Healthy Expectations for Your Man
The teenage years can be pivotal for one’s young faith. I believe I was 16 at the time when I attended Life on the Edge – Focus on the Family’s youth conference. The Christian artist, Rebecca St. James, performed her new song at the time called, “Waiting for You.” She shared about the need to remain pure, to pray for your future spouse, and wait. Those words spoke profoundly to my heart.
I began praying for my future husband at that point. I formulated a list of what I desired him to be like. I prayed for a man that would love the Lord and seek after Him. I wanted one that would pray with me through life, share what he was learning in the Bible, and lead our family. I was passionate about this and refused to waiver.
Thankfully, the Lord eventually answered my prayer with Michael. He is someone that honours every one of those former prayers. It took me a while and some tough relationships before I found him, but I appreciated him so much more when I did. Something I learned in waiting for him, is to not sacrifice on your pursuit for a Godly man.
Whether you’re single, dating, or married, each of you have expectations of what you want in a man. It’s okay to hold him to standards when it comes to his faith and choices in life. But no man is perfect. He’ll make mistakes. He’ll hurt you by things he says sometimes, even if unintentionally. He’s human. You will do the same. So, make sure you don’t set your expectations so high that you don’t leave room for error.
However, that being said, it is good to have expectations. Just make sure you’re living by whatever you ask of him. You can’t expect someone to live in a way you’re not doing yourself.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:25-33
Here are some ideas we can implement from this passage:
- Your husband should encourage you in your relationship with the Lord, like Christ does the church. Some examples might be in one or a few different ways:
- helping you create space to spend daily time in the Bible
- Reading the Bible together or sharing what you’ve both learned from your personal reading
- Praying with and for you
- Worshipping together
- Creating ways to be generous
- Calling you out humbly and graciously when you’ve done something wrong
- Challenging you in your faith
- Being hospitable
- Giving you time to serve the Lord
I said one or a few because I don’t think it’s right to hold him to this entire list. It’s something that’s good for him to strive for, but depending where he is with the Lord himself, that might be difficult. This is something you can both work on together as you grow, but don’t force this on him. It’s something he should do for you because he wants to, not because you’re pushing him to. Whatever you push him to do won’t last. Pray for him and wait on the Lord.
If you’re not married and he isn’t interested in any of these things, that might be a warning for you that he’s not ready for marriage.
This passage also says that the two shall become one. You are joined together under the sovereignty of the Lord. That means that you are united together towards the mission God set for you. Not that you have to do everything together and serve in the same ways, but that you should be each other’s cheerleaders, accountability, and support. You’re working together for the cause of Christ.
Marriage is an example the Lord uses to model His relationship to His church. Therefore, you should treat your husband like you would if he were Jesus, and he should treat you like Jesus does the church.
Remember what I said earlier – You need to personally be doing whatever expectations you set over your husband. You can encourage him and you should be praying for him. You can even humbly call him out on something, if necessary, but do it respectfully and in love.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. – Ephesians 5:22-24
Respect him for who he is. Cheer him on! Love and support him. Pray for him – always. He needs it! He’s got a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, trying to live up to the calling God gave him as a husband. Be humble and patient.
If you’re waiting for a spouse, take this time to love on Jesus. The more you grow in your love for Him, the more you’ll be prepared for marriage. I’d encourage you to listen to Rebecca St. James’ song, Waiting for You, and make that decision too.