By: Pastor Taiwo Odubiyi
Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” (Genesis 30:1 NKJV)
The above passage makes us know the plight of Rachel, Jacob’s wife. She was barren, she could not have children for her husband and out of desperation, she cried out to her husband, to make him know that she expected him to do something about the situation.
But verse 2 of the same chapter reveals to us the inability of her husband to meet her need.
And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
Jacob was angry at his wife. This is what might happen when you expect your spouse to meet certain expectations. His words also showed frustration at the situation, and he pointed out the fact that some things can only be done by God. God alone has all power. All power in heaven and on earth belong to Him. (Matthew 28:18)
Her husband could not help her, and she could not receive the fulfillment of her expectation until God stepped into her situation and helped her.
Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. (Genesis 30:22 NKJV)
A lot of times, we have high hopes and expectations in marriage which we expect our spouses to meet, and when they do not meet up, we become: 1) Offended 2) Impatient 3) Bitter 4) we begin to quarrel 5) Violent and abusive, physically, verbally, etc.
Some people become distracted and lose focus of who they are, the purpose of the marriage and their spouse, and this can slow them down.
We need to realise that our spouses will never be able to completely meet all of our needs: spiritual, physical, financial, emotional. They will not. This is because as human beings, we’re not perfect, as such, there will be times that we’ll let each other down. Only God can meet all needs.
What should you do when your spouse does not meet your expectation?
1) Don’t get angry, offended, impatient, frustrated, bitter, and abusive.
2) As earlier said, no human being can meet all your needs. Therefore look up to God, your Creator for He alone can meet all needs and desires.
3) Ask yourself, is there something you can personally do about the situation instead of putting the burden on your spouse? For example, if it’s a financial challenge, can you get a job, or ask your siblings or parents for loan? Remember, as a married person or a Christian, there are things you should not do and certain people you should not approach for help.
4) Make allowance for each other’s faults and be forgiving. When you make projections/goals and do not meet up, you do not kill yourself but rather make room for your own faults. If you can forgive yourself, then you should do the same for your spouse. Forgive your spouse, and don’t let the issue affect your marriage in any way. Continue to love your spouse.
Rather than criticize your spouse for what he/she is not doing, praise him/her for what they have done well. Remember, if God were to change the roles, (you become the man while he becomes the woman or vice versa as the case may be), you might do worse than the person you’re criticizing.
5) You can also pray for your spouse to be empowered by God so that he/she can do more for you.
As much as possible, be at peace with one another for this is God’s will for your marriage. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:17-18)