Divine Expectations

In relationships, many people develop expectations of others that just do not work out. This brings confusion and frustration into the relationship. Do you expect too much from people of the opposite gender? There may be a logical reason for this frustration. Do you desire godly character in fallen vessels? Is God manifesting his desire to dwell richly in us?


Since the Genesis Fall:
Some characteristics of GOD are:
Women want men to be:
Men want women to be:

Do we expect too much of each other?

Sometimes the frustration of a wife with her husband relates to her desire for him to meet her expectations. To women, men ought to be powerful in physical, mental and spiritual ways. Women can express power too. If a man is not powerful to meet her needs, she will express disappointment. This expression of disappointment is a request, from her, to meet her needs. A wife wants her husband to be perceptive. She wants him to know her heart deeply. If he is not perceptive, she feels like he does not know her at all. Her frustration can bring words that make him feel like she sees him as stupid. A wife wants her husband to be present. Her needs for him to be near are not to fix things but to feel her emotions alongside her. She delights in him just connecting with her in whatever she does. If he is not near, she may ask continually for him to come to her so they connect. She may even develop a reversal, or disconnection, in that she wants him to stay away because she is frustrated with him. If he can figure out what she needs and be there to provide it in a powerful way, her heart will be content. She wants him to love her and love being around her. 

Sometimes the frustration of a husband with his wife relates to his desire for her to meet his expectations. To men, women ought to be attractive in physical, mental and spiritual ways. Men can express attraction too. If a woman is not attractive to meet the desires he has, he will express disappointment as demands for improvement. A husband wants his wife to be agreeable. He wants her to know his mind is good. If she is not agreeable, he feels like she does not know him at all. His frustration can bring words that make her feel like he sees her as stupid. A husband wants his wife to be available. His needs for her to be near are not to solve problems but to cheer his accomplishments. He delights in her just being with him in whatever he wants to do. If she is not near, he may ask continually for her to attend what he does. He may even develop a reversal in that he wants her to stay away because he is frustrated with her. If she is attracting him and available to be agreeable, his heart will be content. He wants her to respect him and this shows that she sees him as competent.

Where do these expectations arise? I suspect they first arose in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Woman received the words from God about the curses that came due to their disobedience. The curses are separate to the Serpent, Woman, and Adam. I am not looking at the curse on the Serpent at this point.

To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of child-bearing; with spasms of distress you shall bring forth children; yet your desire and craving shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. Genesis 3:16, The Amplified Bible

The outcome for the woman is not called a curse by God but is often called a curse by women. It came as a two-part increase in difficulty. The first part, concerning childbirth, may well start at the moment of conception and last until after the postpartum symptoms have disappeared. The second part of the outcome is the part that works heavy on male-female relationships of all kinds and particularly marriage. The second part has to do with her relationship with her husband. If her desire became set on her husband, on whom was it before this moment? I suspect it was on God Whom she put all her desire. If that same desire is turned toward Adam, he is unable to be God to her. Her frustration is going to increase because all her needs, which are real, will not be met by Adam. He cannot be God. So she has a real problem that will stay until the Solution comes with remedy. The traits she hopes to find in Adam are that he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. She will look for these traits for her security, based in connection.

And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life; Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it were you taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:17-19, The Amplified Bible

The outcome for the man came as a two-part increase in difficulty as well. The first part of the outcome will be a curse upon the ground and he will no longer be able to gain their supply of food and shelter with ease. In the Garden, they could just pluck what they wanted to eat whenever they wanted to eat. The ultimate drive-thru eatery. The second part is that Adam’s focus will shift to the dirt. This is the part that works heavy on male-female relationships of all kinds and particularly marriage. If his focus became set on dirt, on what was it before this moment? I suspect it was on God Whom he put his focus. If that same focus is turned toward Woman, she is unable to be God to him and his frustration is going to increase because all his needs, which are real, will not be met by Woman. She cannot be God. So he has a real problem that will stay until the Solution comes with remedy. The traits he hopes to find in Woman are that she is all-beautiful, all-bonding, and all-bountiful. He will look for these traits for his security, based in competence. 

So, from where do these traits really come? 

Only God is omnipotent, all powerful I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me, and be perfect - blameless, whole-hearted, complete. Genesis 17:1b, The Amplified Bible
Only God is omniscient, all knowing.  ... And he said to Him, Lord, You know everything... John 21:17, The Amplified Bible
Only God is omnipresent, present everywhere all the time.  Do not I fill heaven and earth, says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24b, The Amplified Bible
Only God is all-beautiful, glorious beyond imagination and seeing. But He said, You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live. And while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Exodus 33: 20 and 22, The Amplified Bible
Only God is all-bonding, covenanting. And I will establish My covenant with you and you shall know - understand and realize - that I am the Lord; Ezekiel 16:62, The Amplified Bible
Only God is all-bountiful, providing for those in relationship with Him. But Hezekiah had very great wealth and honor, ... cities, and flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very great possessions. 2 Chronicles 32: 27 - 29, The Amplified Bible


What are you to do with unmet expectations of the opposite sex? 

First and foremost, you learn to lean on the One who has the characteristics for which you have a reasonable need and will influence your life. This will be an active, living, vital relationship with Almighty God, Our Creator. This relationship is only available through His Son and our Savior, Jesus, The Christ. God has made the terms of relationship with Him very simple. Yet, some consider it very hard. Asking Jesus to forgive your sins will begin the entry into the great relationship. Accepting His sacrifice as your sacrifice will begin the process of being filled with His Holy Spirit so that the very Power of God will live within you and the ability to relate to Him for the needs will be met by Him alone. 

Well, what about the relationship with that specific member of the opposite sex? That begins to come into order by spiritual balance. God provides the needs for you so there is less demand on the other person. Yes, you do have a specific need for relationship with the other person. They do have a part to play in your life. That life will be shared in a style of life based upon giving to each other what you have to give and developing an interdependent relationship. In that interdependent relationship, you give what you have to give as you understand what the other person needs or wants. As you study each other, you learn what they need or want and what they have to give to you. All relationships will be different in what they provide to each of the two members of the relationship.

What if the other person does not want to give? That is their choice and you are powerless to make them give unconditionally. Expressing your need is a first step. Do not expect they will just know because you are there needing. Use words and behaviors that match the need. Create a word picture to help the other person understand what you need. If they have it to give, they then choose to give. If they do not have what you need, you may have to look elsewhere and that will start with looking to God. The other person may have to learn a new skill to provide your need and that will mean the need goes unmet for awhile. Be patient! If the other is not interested in any way of fulfilling that need, the relationship is going to suffer because you suffer. The greatest love is to give our living to each other in such a way as the needs are met. 

We have a designed-in need to give to each other. If we do not give of ourselves wisely, we are the worst for it. If we give unwisely, we may suffer for it. If we give wisely, the need will be met. “Sowing and reaping” is a very important principle in relationship management. What you sow, you will reap. It takes time to grow the crop, time to harvest the crop, and time to prepare the crop that is harvested. 

God made the other person in the relationship. Check in with Him about what to expect from that person. The maximum expression of any of these great characteristics will ultimately be in the character of God. All of us desire the nature of God around us. We will try to find this nature, and the benefits from that nature, somewhere. The programming is unbreakable. Peace, security, and contentment will be the result when you find the characteristics you desire and the outcome is genuine.  

Be reasonable and seek only what they have to give and want to give. Go to God for what He has to give to you and do not get the two mixed up. Your friend, spouse, parent, boss, cannot deliver what is God’s alone to give to you. 

More specific details will follow in the “Attractive” (for men to read) and “Powerful” (for women to read) sections.  Yes!  It is okay to read both.

You can find more on gender differences by clicking:  Differences in male and Female Communication.