With three children, it is not uncommon to see shoes throughout the house. I fully EXPECT someone to look at these shoes and say to themselves “hey, those are my shoes and they belong in my closet.” However, this NEVER happens. That’s because my expectations do not align with those of my children.
Merriam-Webster defines expectations as “a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen.”
Where there are relationships – there are expectations. No matter what the relationship – marriage, parent/child, friends, co-workers, etc. We need to be very careful that we are not setting our expectations too high. If we do, we will always be disappointed and the person who we are expecting too much from will always feel like they failed. This is damaging to relationships. In his book “Little House on the Freeway” Tim Kimmell tells us to have a home with peace we need to discipline our expectations. This tells me that we need to learn how to manage our expectations so that they do not manage us. Expectations should be verbally expressed and not just assumed. They should be realistic and they should be flexible.
How about we take it one step further. How about if we set our expectations through the eyes of Jesus. Jesus gave His life for us without any expectation at all. He could have spared himself that pain and agony because he is fully God. But, he didn’t. He didn’t spare paying the price for one sin that had ever happened and that will ever happen – including your sins and my sins. I don’t know about you, but for me this puts a whole new perspective on the expectations I have for my family. Jesus Christ gave us the gift of grace and we should, in turn, give that same gift to others. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make your children pick up their shoes. I’m saying that we should discipline our expectations so we don’t unintentionally hurt those we love. Remember Jesus’ words:
This is my command: Love each other.