Expectations. Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
How does expecting too much affect our relationships? We expect people in our lives to do what we want them to do and be who we want them to be. When they don’t measure up, we typically apply pressure in a number of ways. We get angry. We pout. We withdraw. We criticize. We lecture. We express disappointment and disapproval in subtle and obvious ways. Regardless of how we do it, we communicate the message that the person isn’t good enough.
The effect of our disapproval varies and is related to the personality and ego strength of the person. If the person has a strong self-image, they might be able to detach from our unrealistic expectations; but if they don’t, we can crush them emotionally. Many adults continue to struggle with poor self-esteem as a result of perfectionistic and unrealistic parental expectations. Many husbands and wives struggle with feeling unloved and unaccepted by their partners.
All of us struggle with being good enough. All of us struggle with self-acceptance. All of us struggle with being adequate. All of us struggle with shame. All of us desire to be accepted for who we are. And, all of us want unconditional love.
Our expectations should be reasonable and realistic; make room for people to be themselves; allow people to make mistakes and be communicated in a way that owns the expectation as your opinion, view, need, or preference rather than judging the other person as wrong for not meeting your expectation.
What can followers of Christ expect of God? Forgiveness; a personal relationship with God as our Father; a new life with the joy of the Lord, the peace of God, the guidance and energizing of the Holy Spirit, the privilege of prayer, a new freedom and ultimately a home in heaven.
One of the greatest gifts you can offer those you love is to communicate that they are good enough-just as they are. God rarely operates in the manner the world expects and He will give you His peace in all circumstances.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”