I had the journal. I made the list of must-haves of my future husband. Complete with little hearts.
My future was set. Nothing was going to stop me of my life goal; to have a loving Christian home.
I could see exactly how it was going to be. My godly husband would lead me and our children with fearless leadership, and my children would grow up kind gentle spirits with a passion for all things of God. Clearly, my goals were straight from God.
Once married, I was eager to work hard to accomplish what I set out to do.
That is, until Matt decided holding hands during the dinner blessing wasn’t necessary. WHAT?! I’m pretty sure that’s what true men with a passion for God wants. I’m sure of it.
And how could it be possible that family devotion meant kids running around and me screaming, “Get over here right now. Don’t you care anything about Jesus”!?
Oh the horror when Matt’s response to an international mission trip was a mere, “Eh, maybe someday”.
You see, I had a minor problem with my life goal. Five minor problems, actually. My husband and four children could and did get in the way of me accomplishing my goal. The more and more they got in the way of my expectations, the more and more I began to control, manipulate and resent. I found myself in a constant state of anger and depression.
I had to say things like, “Since you’re not going to pray for God’s protection on our trip, then I’ll have to.” or play freeze out with my silent treatment, because apparently my husband doesn’t love Jesus.
During my life crisis, I read Neil Anderson’s, Victory Over the Darkness, and realized how I had it all wrong! My desire for a loving Christian home was just that, a desire. A desire placed in my heart by God.
Goal v. Desire
The thing about a desire is that I have very little control over the outcome. Sure, I can pray, model, and teach, but ultimately, I have no power to make my husband or children walk a loving Christian life according to my expectations. I have to let go of my control.
On the other hand, a goal is something I can accomplish on my own without it depending on someone else to make it happen.
So, there’s been a slight change in plans.
I still hold my desire for a loving Christian home close to my heart, but I no longer hold on with expectations I can’t control.
The one I can control and change is myself. So, my goal looks more like this,
I will work to become the wife and mother I was meant to be.
I even turned it into a prayer that I tape to my mirror as a reminder of who I can control.
And the more I practice letting go of the expectations of my desires the more freedom I have to accept Matt and my children for who they are, even if we don’t hold hands during the family blessing.