ("Surely he can read my mind?")
  • Expecting "love" to be a natural reaction rather than a fruit of the Spirit that must be chosen and cultivated.
  • Thinking he would be as "romantic" as I am. (Hmmm ... I didn't know much about men yet.)
  • Expecting him to have my father's depth of wisdom and maturity (at 22 years old!).
  • Thinking he would "think like me." (I think more like him now.)
  • Thinking he would "be like me." (I'm so glad he's not!)

I don't really have enough blog space to keep going, but I think you get the idea. My point is I had unrealistic expectations about marriage, and they all centered around me. What I wanted. How he made me feel. What he could do for me. Basically I went into our marriage thinking it was all about me, instead of realizing marriage is all about God.

So here's the big picture:

  • Marriage is God's plan for displaying the blazing glory and beauty of the gospel.
  • The canon of Scripture begins and ends with a wedding ceremony.
  • Marriage was His idea for His great purpose.
  • Marriage provides a physical picture of the spiritual reality: the love relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (Eph. 5:22–33).

Marriage is a thrilling, fun, joy-filled, exciting adventure and gift from God, but along with this privilege comes the responsibility of showing the world an example of God's covenant with us through our marital union.

What about you—did you understand the "big picture" when you married your man? How are you showing the world the beautiful picture of redemption through your marriage?


About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior and is a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the blog. Kimberly's passion is Christ and she … read more …

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