{Marriage} Turning Expectations into Intentions.

Written by: Mandy Hill

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

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Familiarity often brings with it a lack of regard. We read the words, we listen to them. We think “that’s nice,” or “how beautiful,” then turn the page, moving right along.

These words from 1 Corinthians have become familiar to us, haven’t they?! We hear them at almost every wedding ceremony, see them on almost every romantic religious card, etc…..but are we really heeding to their message? Are we really applying this wisdom to our marriages and how we love our husbands?

I know that I have said this before, but love and marriage take intentional effort. Are you intentionally loving your husband as God has instructed you to? I believe that we sometimes read these verses as a checklist for how our husbands love us. “Well, MY husband certainly doesn’t love ME more than himself!” you say, or, “My husband certainly has a lot of areas to work on…..”

Those verses are not intended to be read that way. You are most certainly interpreting them wrong if even once you thought about another person and how they are loving you wrong. Instead, these verses are instructions and guidelines for YOU! When you read them, you need to think “Am I doing a good job at loving my husband more than myself?”, “Am I putting his needs before my own?”, “Am I giving him a chance to talk or do I fly off the handle easily?”, “Am I quick to forgive or do I keep a lengthy record of wrongs?”

Recently, I felt the need to look at these words differently. I picked the scriptures apart, one word at a time, and asked myself how I was really doing at loving my husband. It was quite the eye-opener!

How are YOU doing at loving your husband? Do you have a list of expectations for your hubby to live up to…..or do you have a list of expectations that you are holding yourself accountable to?!

I truly believe that if we alter our perspective….if instead of putting all our energy into measuring how much our husband loves us, we become passionate in focusing on how much we can love him; I believe that only then we will truly feel the love we so desire. After all, if we have faith that can move mountains, if we give all we have to the poor, if we have all the knowledge in the world but do not love, we are nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 paraphrased)

Let’s not allow these words become so familiar that we disregard them. Instead let us focus our hearts on the truth. Let us love our husbands the way that Christ loves us; unconditionally. Let’s trade our expectations of love for intentions to love. And finally, let’s always examine our hearts before we try to change the heart of someone else.

Father God, thank You so much for Your example of how to love. You lavish Your love extravagantly on each one of us and we sometimes take that for granted. Please help us to never forget Your sacrifices, Your tenderness and the fact that You don’t have certain conditions that we must meet before You will love us. Your love is indescribable and unconditional and we thank you for it. Lord, I ask that You will enter the heart of every woman who reads this post and change her perspective….Help her to change her expectations of love into an intention to love. Help us to read Your truth and hold ourselves accountable to love in this way, for it is just what You’ve asked us to do and we so desire to honour You. We love You Lord and thank You in advance for all that You do and will continue to do in our marriages. In Your name, Amen.

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