Guest blogging for Yanni Brown today is Reverend Clarence E. Stowers Jr., who serves as the senior pastor of the
Everyone loves "Once upon a time" stories so I'll start this guest post with one.
Once upon a time, you stood at the altar and began what you hoped would be a storybook marriage. Whether you realized it or not, it was a storybook you had written yourself. In fact, you had been writing it for years. Over a lifetime, you filled it with your dreams and desires, your pictures and plans of what your thought the ideal marriage would look like.
There's just one problem.
Your spouse started out the same way, and when two plots merge together in the same story, well . . . it's just a matter of time before they clash.
Consequently, the stronger spouse becomes the primary author of the marriage, while the other lives in quite frustration. Or perhaps the two will agree to compromise, taking turns writing a chapter, but never fully realizing their vision of what they'd dreamed.
We all approach marriage with a picture of how it's going to be. Even if you are single you have already begun to imagine what marriage would look like: "She will submit. He will submit. We'll save money. We'll spend money. I need my space and friends. Christmas is at my mom's house with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins."
At the center are our images, desires, and expectations. Bottom line, we have agendas for the people we are marrying - a set of expectations. Sadly, many couples conclude that their vision of marriage was really just a mirage.
Over time, they settle into an unspoken arrangement that barely resembles the happy marriage they once imagined.
The good news is that God doesn't intend for us to abandon our heartfelt hopes and dreams. After all, He is the one who put those desires in us. But He has a different avenue of seeing those desires met than dumping them on our spouse.
When we lean how to effectively handle our desires and expectations in marriage, we're on the way to discovering a new kind of marriage that's more fulfilling that we ever imagined marriage could be.
This piece is part of the "Jumping the Broom" series (based on the recently released movie) that explores how images, desires, and expectations work against God's original design for marriage. You are welcome to join us and experience this series on Sunday, June 12, 2011 @ 10:30am. For more information please visit www.marshillchgo.org.