Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The People Pleasing Mask

As individuals we often struggle with insecurities in different areas of our lives. These insecurities are often drawn out and magnified in marriage. We wear many different masks in order to gain approval - either consciously or unconsciously to gain the approval of our spouse. One of these is the people pleasing (or spouse pleasing) mask.

On the surface, like most masks, this may seem like a desirable phenomenon. Pleasing your spouse is a good thing? Right? Yes and no. It is the underlying intentions, or hidden goal that makes this mask a counterfeit to love. Imagine a wife that sacrificed her needs in order to please her husband day after day. However, over time, frustration, bitterness, and bottled resentment start to rise up within her. This is a result of her craving approval from her husband. She performs everything with the subconscious goal of gaining his approval. Since love, by definition, cannot be earned, this turns into a viscious cycle of performance. The frustration and emptiness she feels is a result of her flesh leading and her heart lagging behind.

Therefore, it is evident that pleasing your spouse can be a wonderful picture of love and sacrifice IF their is no expectation in return. This is a very big IF, especially if we are honest with ourselves. It is natural to want to please, but it is supernatural to love. Ask God to show the areas that need to be surrendered to Him. Love is always a gift, not a reward. If we are frustrated because we are not receiving the results that we desire, we must see this for what it is--the dead end of performance.

I believe, though, if we do love and seek no love in return, we will receive it anyway...whether it be from our spouse or from the heart of God.


Post a Comment