Sunday, September 21, 2008

What do you EXPECT?!

One thing we need to say more often is  “It is enough.” Way too many people feel that if they only had one thing or another, THEN they could be content. After the Hurricane struck, people weren’t longing for their THINGS; they were longing for their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends and family!!! The sooner you learn that THINGS DO NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY: PEOPLE DO!!!, the better off you’ll be!

But some people seem to keep hanging on to those “if onlys:” If they only could lose five more pounds, they could be happy. If they only had a few hundred more dollars… A bigger house… A better spouse… A better job… Living in the “if only” will only breed discontentment for where you are living in the present.

We have seen more marriages ruined because of foolish people who wanted more and more and more. One exercise we have found to be effective is to make a list of your needs, make sure they are “needs” and not “greeds,” and then ask God to fill those needs. Once you are looking for those needs to be filled, you may be surprised where the answers can come from.

The best benefit of this exercise is that you set your spouse free from being the “prisoner” of your expectations. Say, for example, you expect your husband to give you a “break” when he comes home from work. One day it could be that your husband comes home from work and is able to meet that expectation. However, since it was what you expected you are not grateful; he only met the expectation. Then, one day your husband has an extraordinarily rough day at work and needs a break himself. He comes in the door, exhausted, with the intent of staring blankly at Monday night football. He does manage to clear the table, but then sits down to watch tv. Instead of being grateful he cleared the table, you are upset because you expected him to do so much more. Since he did less than what you expected, you are not only ungrateful for any of his efforts, but you are furious at how little he did when you expected so much.

This cycle happens in many different ways, and cycles repeatedly. I learned many years ago to expect NOTHING in order to become grateful for anything your spouse does for you. Instead of being angry and agitated that they did far less than you expected, expect NOTHING AT ALL! If you learn to expect nothing, you will become a more grateful person. This is simplistic, and I know there are some situations where there are abuses that need to be addressed, but all in all this is one of the principles that made my marriage and even my other relationships better.

One of the best bonuses is that your expectations will be put on God, Who is much better equipped to supply your list of needs than one mere person is. We need to set our spousesfree from being the one totally responsible for filling our needs. No one person can provide all the needs any one complex person has!  

Challenge:  What ARE your "expectations"?  List them and give them to the Lord and let Him fulfill ALL your needs according to HIS riches.  Then be grateful for ANYTHING your spouse does for you!  (And also work on giving them things to be grateful to YOU for too!)


We Love to Run! said...

Good word I really need to work on this one more!!

We Love to Run! said...