Maybe you provided the perfect date. Perhaps you found the perfect gift. Possibly, you cleaned up the house for your spouse to come home perplexed in surprise over what was done without asking. You spoke the love language of your spouse flawlessly. You stand there in your cape taking in the glory of your title. Other spouses envy/hate you for what your spouse posts about you on social media. You stand back in the glory of what you feel you’ve become.
The perfect spouse.
It may be the next morning or even ten minutes later, but reality has hit. The smile on your spouse’s face isn’t as big as it was a few moments ago. Social media isn’t singing your praises anymore. The fame of your accomplishments seem to be dimming. Your mind seems to be thinking “What should I do next? How do I get that feeling back? What do I need to do to regain the title again?”
But it’s nothing more than a hamster wheel.
This “hamster wheel” is an endless pursuit of something can never happen. I watch/counsel people from all walks of life striving for the same thing: they want to have the perfect marriage by being the perfect spouse.
I’ll admit as a marriage blogger/preacher/counselor, I admire the drive to be the perfect spouse. It seems like a great accomplishment and something we should all strive to be.
But here’s the problem: it’s not what your spouse needs from you.
I’ll say it this way: Your spouse doesn’t need you to be driven to be the perfect spouse. Your spouse needs you to be driven to be the best man/woman of God possible.
Let me explain…
As admirable as it seems to be, striving to be the perfect spouse can be extremely hazardous to your marriage. What I’ve learned from these type of people is they’re willing to do and/or sacrifice anything to look like that superhero to their spouse….even if it means lowering our standards and sacrificing their character. After all, our spouse is happy…isn’t that the point.
When you are DRIVEN to be “the perfect spouse”:
- Your decisions become about “what makes my spouse happy” as opposed to “what does my spouse/marriage need”. After all, his/her happiness is everything to you.
- To protect your title of perfection, you shy away from confrontation by avoiding it instead of walking in truth.
- You overly spoil your spouse. Your actions are dictated by the wants of the marriage instead of the needs.
- Your strength is derived from affirmation and recognition of your accomplishments.
- You place your spouse at the center of your life instead of Christ.
You can ask Anne, I love to take good care of her. I love fulfilling her needs and serving her the way the Bible states. But the worst thing I can do is make her the center of my life. It’s the worst thing I can show my children.
As flattered as your spouse will be, they don’t need you to be the perfect spouse. They may say it, but it’s not going to help them or your marriage. Why? Because it’s a hamster wheel that will only get you to a point where when you stop make them the center, they’ll inherently feel like the marriage is failing. You’ve conditioned him/her in such an unhealthy addiction of being the center of everything.
What your spouse needs is for you to be the best man/woman of God possible. They need you to have Christ at the center of your life. He/she needs you to be drawing your strength from the Holy Spirit. I love what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1:
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Paul didn’t begin with himself. His focal point came from who Christ is. And it’s from that place that he was able to be the man he needed to be. It was from that point that he became the leader that others, like you and me, needed him to be.
THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND!!!
I’m not telling you to stop dating your spouse.
I will not steer you away from speaking your spouse’s love language.
Don’t stop showing humble, courteous, self-sacrificing love.
I’m not advising you to ignore your marriage relationship.
What I am saying is: all of that should come from you keeping Christ in His rightful place as the center of your life. Why? Because your marital actions will come from a place of truth, humility, grace, and unconditional love. You’ll treat your spouse the way that Christ treats you.
And that’s what your spouse truly needs.
You want to be a superhero to your husband/wife? Follow Jesus and give them THAT example to follow (1 Cor. 11:1).
Thanks for letting me ramble…