The more I care about something, the more I try to control it. It makes sense doesn’t it? If I care about something or someone then I try to make sure that the outcome of the situation or relationship meets my expectations. As I have been reflecting on this reality during Lent I have realized how destructive this can be. Even with the best intentions for good, controlling a person or a situation never turns out well.
When I first got married I tried to control my wife’s time alone with Jesus. Crazy huh? I really do believe that I had the best intentions, knowing that each of us getting time with Jesus would be good for our marriage and us as individuals. The problem was that I tried to put my expectation about what “time with Jesus” looks like on my wife. If she wasn’t doing exactly what I was doing in growing her relationship with the Lord, then I thought she was doing it wrong. As you can imagine, things did not go well when I brought this up. Even though my desire was for us to walk toward Jesus together, I came with an agenda for how it should look and the outcome was painful.
I would like to say that I quickly learned my lesson, but expectations often run deep. My wife has been gracious over the years to work with me in this area. It was been so wonderful to see her grow in the Lord over the years (on her own terms). She is a mentor to me in how to grow a relationship with the Lord that isn’t restricted to rules and performance.