I’m Not Getting What I Deserve

Yesterday I talked about telling my wife I wasn’t giving her what she deserved. After I said that to her, I said, “And you’re not giving me what I deserve.”

You're Not Getting What You Deserve

I wasn’t attacking her or trying to get something from her. I didn’t mention anything specific. Actually, the statement was about me, not about her. I see her imperfections and tendency to selfishness just as I see mine, and I realise that just like her, I deserve better. I was also putting the two things on a level playing field. Each of us struggles, each of us falls short. I can acknowledge that as a fact without getting all worked up about it.

In the past, I struggled to say to myself I deserved better, and I certainly wouldn’t have said it to her. I was able to do this now because I’m getting healthier and more balanced.

If you can’t imagine saying something like this to your wife, it says something about you, or her, or your relationship. If you’re all about telling her where she’s falling short but not about telling her you fall short with her, it says something about you.

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7 Comments on “I’m Not Getting What I Deserve

  1. I deserve a husband who upholds his marriage vows, same as he deserves a wife who does the same. He does not deserve a wife who compromises her convictions to watch certain TV shows or movies with him. I do not deserve a husband who romances me and treats me like a lavished princess. I even contest that I do not deserve oral sex. In fact, he deserves not to be pushed into sexual acts he hates. But I do deserve to have my sexual needs met by my husband.

    We have basic human rights. Anything beyond that are privaledges or gifts.

    • @Libl – I strongly disagree with your last paragraph. I’ve heard this taught in plenty of churches, but I have to realise it’s a message that is not found in the Good News Jesus came to give us.
      I look at this in light of the prodigal son. He had decided what he deserved, which was for his father to reject him and send him away. He had also decided he was going to beg to be treated as one of his father’s servants. But his father refused to even listen to what he thought. His father took him back as his beloved son and lavished him with things way beyond what he thought he deserved.
      Jesus tells us we are the prodigal son, and God is the father. If God wants to give me something, then He has decreed it’s what I deserve. Not because of my actions, but because He has chosen to call me His beloved son.
      I also look at how we are commanded to treat others. It goes way, way beyond basic human rights. We are commanded to love, honour, serve, and sacrifice for others. That is what God thinks we owe each other.
      As CSL said yesterday, this is dangerous ground. It’s possible to get puffed up if we start to think what we deserve is about us rather than about God. We can also get upset and nasty about not getting what we deserve if we start to look at that more than we look at where we are failing to give others what they deserve. HOWEVER, when we get it right, knowing what we deserve makes us better, more loving people. When others fail to give us what we deserve it reminds us of our failures, and that motivates us to do better.

      The real danger in thinking we deserve very little is we then think others deserve very little, and that becomes an internal justification for not treating others as we should. If I can’t honestly say “I deserve better” then I can’t honestly say “You deserve better”.

      • I came from a denomination that says we deserve nothing but death. Everything else is God’s mercy and grace.

        Maybe deserve doesn’t mean entitled.

        • @Libl – The definition of entitled is “believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.” It’s about thinking one is better than others.
          When I say deserve I think we all deserve the same level of treatment, and I think that level of treatment is far greater than the low level many set.
          I am also talking about what God says we deserve. Yes by our own actions we deserve death, but Jesus died to end that, and IT IS ENDED. What we deserve is not because of us, it is because of Him.
          If all we deserve is death, then why is the Bible full of things telling us, nay commanding us, to treat others far better than that? I don’t think God is telling us to give people more than they deserve, I think He is showing us what He says they deserve.
          BTW, the whole “All you deserve is death” thing is very popular in churches that are failing at what Jesus told us to do for “the least of these”. I don’t think that’s coincidence, I think their failure to respond as they should is because they can tell themselves the poor, hungry, and homeless don’t deserve anything more than death.

          • That isn’t how we were taught. Our selves deserve nothing. Expect nothing. But give to others as if giving to angels or Christ Himself. So, I allowed for years to be mistreated while in return giving giving giving. As I depleted, I was told to go to God for strength and replenishment. He will fill my empty cup. If I couldn’t carry on I lacked faith. Enabling wasn’t part of the equation, because in being kind no matter what, I was heaping coals on his head. God would take care of it.

            I am beginning to think such instruction is moreso for those in slave or imprisonment situations, NOT marriages.

    • @Andrew-
      I’m grateful for you being here today. You have great insight and wisdom. Your sharing is truly appreciated.

      This morning I ran across a sign that said:
      GRATITUDE turns what we have into enough.

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