Part of having healthy relationships is understanding what you can and cannot expect from other people. It’s a fact that no matter how badly you may be craving steak and lobster, you can’t expect to get it from a McDonald’s drive-thru because they simply don’t have it. You can sit in the line and beg the attendant for it, but it won’t make a difference. In the same way, there are some things you can’t expect to get from people emotionally, no matter how badly you want it, because they simply don’t have it to give.
If a person never received the affirmation and support they needed growing up, they may not know how to give affirmation and support to others. It’s not that they don’t want to give it; they simply don’t know how to give it. If your spouse was never encouraged, he may not know how to encourage you today.
If your husband doesn’t talk a lot or show affection the way you want him to, understand that he may not know how. You can’t expect people to give you what they don’t have. Sure, people can change over time, but they may never be as good at expressing love as you would like them to be.
If you’re looking for something different in your relationships, you might begin by looking at yourself. Oftentimes, when you see something missing in your relationships, you are the one who has it to bring to the relationship. You carry the seeds of change. If you want more encouragement in your home, sow seeds of encouragement. If you want more affection and tenderness, sow seeds of affection to others. Relationships are just as much about what you have to give as what you are hoping to receive.
Remember, ultimately, only God can meet every single one of our needs. His love is perfect, and when we receive His perfect love, we can invest it in the people around us.
Remember, you have so much to contribute to your relationships. Give your spouse and the people in your life grace and something to draw from. You be the model of change. Don’t push people to change; instead, lead by example. Dig deep within yourself and plant seeds of love and life and get ready to see the harvest of blessing come back to you in your future!
“…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NLT).
by Victoria Osteen