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What Did You Expect Conference

February 18, 2011

When I have the privilege of doing marital counseling (whether pre-wedding or post-wedding), one of the issues that inevitable gets addressed is expectations.  I find many people have lofty, unreal, and every fantastical ideas of what marriage is and what it is supposed to be.  Too many princess and prince charming stories, I suppose.

One of the ways we address this misguided and often crippling thinking is to remind people that we are all sinners unworthy of the trust and love we receive. Being a sinner means being disappointing. Being married to a sinner means being disappointed.  Thus, during our counseling, one of the questions we ask is, “What did you expect?” When your husband disappoints you (and he will), what did you expect?  When your wife fails to be the woman you dreamed she would be, what did you expect?

Here too is the opportunity to make the gospel real and remind people that while our husbands and wives disappoint us, Christ never does. It is here that we are reminded that as often as my spouse disappoints me, it is minuscule in comparison to the times I have disappointed Christ, and yet his love and blood covers all my sins.  What little thing it is for my love to cover hers, or even more amazing, her love to cover mine.

This weekend, some of the married couples at East Point Church are road tripping it to Knoxville TN to attend a Marriage Conference with Paul Tripp, author of the book What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. I look forward to being even more equipped with the gospel and applying it to my most crucial and important relationship.  I look forward to being reminded that I need to save my highest expectations, not for my wife, but for Christ.  And being reminded of what He loving and graciously expects from me.

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