Do you hold expectations of those around you? I believe most of us can answer yes to that question. Deep down we believe something will happen or is likely to happen.
Our expectations are without limits. With friends and family we expect to be treated with the same love we offered. In a marriage we expect our spouse to make the same efforts we make. At work, we expect our co-workers to be team players and to pull their own weight. We expect professionalism when conducting business matters. We expect fairness and justice in the court room. We expect our children to mind us and abide by our rules. We expect results when we visit a doctor when we are not feeling well. We expect people around us to be understanding when we are enduring a crisis.
We expect a return on each investment of the heart we make. (This is where complications can present themselves.) See, with family and friends we invest our hearts by investing time with each other and offering help where help is needed. We don’t expect sarcasm or hatefulness as our reward. We also don’t expect to be the one they gossip about behind our backs but offer love to our faces. The last thing we would expect is them walking away from the relationship built… In our marriages we invest time, gentleness, nurturing and devotion to the one we married. We don’t expect our love or gifts offered to be rejected or to be abandoned by the one who entered into the same covenant with God as we did standing next to them. I don’t believe people go into marriage thinking it will end… Those of you in your second marriage may also be expecting the same treatment your former spouse gave you by your current spouse ; yet these are two different people. This means you may be anticipating them to do you wrong like the first one did or you may be expecting them to dote on you like the first one did.
Whenever the expectations we held for others are not upheld or seen, we begin complicating things even further by demanding rightness in a wrong situation. It may be that the volume of our voice is turned up higher but we are heard less…You may begin fighting each other in an attempt to get your return off the investment your heart made.
During the struggles it doesn’t occur to us that our expectation may differ than the expectation someone else placed on us. This means, where we feel let down by someone; they may also feel let down by us. We each hold different expectations for the other. We need to remember we are unique individuals with unique pasts, upbringings, ideas and ways of communicating. What is wrong to one is right to another. We often make the mistake of doing things for others that we would like them to do for us because it is something that makes us feel loved. Where the problem lies is what works for us may not work the same way for someone else. Others may require a different method than the one you require in order to feel love .
Anytime we place expectations on others we unknowingly are placing our devotion solely on them; in anticipation of something we seek to gain from them. It may be that we seek to gain their attention, affections, approval or a variety of things… To devote our time, energy, love and efforts into someone who doesn’t return it in the same manner leaves us hurt, angry and distraught that we weren’t worth their efforts… Our understanding becomes clouded that all we did for them was not enough to keep them pleased. We begin to self doubt, and question each past conversation or moment spent together. This can easily turn to anger as our way to self preserve. This turns into a destructive behavior picked up due to someone rejecting the love we had to offer.
What we need to do is place our devotion solely on the Lord and let him work on the hearts of those around us but not excluding ourselves from that equation. It is so much easier to give to others expecting nothing in return, because then no disappointment is created… None of us hold enough love to offer someone that is enough to change their heart towards us; only the Lord can work on the hearts of others.
To devote yourself solely to the Lord allows you to quit fighting with others or warring within yourself ; out of desperation to receive what is owed to you. You owe it to yourself to quit expecting what is not there to offer. If you expect love, gentleness, respect or approval from someone who has never experienced what that feels like; then they may not hold what you expect them to offer you. The Lord will sustain you where others tend to disappoint you…This is not to say we can’t still love them because we can . We can change how we respond to them and quit getting hurt over things only the Lord can change…