David and I have been married for almost a year, and we officially met about two years ago. From living in two separate states, talking on the phone for hours, and setting personal Skype records, we grew very close very quickly. The Lord had brought us together so clearly. Our relationship was easy, full of love and laughter, and yet we encountered hardship. David was deployed across the world to more than 6 different countries over 8 months. Hundreds of letters were written, many crackling phone calls and missed calls at all hours of the night, altogether made a beautiful and difficult separation. To my surprise, his deployment was easier than marriage currently is and probably ever will be.
Shortly after I received the love of my life into my arms, we got married. It was a beautiful, private wedding in the country. In the following months, I traveled over 1,200 miles from my home in Washington to the very dry, crowded, and dusty Southern California. We live in a housing complex on the Marine Corps base. The weeks to follow showed me many times over how much we both needed to grow. Living with someone daily can numb the fact that one’s spouse is our companion, lover, and best friend. But the real stealer of our joy was this: self-entitlement.
Loving someone from far away is easy. It’s all loving words, packages, two hour Skype sessions, and the hope of seeing each other again. In person, all of the flaws, annoyances, frustrating quirks become very apparent. We went from beaming to grumbling in a matter of days. We hadn’t learned yet that in a godly marriage both partners must give to the other freely and without expecting something in return. David and I expected one another to repay one thing for another, which is not Christ-like even slightly!
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (NJKV).
As people, we are not entitled to anything. Not entitled to love by another person. Not entitled to dishes being done when we walk through the door. Not entitled to respect. Not entitled to anything. The Lord is gracious enough to give us unconditional love and He expects us to do the same with our spouses and each other. Trust that your spouse has good intentions, be understanding, and show unconditional love. We do not deserve a single thing in this life. So live like it.