“What Did You Expect?”

“You are right, I was wrong, and I need your forgiveness. I know I blew it last night, but I am committed to doing better.  I need your help.  I don’t always see myself accurately.  If you see something wrong in me, I welcome you to help me see it as well.”

– Paul Tripp

Sound familiar?  On my own, I can promise you none of these words would come out of my mouth.

I am reading a book about marriage right now that I highly recommend.  When my two boys were younger, I used to read a ton of books on parenting and marriage. This is probably because social media didn’t even exist and so books and my monthly subscription to Parenting Magazine were my only outlets.  Wow, I realize this makes me sound very old to some of you.  I was desperate to do everything perfectly and maybe find a trick or two on how to get my kids to sleep better, eat healthy foods or stop fighting with each other.  I’m going to be honest and tell you that I got really burnt out on these books.  These were great books by popular Christian authors, but they left me feeling inadequate and only added to my list of things that I was failing to do perfectly.  This book that I am currently reading doesn’t feel that way.

picture of a book cover with a vintage yellow car and a "just Married" sign on it. The title of the book written big "What did you expect?" with the sub-title "Redeeming the Realities of Marriage" and the authors name "Paul David Tripp"

Recently, a few of the ladies in my community group at church started talking about a book that they had read.  After hearing them talk about how helpful it was, I decided to check it out.  The book is called “What did you Expect?” by Paul Tripp.  I will have been married 23 years this July, and I can tell you that I know I will never reach the point where I sit back, sigh and say, “Ahh, I’ve made it!  My marriage is finally perfect.”  Living in a broken world as a sinner means that I will always need to examine myself and how I am functioning in my marriage. 

In “What did you Expect?” Tripp focuses on six commitments:

  1. We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.
  2. We will make growth and change our daily agenda.
  3. We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust.
  4. We will commit to building a relationship of love.
  5. We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace.
  6. We will work to protect our marriage.

I often tell people that my husband Darren is one of the many ways that God has blessed me abundantly.  We have frequently discussed that we don’t know anyone who could possibly enjoy their spouses like we do.  With all that being said, we know that marriage requires work.  It’s not always easy.  I love how Tripp encourages you through the lens of scripture to really examine yourself and the reasons behind why you operate the way you do in your marriage.

This is an excerpt that really spoke to me:

“So, when your spouse blows it, you will not throw his sin in his face.  You will not make him feel guilty for how hard his failure makes life for you. You will not use his sins against him.  You will not keep a detailed history of his wrongs against you.  Rather, you will look for ways of incarnating the transforming grace of the Savior.  You will be ready to encourage him when he fails and restore him when he falls, and you will not treat him as less righteous than you.”

– Paul Tripp

Wow!  I know that’s how I want to be treated, but definitely not how I always treat my spouse.  Obviously, we won’t get it right all of the time, but Tripp does a great job of breaking down how to extend God’s grace to your spouse through the lens of scripture.

I could go on and on and include so many wonderful quotes from this book, but you really have to check it out for yourself.  So, if you are looking for good summer reading, be sure to read “What did you Expect?” by Paul Tripp.  You won’t be disappointed.