Lately, I’ve been having conversations with women about expectations. There are all kinds of benchmarks we put in place before we let our heart be open.
While this is wise on one level, what I’m hearing women say is that it actually leaves them a little isolated because the expectations become unreasonable.
That friend has to be wise, godly, like the exact same things, share the same Enneagram number . . . or she’s not for you.
That potential man is already in love with Jesus and he is kind, but he has to come from a strong family background. He has to share your love for reading. He must see life as you do and have shared similar experiences . . . or this relationship is not for you.
That church has to feel like the church you grew up in, or worship like your last church, or have the same programs . . .or it’s not for you.
Wait a minute. That sounds like the only way we open our heart is if a person is exactly like . . . us.
- What do we miss if that is the expectation?
- What if there’s no room to grow together?
- What if they have something to teach us, something new?
In today’s More Than Small Talk Episode #10, Holley, Jennifer, and I start off sharing our awkward love stories.
Just so you know, mine involves a pig show. Jennifer’s involves barfing. Holley’s involves a trek up the mountain on a bike. The one thing we all had in common is what we “didn’t have in common” at the beginning.
Expectations are good, but they are not God.
When we leave room for differences in personalities, experiences, and in cultures we expand our world. We might discover a growth opportunity tucked in that relationship. In that new church. In that friend.
I hope you’ll take a listen to the More Than Small Talk episode today. You can do that at the KLRC site or on your favorite podcast app.
Here are some thoughts about expectations and love or friendship.
- Too lofty expectations can rob us of a good thing
- Don’t demand that another person become “us” before we let them in
- Allow your horizons to expand
What is one unrealistic expectation that you are willing to put aside? Do you think this is a “thing?” Why do we struggle with it?
- Free download of “A Better Way to Love That Heart of Yours” on Jennifer Watson’s website
- The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places by Suzanne (Suzie) Eller
Praying about this … God nudged that we can give impressions that are not really in our heart or expectations. The nudge that landed first was about being strong—all the time. Perhaps that impression comes as we express confidence and faith in Christ without the doubts, dark, and messy back story. The grace of confidence and strength in Christ morphs into well intended encouragement that leaves the other person feeling we expect them to be strong all the time. Such a good question, as always!