We all have them. We expect our husbands to take out the garbage each week, our dads did, we expect our children to get the dirty clothes to the hamper, we expect the cashier to be kind, the other guy on the road to be considerate of us, and we all expect certain things from God. I know you say 'I don't expect anything from God, we're not suppose to' But drag it out in the light and look at it truthfully - we expect certain things from certain people, even from God. What makes your expectation or my expectation of a certain person right?
Expectations are something I have been wrestling with a lot lately it seems. I think some of mine are a little out of whack. Dealing with discouragement I spoke to a dear wise man I trust and he said after listening intently... I think you need to look at your expectations. That started this whole wrestling match.
Ann Voskamp says: 'Expectations kill relationship. And I know expectations as a disease, a silent killer heaping burdens on the shoulders of a relationship until a soul bursts and dies. Expectations kill relationships-especially with God'*
Dr. Phil said Anger and out of control rage comes from expectations not being met.
Maybe we need to drag ours out every now and then examine them to see if they are realistic or not. Are we 'heaping burdens' on our loved ones shoulders that they can't carry and by doing that we are driving them away or stifling the relationship, even killing it? Worse are we keeping them from being free to be the person God intended them to be? Are we passing up an opportunity to say something kind that might make a difference in that cashier's day? I think you see what I'm getting at.
I did drag out those expectations again and look at them fearlessly. All my discouragement really did come from having unrealistic expectations. Had my sweet husband changed? No, my expectations did. Did God change? No, but my expectations did. It just spread from there. And you know what, that and that alone was stifling my relationships, Oh lets be honest it was killing them! I was making me miserable and nothing else.
So lets drag those expectations out every now and then and examine them. Tune them up. Would it be great if the dirty clothes always made it to the hamper? Hubby came home from work everyday with kisses and sweet whispers? Wouldn't it be great if your daughter-in-law always had cooked meals on the table for your perfect son? How 'bout if that co-worker would stop talking about everyone in the office? Oh if that daughter or son of yours could just see how lonely you are. In the grand scheme of things, most of our expectations are so 'not important' things anyway. Learn to let people be who they are, take responsibility for your own happiness, have patience, be kind and be grateful for the little things. Life is so much more satisfying when we let go and just be. Enjoy!
*taken from: 'One Thousand Gifts: A dare to Live Life Fully' by Ann Voskamp