Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 19: When your own expectations breed bondage

My first year of marriage, I picked up a tiny compilation book written by the wives of some well-known pastors. I honestly don't remember the name of the book or much about it at all, except for one section. 
One of the wives talked about "unmet expectations" in regards to marriage. She said that marriages collapse so quickly because our expectation of marriage is glamorized, and when those media driven expectations are not met, we question our decision. Most people default to "well I guess I didn't marry the right person" or "he/she changed once we said 'I do.' It's the only thing I remember from the book.

{The expectations we place on others can be the sole reason we don't ever have peace or live the abundant life Jesus purchased for us on the cross}.

Here are some scenarios for you to consider:

1. You think someone doesn't like you, so you put up a wall every time you encounter them. Your expectation is that they don't like you, so everything they say is taken out of context.
2. You were in an abusive relationship, so you believe that all relationships will be the same. You expect abuse instead of love.
3. Your mother criticized your weight your entire life, so inadvertently you pass on those unhealthy behaviors to your children. You expect that they will be criticized in the same way you were, so out of fear, you micro-manage their weight and before you know it, you've passed on the same rejection to your kids. 
4. Your own mother stayed home, had the house spotless, and dinner cooked every day when you came home from school. You expect your wife to do the same, and when she doesn't, you argue.
5. Your love language is touch and your spouses is time. You expect him to hug you and hold your hand and he expects time from you. Both of you feel unloved because you give love the way you want to receive it. 
6. You feel like you never receive the work promotion you deserve. You hop from job to job, and always blame someone else for a lack of acknowledgment. Finally, you get your chance at a promotion that would change everything. You begin to tell the interviewer about how grateful you are that someone is finally taking you seriously because of your past victimization in the workplace. You find out you did not get the job, because they felt that your attitude hindered your ability to produce for them in the future. 

 If God has given me one profound revelation in regards to my life, it is that my own expectations can breed bondage in my life. It's not always about someone else, but often about an expectation within my thinking. We have the responsibility to realistically evaluate the expectations we place on those around us. We must view every situation in light of the Bible,  and based on what is true, lovely, and right. If we wear our past like an old backpack, we will surely bring it with us everywhere we go. 

Today, I want you to truly think about the expecations you place on others. I tried for a long time to develop a friendship between me and someone I felt should have both loved me and been my friend. It was very painful. Then, one day God asked me to release that person to Him. I had been praying fervently that God would either forge a friendship or set me free from the bondage of needing acceptance from that person. I have to say, it worked. I no longer "need" that friendship. If God creates one in the future, then that would be great. But, no matter what happened, I needed release from the expectation of friendship I had placed on that person, from the need to be accepted, and all the rejection surrounding the situation. And God showed up. I pray that today, God shows up for you. I pray for your release from bondage in Jesus Name.

{It was for freedom that Christ set us free therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery}. Galatians 5:1


Anonymous said...

And all God's chilrend said, "AMEN"