One of the greatest dangers to any relationship—especially marriage—is fantastical expectations. Somewhere along the line, we buy into lies from the enemy of what marriage should be and what our spouses should give us. The predictable result of these unreasonable expectations is disappointment.
Here are three of the most common myths that I have come across in marriage counseling:
- My spouse is responsible for my happiness.
The truth is, only abiding in Christ can give you true, continual joy. In John 15:11 Jesus told us, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” When you look to another person to make you happy, you set your heart up for deep disappointment.
- My spouse can/will provide all of my needs.
If you believe this, you create a controlled dependency. You become an emotional cripple. The quality of your life is not determined by others; it is determined by your relationship with the Lord. Ultimately, only Christ can meet your deepest needs. In Psalm 62:5 David looked to the Lord to fill his soul needs: “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
- My spouse will give me security (who you are) and significance (why you matter).
Only God can provide a sure foundation for these needs. Your mate can damage them both, but can never take them away. It is only as you understand that you are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6) and “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10) that you will have true security and understand the significance Christ gives.
Marriage is a precious gift from God. And God did intend for it to be a mutually giving relationship in which both husband and wife encourage, help, and edify one another. But guard your heart against expecting your spouse to be for you and to give to you what can only be found in Christ.
A joyful, full Christian marriage is one in which both husband and wife seek their fulfillment in Christ and, from that fullness, give to one another.