We've all see those funny e-cards on Pinterest. You know, the ones with the snarky, sarcastic or profound statements. The other day I came across this one:
Sure. Before marriage. After marriage, you might have a problem here if you keep this mindset.
Why? Well...because you didn't marry your father. You married your husband. They are different. And if you spend your married life wishing your husband was more like your father, you will nurse a spirit of discontent, disappointment, and disillusion. Consider these verses:
Genesis 2:24 - Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Psalm 45:10 - Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father's house, and the king will bow down to you.
Ruth 2:11 (Boaz speaking to Ruth) - All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.
When we choose our husband, we are also choosing a new beginning. We are choosing to form a new family and to negotiate a new lifestyle within our home. If we had a good example of a father, we often go into our marriage expecting our husband to be the same, to do the same things, to have the same habits and responsibilities as our dad. Most of the time, our husband will do things differently, but we have our dads on so high a pedestal that our husband's differences can appear to be sin. If we are going to become truly one with our husband, we will have to choose to appreciate our father but move towards acceptance and respect for our husband.
This command to leave [in Gen 2:24] plays out in a marriage in thousands of seemingly insignificant ways. From dividing up household tasks like taking out the trash ("In my home that was a man's work!") to praying with the children before they fall asleep, we each come into the marriage with preconceived ideas, expectations, and prejudices that have the potential to create significant discord...Even if your father was a strong and godly leader, you'll still need to leave him - and the way that he personally lived out his faith and calling - behind. (Elyse Fitzpatrick, Helper By Design, p.83-84)Maybe in your parents' home, your dad did all the outside work while your mom did all the inside work. It's not a sin if your husband wants you to mow the grass.
Maybe in your parents' home, your dad walked in the door from work and immediately started playing with you and your siblings and pitched right in with the housework. It's not a sin if your husband needs to decompress after work. And it's not a sin to if he doesn't do the dishes.
Maybe your dad was an awesome spiritual leader, praying with the family every day, reading Scripture at the dinner table and serving in a multitude of ways within your church. Allow your husband some grace to mature to a point where he finds a way to implement spiritual leadership. Pray for him to find his way. Remember that it isn't a sin if your husband leads in a different way than your dad.
If you had a wonderful relationship with your dad, remember that your husband will always seem less-than, even if he is seeking to be a godly leader, because, of course, he won't have the maturity or wisdom of your much older dad. (Elyse Fitzpatrick, Helper By Design, p.84)One of the expectations I had to release when I married Dave was about dinner. Growing up, my dad - a kitchen/bathroom cabinet installer, woodworker and furniture maker -was almost always home for dinner. We ate dinner together as a family every single night. I, however, married a realtor. Realtors are at the beck and call of their clients and frequently need to schedule meetings in the evenings when clients are off work. I cannot tell you how many times I cried about this or how many conversations we had about dinnertime. I took it personally and decided that Dave must not value his family or our marriage enough if he didn't free his schedule for dinner with me. That wasn't fair to him at all. He wasn't sinning; he was providing for his family. Now, we kind of negotiate through the seasons. I don't ask if he's coming home for dinner until the end of his day (he often doesn't know appointments until them); he tries to balance his schedule so that he's at least home for dinner a few nights a week. Sometimes, he'll come home for dinner, put the boys to bed and then go back out for a meeting.
On the flip side, I realize that there are many women who did not have a good relationship with their father, for whatever reason. If that's you, you might an opposite expectation to release. You might have to choose not to hold onto the hurt, bitterness, and resentment towards an ungodly, unloving or absent father. Again, this man you married is not your father.
I'd like to hear your stories. What expectations did you have to release when you married your husband?
Sharing with: The Better Mom, The Alabaster Jar, The Wellspring, Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, Classic Housewife, Wifey Wednesday