Have No Expectations

I have come to realize that each one has something different to give but no one gives us everything.  No one person can, as we are all made so differently.  We are only part of a body, not a complete whole, and we need the other parts of the body to supply what we need at different times (Example: a foot cannot do for us what our hands do for us), and none of us has it all.

One person may comes to visit us at the hospital (but doesn’t help us move or give us nice gifts).  One gives us lots of affection but is incapable of being a “true friend”, but still, oh how we like their attention and affection.  One does this and another does that for us; so God uses many different people to meet our various needs.  We can’t expect people to act a certain way, or do a particular thing, or treat us in this way or that; for we are all different.  We come from different backgrounds and upbringings and we have all been programmed by our parents, our upbringing and influenced by other people in our lives, to think about things in certain ways.  Each one of us thinks differently about a particular subject.

Perhaps a loving husband doesn’t remember to give us a card for our birthday, but he does lots of repairs and remodeling of our home.  We should not fault him for not giving us a card, but realize that he was not brought up to think cards are important (they are not important to him) so he just doesn’t think about giving us a card.  It is not that he doesn’t love us, it is because he doesn’t think like that.  So we need to just appreciate the fixing up of our home and his repairs on it and be thankful for him, as that is the way he shows his love to us instead.  After all, there are many husbands who do not have the talents of fixing up a home or making repairs.  Other men mow lawns, take care of the cars, and are talented in these ways.  But others are talented with the ability to make a good living for us and take care of us materially very well, but they just don’t have the time or ability, or energy to mow lawns and take care of cars, so they hire it to be done.  We should not fault them for that as they have been talented providers, and we must be thankful for our dear husband using his talents to provide so well for us and showing his love for us by his provision.  That is what he thinks is important to us, so he tries to give that to us.  We need to accept our husbands with thankfulness for what they DO for us and not criticize them for what they DON’T do for us.  That is how the Lord would have our attitude to be as loving wives.

Children are a gift from the Lord. Our children oftentimes do not live up to OUR expectations, but God has a unique and different plan for each one of them.  We are to appreciate them for who they ARE and not what we want them to be.  If we see them making wrong choices or their behavior is not acceptable to the Lord, then, of course, we need to deal with them.   For it is our responsibility as parents to step in and guide them into making the right decisions or behaving appropriately.  We have a responsibility before God to raise these children for HIM and for HIS purposes and for His glory.  We must teach them, instruct them in the ways of righteousness and be a living example of how we are to conduct ourselves before the Lord, so that they can model themselves or pattern their lives after ours.

Children show their love to us in different ways too, like husbands do.  Some draw us little cards and give us gifts they made in school.  Others children are very affectionate.  Others have been given the ability to be very sensitive to our need and are always going around trying to do little things for us that they think would please us.  But each child we have is different.  They cannot all be the same, nor would we want them to be.  Some we think cause us more problems than others, but God is working in their little lives, and who knows that in the end, that very child may turn out to be the most spiritual of them all.  And that is our goal isn’t it.  To raise spiritual children for the Lord that He is pleased with.  So we must appreciate that little life God has entrust into our care for a season as a precious gem from the Lord.

Also, as our children grow up and become adults, we need to realize that life changes, and our role in their lives changes as well.  When they marry, they simply don’t have the same amount of time to fellowship with us and to come to see us and do things with us, as they did when they were single.  Their lives become more crowded with responsibilities, ministry, children, their friends and jobs, so their time is limited.  We must adjust our thinking; as women whose children are leaving or have left the nest and let them go, NOT EXPECTING anything from them.  Then we won’t get hurt.  We will only be thankful when we DO get the opportunity to be with them, see them and enjoy them.  We have to re-adjust our lives and fan out into other directions such as investing our time with our husbands (if we are married) and with special friends of our own age group instead of our children’s lives.  We need to create new lives for ourselves, and NOT EXPECT to receive from our children, but to be ever so thankful for whatever they do give us in the way of phone calls, time and attention.

The same with friends, who are a gift from the Lord as well.  Each one is to be enjoyed for their special talents that God has put in them.  And they are all different.  God gives some the ability to listen to us, and are trustworthy friends who would never betray our confidence.  Others are given compassion and caring for us.  Others help us when we move or need something done we cannot do for ourselves.  Others treat us to things, like to dinner or an outing, but would never help us if we were moving.  So we have different friends and they each play a particular part in our lives.

We should never hold hard feelings or grudges towards our friends for not meeting our expectations.  Perhaps that particular friend just isn’t programmed that way and cannot meet that expectation of ours.  But again, we must appreciate each of our friends and realize we are all so imperfect.  We must love them dearly, and appreciate what they do for us realizing that each one ministers to us in their own special way.

Once we realize this fact, and stop expecting our husbands, children, loved ones, friends or others to meet our expectations, we will be a lot happier and thankful for them.  We will begin to appreciate them for who THEY ARE and not for what we want them to BE to us.  Thankfulness produces love for them in our hearts and that is the attitude our Lord is looking for in us to have towards them.  Doesn’t He love us unconditionally and overlooks so much we do unknowingly everyday.

If we can understand this principal then we won’t be disappointed or hold any hard feelings towards one another,  I find it is a much more freeing way to live.  No grudges, no anger, no disappointment, no bitterness; and then we can be thankful that they have been placed in our life.