Expectations When people get married, they have certain expectations.  Usually they expect the person they are marrying to meet their needs and make them happy. They expect such things as companionship, love, security, sex, someone to make the money (or help make the money), someone to do the laundry — the list is almost endless!   It’s normal to have expectation. Both the husband and the wife come in with a mental list of expectations.  What often happens is the lists of expectations don’t get met.  When people don’t get what they want, they begin trying to manipulate their spouse through words and actions (such as not speaking to them, giving them the cold shoulder, complaining, grouching, yelling, crying, etc.) to get their spouse to live up to the expectations and meet their needs.  Manipulation can never lead to intimacy and a good marriage.  In fact, manipulation will eventually result in the opposite – even greater division in the relationship.   So, what is the answer?  The answer is, meet your spouse’s needs.  I like 1 Cor 7:4 from The Message.  

Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other whether in bed or out.

  Also, the Golden Rule, I love the way The Message Bible puts says this one too.

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get. (Matthew 7:12 (MSG)

  Instead of focusing on getting your needs met, focus on meeting your spouse’s needs instead.  You will have a happier marriage, and you will be surprised at how your needs get met in the process. If you ignore your needs and focus on your spouse, what will happen to you?  I’m glad you asked.  Matthew 10:29 has the answer.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (NLT)

  If we cling to getting our needs met, we will be unhappy and unfulfilled.  If we let go of that, and live life the way Jesus would (i.e., loving and serving others) we will be happy and fulfilled – god will se to it.    This works.  It works in our lives and in the lives of many others we have worked with over the years. So put this to work in your life. Surprise your spouse.  Meet their needs today.

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