Is It Right To Have High Expectations For My Future Spouse?

gracewan1 asked a question:

Is there such a thing/anything wrong with placing too high of an expectation for your future spouse? This is when what you desire does seem to align with what God wants for us?

Hey my friend, I think it’s totally right to set good expectations for a spouse.  You’ll be living with this person the rest of your life and they’ll be raising children with you and at least half-responsible for your well-being and future direction.  It’s a pretty big deal.

Yet as much stock as we put into a spouse, here’s a few things to consider.

1) Setting unreasonable expectations on a spouse can crush them or crush ourselves. 

I’ve seen when men or women focus too much on finding the “right one” instead of making themselves the right one first.  When this happens, a subtle shift in our heart makes us into a blame-shifting nightmare.  When things go wrong, we blame the other person for falling short or we blame ourselves for screwing it up.  Or if your spouse is in a bad mood, having a bad day, or feeling distant because of their own inner-drama, you’ll crush yourself on thinking you did this to them.  An over-emphasis on anything in life will always control you or you’ll end up trying to control them.

2) Having a “wishlist” won’t work. 

I understand that some of us have an ideal picture of who we’re looking for.  The problem is that every person is their own unique individual with the same weird gritty well-hidden flaws as the rest of us.  Any kind of romanticized perfectionism will always remove grace from the equation.  The person you end up with is almost never the person you could’ve imagined, and your future spouse will be a million times more interesting than any made-up soul-mate that we might concoct in our idealized fantasies.

3) Find a person who is running alongside you. 

The simplest expectation I could tell you is to pursue someone who is pursuing Christ.  Find Jesus, you find yourself, and maybe you’ll find someone else.  When God is leading someone’s life, this is the only time that he or she is also fit to lead.  I’m not qualified to be the boss of myself; only God is.  Only God could ever break my pride enough to apologize first, to repent of my wrong, to confront my ugliness, to find healing for my darkest hurt.  Only God could ever empower me to lead, to love, to be a good husband and father.  Find a person who knows to be humble before God; this is never ever too much to ask.

— J.S.

My new book on sex, dating, and relationships here!

2 thoughts on “Is It Right To Have High Expectations For My Future Spouse?

  1. Great post! So often believers live with crazy, unrealistic expectations for their future spouse. This needs to be said more often. Thanks for sharing.


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