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Expectations Unfulfilled

An Exercise in Screwtaping

A sad couple sits on opposite ends of the couch, not speaking to each other

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise…do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again.” Luke 6: 31, 35

The key to her unhappiness is to build up lavish expectations, and then to let the weight of unfulfillment weigh heavily on her heart.

Consider the annual birthday celebration—

Your subject is altruistic. So encourage her to dole out kind words and praise and gifts to her husband on his birthday. Then, suggest expectation of the same treatment on her birthday. (This is impossible, since humans express love in different ways. Even a very affectionate husband will express love in ways toward which his wife sometimes feels indifferent). No matter what he does, she will be disappointed. When he forgets the special birthday plate and fails to ask about her day, she will add it to a long list of evidences of spousal neglect, all the while ignoring the concert tickets and the way that he looks at her over the table.

We know that theirs is a happy marriage, but the end of the day she will be convinced otherwise.

What in the name of satire—? Confused by the devilish tone? Intrigued by the irony? This post is part of a Screwtaping series. Check out the full story (and more Tempts) here.

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Jenny Harris
Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she’s crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family’s goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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