Even when you see that word; what does it bring to mind? We all have expectations. The problem comes when our expectations are unrealistic. When we get married, what do we expect from our spouse? Do we expect our husbands to always help with the house cleaning? Do we expect them to always meet certain financial requirements for us? Do we expect them to meet our every need regardless of whether they like it or not?
How about husbands? Do they expect us to always maintain a certain physical appearance? Do they expect sex at least once a day? Do we meet their every need whether we like it or not?
Expectations are difficult for me. I put high expectations on myself, but is it fair to put those same high expectations on my spouse? When I said my vows, I said for better or worse, in sickness and health, rich or poor. That pretty much sums up what our expectations should be in our marriage. Through anything and everything, I will stand by you; because I chose you and I love you. Of course that doesn’t mean we should gain 200lbs in our first year of marriage and spend every penny that is in the savings account. Things happen in marriage; in life that make it difficult. That is what those vows are about. Those vows aren’t about standing by your husband, or wife, in those great easy times where it is literal bliss. Those vows are meant to help you when your husband loses his job because of downsizing; when your wife puts on extra weight because the baby she is carrying in her womb is causing so much nausea, all she can do is eat to make it not hurt; when one of you gets bad news at the doctor’s office. This is when those vows and those expectations are truly put to the test. This is when I expect my husband to stand by me; when my husband expects me to stand by him. Marriage isn’t about what we can get from our spouse. Marriage is about what we can give to our spouse; how we can serve them.
What about all these expectations that we have in other areas of our life? Are those realistic expectations? What do I expect out of my church? One of the problems with our expectations in church, is that we expect to receive so much from our church. How many areas of our life do we expect to receive rather than give.
Society has become all about me me me and what I want and need. Listen to how you talk to your spouse and your friends. Truly listen. Do you complain because your expectations are realistic, or are they so unrealistic that you could never possibly be happy.
Be realistic with your expectations in every area of your life. Are you the person that you expect others to be? Be the person that God made you to be. Be who God expects you to be. He expects us to follow His commandments; I think that is a really good start. Love your neighbor as yourself. He expects us to love. So today, give His love away, because He freely gives it to you!