Easter is a really special time for Mark and I in our marriage. If you’ve read our story, you know that Easter Sunday a little over a decade ago was the day that Mark had his own personal resurrection in his life after pursuing an affair. It was the day that he sacrificed the control he was taking on his life and handed the reins back to God.
Before I dive into today’s topic about expectations in marriage, I want to invite you to consider this question:
Where do you need resurrection in your life?
Your love for your spouse? Passion for your job? Fresh vision as a parent? This Easter, it’s important to start talking to God now about where you long for resurrection in your life and heart. Pair that longing with what might need to be put to death in your life. For instance, if you long for resurrection in your marriage, your critical spirit may need to be put to death. If you need fresh vision as a parent, your longing that your child be someone other than how God made them to be may need to die.
The Easter story is the most incredible story there is. It’s a story about resurrection and new life. It’s a story about the greatest sacrifice Jesus could have ever made on our behalf, and the opportunity we now have available to us to live in freedom and hope. To live in the new life God offers.
Are you taking advantage of that new life Jesus offers?
In addition to all the truth of Easter, the reality is that this can also be an incredibly busy day for families.
The busy morning.
The church service(s).
The meals with family.
The egg hunts.
The list could go on…
The reality is that the busyness of the holiday can quickly become a point of tension in a marriage rather than a point of unity. It can become a distraction from the truth of what Easter represents rather than a supporter of our ability to focus on that truth.
I’ve written before in relation to holiday expectations, and I think it’s important to revisit that topic in relation to Easter. When we can take the time to align our expectations with our spouse, we are able to support each other intentionally and honestly throughout the day rather than navigating the day from a place of assumption.
Assumption often leads to disappointment and disconnection.
Before all the festivities start, I want to encourage you to sit down with your spouse and ask four questions:
(Remember, these questions are not your opportunity to debate! This is about getting curious to better understand your spouse’s head and heart. More on that here.)
1) “What would a perfect Easter Sunday look like to you?”
In your spouse’s heart, what is it they desire for Easter Sunday? How do they hope the day flows? What’s most important to them? (Simply respond with “Thank you for sharing that. It’s helpful for me to know.”)
2) “What do we want for our family?”
What is it that is most important to us as a couple for our family? What do we want our children to experience today? What is most important for us to communicate to them?
3) “How can we help each other?”
What is the best way that we can support each other on Easter? Is it helping kids get ready? Making breakfast? Being intentional about communicating gently when around family? What support does your spouse need?
4) “Are there any expectations you wish weren’t placed on us? How should we respond to those?”
Family expectations? Expectations from the church you’re part of? Expectations you place on yourself? What expectations are weighing on your spouse’s heart, and how could you respond together?
1 Peter 1:3-4 (The Message) tells us, “ What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! ”
I pray that the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection available to you in your own life impacts you and your marriage in a new and life-changing way this year.
What stands out to you? Are there any ways you and your spouse maintain unity around holidays? Let me know in the comments!
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Thank you, Jill. This was very helpful and just what I needed to help fill in the gaps for the remainder of this week leading to Easter.