For me the romance of Valentine's Day has faded into a peaceful contentment that is so much better than the lustful years of before. No longer do I desire my husband to sweep me off my feet with the perfect gift and the even more perfect attitude. I have talked before about unrealistic expectations and how they can lead to disaster. That perfect gift can never be found and your spouse will either stop trying to find it and resent you or break his spirit and your bank account looking. I remember spending the days before Valentine's Day hoping that John would show up with a token that would esteem his love for me and that he would then carry me into the bed room and all would be perfect! But alas my husband would either show up with a trifle gift that would cause doubt in my mind that he really loved me. After all couldn't he get the twenty or so hints that I had dropped the week before? Didn't he understand how much was riding on this gift?
Unfortunately, that was me up there, embarrassed as I must admit. Not knowing that I was holding my husband to an impossible standard. After all I hadn't purchased the hubby version that read minds or came with a prince charming romance card. My prince charming was just a man! A strong and wonderful man that was showing his love to me everyday and wondering why it was never enough. Wasn't working incredibly hard to provide what I needed and wanted and then trying everyday to figure out what I really wanted enough? Needless did he know that I couldn't tell him what I wanted if he did have the gall to ask.
My heart and mind fought over the truth of what I wanted and needed. I didn't need the gift that I longed for that day but the love and acceptance that i thought it would provide for me. I didn't want my bank account to be in the toilet just for a gift that would sit on my shelf a week later. I wanted a promise that he would always be there for me, love me like the the best love story heroes did, and fill all the holes in my heart that the world had put there. Of course he couldn't and can't fulfill any of these things!
Only God can give me the everlasting love that I desire, He will never leave me or abandon me. Only God can know my deepest desires and secrets and provide the heroic awesome love story I long to be in. And only God can heal the wounds and hurts that sin and darkness put in my life.
Once I realized what I was really longing for I set out to change it. Notice I said it not him. I decided I would seek God for those things that I longed for and a true miracle happened. God started showing me what an amazing gift in a husband He had given me. How although I could not control that he would never leave me, pending I find a way to cheat death, I could count on a man that would work harder than I would to stay by my side. And although my robot husband was not prince charming, he would look for more and more ways to show me his love even when i didn't deserve it. And the biggest gift was that he would support me in my attempts to fill those holes in my heart, by not complaining of the endless nights I would spend in Celebrate Recovery and handling with caution the broken mess I was and am.
So I challenge you today to look at the expectations you have for your loved ones. Are you holding them to standards that only God can fill? And if so, isn't it worth the opportunity to heal for you to let go?