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MarriageHelp.org
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Hi everyone! We are Sheridan and Bo French. We live in Fort Worth and have four children, ages 6, 4, 3 and 1. We met shortly after Sheridan moved back from Europe and went on our first date in New York City. We were engaged three months later and married four months after that.
 
Our whirlwind courtship set us up for some major awakenings after we walked down the aisle, namely that we both had extremely different expectations about what marriage was going to look like and what roles we would each play as husband and wife. 


 

LOOKING TO GOD FOR FULFILLMENT

CENTRAL TRUTH:
We all have many expectations about our spouses and our marriage that, if unmet and handled incorrectly, will lead to disappointment and anger. We need to be able to articulate and deal with unmet expectations and realize that God is our only true hope. 

KEY VERSE: PSALM 62:2
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

BO:
Early in our marriage I blamed all of our conflict on what I saw as Sheridan’s unrealistic expectations. It was not until many years later that I recognized I had significant expectations as well. I desired for her to act, react or respond to me in a certain way almost all of the time and as these expectations went unmet, my bitterness grew. My primary concern should have been Christ’s desire for me as a husband regardless of what she was doing. Thank God I am now aware of the expectations I placed on Sheridan and can now look to Christ to fulfill me, as well as see Him as an example of showing grace when my expectations go unmet. 


SHERIDAN:
Cutting straight to the chase, I was expecting Bo to be my Prince Charming that loved me perfectly. (Thanks, Disney!) I looked to Bo for my happiness, self-worth and feelings of completion. I expected him to fix my problems and heartache, and when he didn’t check those boxes, I felt alone and isolated. It was not until year six of our marriage that I learned a very important and fundamental truth: no one but Christ could fulfill me, and having the expectation that Bo would live up to this was not only a pipe dream, but not the role he was meant to play. 

 
BOTH:
Unmet expectations cut us to the core and led us to feel frustrated, disappointed and angry, and caused us to wrongly view each other as the enemy. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”(NIV) To prevent sowing seeds of bitterness and resentment, we have learned to identify and communicate our expectations with each other and believe the best when (not if) they go unmet. Both of us strive to take our hurt to the Lord rather than taking it out on each other. Realizing that God is the only one that will not disappoint was HUGE for us! He is our tree of life. Once we surrendered to His way, true to His promise, He restored the years of bitterness and resentment towards one another. 


ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Galatians 5:22-23

CHALLENGE:
Have you identified why you might have certain expectations of your spouse? Where are you looking for your spouse to fulfill you, when instead you could be looking to God? Consider sharing with your spouse how they have exceeded your expectations - build them up! Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”(NIV)


CREATIVE CONNECTION:
Think of the last time you and your spouse had a conflict regarding missed expectations. Review the details of the interaction and communicate the expectations you had that went unmet. Talk through the root of those expectations and ways that you might be able to communicate those better or look to God to fulfill those in the future.

For more resources on MarriageHelp.org regarding EXPECTATIONS, click on this link
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