My Husband isn’t Jesus
By: Hannah Dearth
My husband isn’t Jesus, and neither is your husband, boyfriend, or future significant other. Well, my husband was Jesus that one or two times at Vacation Bible Adventure for our church, but that’s a different story entirely.
What I’m trying to say is that if you put expectations that are unattainable on your spouse (or any relationship), or if you place them in a position above or equal to your faith...it is likely setting both of you up for a lot of failure and disappointment. I want to tack on that I am not claiming to be a marriage expert, I have actually been married a whopping 2 years, but I believe that being in the Word can teach us different lessons in different seasons to strengthen our relationships, and that God is working on this in my heart right now.
Why is this mentality so dangerous? First off, we aren’t perfect. No one is. Our husband is not perfect...and even harder to hear...neither are you or I. It’s easy to see movies or social media and think, “There is the model for my relationship.” Except...movies and social media end the scene too early. They often don’t show the reconciliation that happens sometimes over a long period of time, the compromise, the self-work that even the best relationships require. I’m not mad if my husband wants to apologize with a grand gesture on occasion, but in reality, healing a hurt takes more than the one scene where the couple gets back together through an apology written in the sky, or spelled out in a thousand candles, or whatever your thing is. It’s hard. It is one of the hardest parts of being in deep relationship. Gary Thomas says it well in his book “Sacred Marriage”, that marriage isn’t for our happiness, but our holiness.
What? What do you mean marriage isn’t for my happiness? Have you not heard of happily ever after? Why would I do something that isn’t going to make me happy?
It doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to be happy, rather, we aren’t going to be happy all of the time. It’s sacrificial love. It’s agape love. It’s unconditional love. Except, again, we aren’t Jesus and we sometimes are not going to get it right, but he does want this for us and even call us to this serving, forgiving, humbling type of love. This isn’t relevant to situations that are abusive or unsafe...but this is relevant when your husband didn’t respond the way you thought he would and do something the way that you wanted around the house. It is relevant when you are on what Dr. Emerson author of “Love and Respect” calls the “Crazy Cycle”, a non-stop arguing and bickering over...well we forgot what the bigger issue was.
I’m so guilty of this. I want my husband to read my mind, I know I am this way. I would have cleaned the house differently, or planned it this way, or done this for the kids. Why didn’t he know that? Why didn’t he know I would rather have this for dinner? I feel silly just saying it, because I realize how trivial this all is, but I know it’s true for others too. I want him to do things the way I do. I also assume if he doesn’t, his intentions are poor. When, in my opinion, we should always assume in a Christ-centered marriage that the person that we married loves us and has the best intentions for us. Why don’t I just say it either? “Hey could you do the dishes while I’m out?”. Instead of returning annoyed that the dishes are still sitting there.
Also, I am always right. I am always justified, and doing things my way is the best way, right? Wrong. We are both broken humans that need Jesus. And if I think I’m perfect and cannot admit my own shortcomings, or I think he should never make a mistake and should read my needs and be above all else for me...I’m either making me Jesus or I’m making him Jesus. I’m making him my savior, that is going to do no wrong and make life better and serve me, me, me. (This part, is really tangled up and messy because we in fact, should want to serve Jesus, but in marriage it should be reciprocal, not one way “worship”...).
I can admit that I default like it’s my job to talking about the silly thing my husband did or didn’t do at bedtime for the kids or the way he didn’t understand what we were needing at the grocery for the upcoming weeks when I am with friends instead of speaking the life giving things he does do either to or about him. We see this as well in the media, the “dumb” husband with the wife talking about how he didn’t know how to do something. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to set up an unreachable bar of disappointment and lack of communication. I don’t want to make him this idea that will fix my problems and meet all of my needs, then tear everything down when it doesn’t go just so...like the picture I created in my head.
I want to speak life into one another. I want to show up everyday serving each other out of love. I want to pray together when things are hard. Do the work to reconcile and be there for one another with humility and grace. I don’t want a tv show, social media, or movie love. It isn’t real.
My husband isn’t Jesus, but he is my partner. We are one together seeking Christ and to love one another the way He would have us to, but my husband isn’t my savior, and I’m not his.