After returning home from spending a week caring for my dad in the hospital, I’ve been wondering, Why is it so much easier for me to love and serve my dad than my husband? I understand that this may never have been a struggle for you, but for me, it requires a conscious, daily choice to put my own selfish wishes aside to love my husband. Why is that? I may have finally found the answer … or at least one answer.

I expect nothing from my dad except for the most basic level of kindness.

I expect him to remember my birthday with a phone call and a gift (and to be honest I bet even that comes from my mom). I expect my dad to be happy to see me and to enjoy the few days a year we’re able to spend together.

Yep. That’s about it. Done. Expectations met.

Now, let’s see, what do I expect from my husband? Are you ready? This may be a little longer.

1. I expect him to notice when I need some help, picking up the slack when I’m busy with kids or errands or Bible study or even fun time with my friends.

2. I expect him to care about how I’m feeling, asking questions about how I’m doing and listening attentively.

3. I expect him to express his love for me with hand-written notes or flowers on random occasions, and to go “all out” for Mother’s Day and my birthday.

4. I expect him to know what I would want to order at my favorite restaurants … and to know what restaurants I’d want to go to for a regularly scheduled date night away that he has planned.

5. I expect him to tell me how beautiful, smart, funny, and all-around fantastic I am and that no one could ever take my place.

6. I expect him to express gratitude for all the little things I do at home, cooking meals, cleaning up, caring for our kids.

7. I expect him to have his own daily quiet time with God, and to share his Biblical insights with me, praying for me and with me, and to lead our children in their faith in God.

8. I expect him to take care of his physical body, exercising on occasion, eating somewhat well, using sunscreen, going to the doctor and taking whatever medicine he needs.

9. I expect him to be interested in our children, asking about their day and listening attentively, giving discipline, counsel or encouragement where appropriate.

10. I expect him to encourage me to spend time with my family and friends, as well as attend two women’s retreats a year and have an overnight away for some alone time.

11. I expect him to take care of all the “manly jobs” around the house: mowing the lawn, changing lightbulbs (he’s 10 inches taller than me!), as well as minor wood, electrical and plumbing work, home improvement projects and the like.

Well, that about takes care of it. ?

Honestly, I don’t think these expectations are unfair for a wife to have of her husband, but the point is this: The reason it is easy for me to just love my dad right where he is, is because I’m not constantly frustrated that he’s falling short of my expectations for him.

Ultimately, God is the only one able to meet all of my needs … and the only one able to change my husband. I have to choose to focus on my own walk with God and my own shortcomings, rather than my husband’s, and that is HARD TO DO!

Hope this encourages y’all, like it’s encouraged me!

What expectations do you have of your dad or husband that I left off my list?

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