“Don’t I have the right to be happy?” she implores in desperation.

“Shouldn’t I be able to expect just a little from him?” she begs for validation.

Well. . . yes. . . and yes.

But, expectations do not always equate with outcome, and rights do not always relate to reality. And therein is a whole lot of hope deferred, added into the equation, which does equal a whole lot of heart sickness.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. . . but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Here’s how it looks in a math equation:

Expectations – results = hope deferred.

Hope deferred + unrealized rights = heart sickness.

What do you do when rights and reality don’t add up?  You may have a right to intellectually stimulating conversation – but you won’t get it (consistently) from your three-year-old.

You might expect to connect on an emotional level with a mature life partner – but it’s not really as fulfilling as you might hope. . . with your toddler.

And frankly, you might not be getting your basic rights and expectations from your husband either. . . And yes, my friend, I agree. . . we deserve this and more, and I have a right to expect it. . . and so what does us agreeing about our rights and expectations get us? How does that change reality?

Zero. Except that now we’re both upset while we agree that we are missing out!  Yippee!

Let’s do some more math, and factor in a little victimhood, multiply it with some pouting, and take the square root of a little anger, and see what we calculate.

What answer did you come up with? Probably the same wrong answer I kept calculating for so long — and it was a negative integer for many years!

It never helps to want what we don’t have. It’s akin to lust and covetousness, which are thought processes and heart disease that are forbidden to Christians. It’s best to accept reality and learn to love it — all the while hoping in faith for the miracle of more.  (Because God is a powerful multiplier of joy when he divides our sorrows.)

If you’re married to a bear. . . learn to love bear hugs (and rugs!).

If you’re married to a daredevil. . . strap on a helmet.

If you’re married to Mr. Steady. . . enjoy your bottom line together!

If you’re married to an overgrown kid . . . enjoy blowing soap bubbles and dancing in the daisy’s!

Today’s Marriage Challenge: Do not waste a moment yearning for what isn’t. Instead, value what you have, and dream, hope and pray for a day when your husband learns to meet your needs, and where you share the intimacy you deserve on an even greater level.

  1. Does it seem that things just don’t add up in your marriage? Do you long for more, but there doesn’t seem to be enough? Make a list of what you want, but don’t have; then make a list of what you have that you don’t want. Then tear it up, and thank God for what you do have that you do want!
  2. Are there areas where your husband needs to mature? Then pray for him, and love him until he grows up. Marriage is a journey, and through prayer, both you and your husband will mature through the beautiful years together.