This weekend I was so looking forward to seeing you and spending time with you and being romantic with you. I was all prepared for a wonderful greeting at the door when I arrived home for the first time in three weeks. I took extra time to “primp” so I’d look and smell really good. I anticipated and pictured your smile as you swept me into your arms and held me close.
Instead, you weren't even home. You had gone to the gym and didn’t plan well enough to arrive home before me, even though you knew when I was coming.
Dangerous expectation one: you will think like I think and plan like I plan.
But, OK, you came home five minutes after I arrived, and I did get my hug. So no big deal, I moved on. We had a big evening ahead of us, so I switched my anticipation to that evening.
Friday night I thought we would go to dinner and then have a nice romantic evening where you were house-sitting, just me and you. I dreamed of cuddling, romance, and going to bed early. We did have a most excellent dinner, great conversation and I felt like we were off to a great start. But then, tiredness and the long week gave us a nice quiet evening watching TV with cuddles, but no spark.
Dangerous expectation two: you will take the lead to make my dreams come true how I pictured them.
Then the weekend went pretty well…until Sunday night. My plan for Sunday night had been to stay at my parents so I could leave there early in the morning to head back to Raleigh. But, I knew it was the last night we had to spend together for two weeks, so I decided to come with you. Again, I anticipated a nice cuddly evening watching the rest of the football game, then heading off to bed.
Again, things did not go how I pictured.
You were tired, and your emotions over the game robbed your joy. And I allowed your actions to steal my joy for the evening. Instead of understanding that you were just having a moment and loving you through it, I judged you. I thought to myself, “Wow, he's going to let that game get to him like that, doesn't he realize this is the last night we have together for 2 weeks? He's ruining it. He cares more about that game than about me!”
Dangerous expectation three: you will act like I think you should; and if you don’t it means you don’t love me
We went to bed barely speaking, had a fitful sleep and woke up early. I was tired and still hurt over your actions…and very vocal about that. You apologized several times, finally saying, “What else can I do, I've apologized. How long are you going to make me pay?”
Those words penetrated my heart and God began to use them, along with truth about the ugliness of my selfish attitude, to change me. He showed me that I often waste precious time forming dangerous expectations in my mind of how things should be (fantasy), and that I allow those expectations to get in the way of enjoying the awesome life He gave me (reality).
Instead of taking the opportunity to be waiting at the door for you with a big hug and kiss, I pouted.
Instead of taking initiative and setting a spark Friday night, I sat back and waited for you.
Instead of turning off the TV and saying, “Hey honey, let's just go to bed and snuggle,” I wished I hadn't even come with you.
Dangerous expectations create fantasies in my mind that steal my ability to enjoy the amazing life that is right in front of me.
The fantasies I imagine get in the way of us enjoying our relationship as God created it, and in the way of me appreciating you for the wonderful man you are.
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (John 10:10, MSG)
I'm sorry, honey, for judging you instead of loving you. I'm thankful to have had this revelation, and excited to learn how to put it into practice, with God’s help and by His grace.
Now, don't you get the dangerous expectation that this will never happen again, because it probably will. But I'm going to make a really big effort to see that it doesn't happen any time soon.
PS to my readers: Don read this before I posted it. I always share blogs about him with him before making them public.