Did you ever notice that we often hurt the ones we love a lot more than those we do not? It may be because of sheer proximity and the fact that we simply spend more time with our loved ones, but regardless, statistical math doesn’t give us free reign to hurt others.

Perhaps we have high expectations of those we love? Maybe we think so much of those we love that it annoys us when they make embarrassing mistakes or don’t live up to the expectations of who we think they are or who we think they can be? I know sometimes I have expectations of the way I think my wife should act. I may even try to micro-manage my marriage so that she fits into these expectations. But the truth is that all I am doing is limiting her freedom and her own person. I’m not letting her be who she is. Or I’m upset at who she is because who she is is often not who I expected her to be. If I were to just let Marion be Marion, I’d run into a whole lot less trouble.

Today reflecting on my marriage comes easy because it is our 9th Wedding Anniversary. And after 9 years, I know with every fiber of my being that I love that woman that I married. But I also know that I try to change her to fit the mold that I want her to be. Sometimes she does that with me too. We restrict each other’s freedom and hope that the other fulfills our wish of who we think they should be.

9 years…you’d think we’d learn that we cannot turn anyone into someone that they are not–or into who we want them to be. We need to rejoice in who they are. That’s what I hope I can do with my wife today. I want to rejoice in the fact that I love Marion Peracchio Hayes. But more importantly, I love her just as she is. There are no needs for improvement. She is just fine the way she is. Every time I forget that, I betray my love–the love I vowed to her 9 years ago, to accept her freely and without reservation.

To accept her as she is.

Perhaps I am a bit like Judas. Judas betrays Jesus because he has an expectation of what the Messiah should be. The Messiah will conquer the oppressors and lead the Jewish people to freedom in his opinion.

Then why doesn’t Jesus do it? What is he waiting for?

Jesus is waiting for each one of us to accept Him as He is. That we don’t need anything more than Jesus. That Jesus is enough for us. Just as my wife is more than enough for me in marriage.

Then and only then can the Messiah truly make God’s Kingdom be our reward.

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