If you know me at all, you know that I simultaneously want order to everything, and yet can’t ever find my phone because I put it in the wrong place. I may not be the most organized person, but I am going to try to do better with this site! Here’s the plan. Wednesdays are going to be my mid-week pause to talk about all things marriage. Warning: I have no clue what I’m doing. If you haven’t already, look to your right or the bottom of your screen, click follow, and join in on this adventure every week. Hope you enjoy the ride as much as I will.
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One day, my husband Austin and I were hitting around a volleyball. Since I am notoriously terrible at volleyball, Austin was surprised when I actually hit the ball back each time. He called out to me, “I am going to throw this ball at you as hard as I can. Catch it!”
I didn’t actually expect him to do it. I thought that he might toss it at me or even fake me out. But I was so wrong. Before I could think, the ball flung in full force right at my face and and since I wasn’t expecting it, it hit me square in the nose.
Expectations are usually considered a good thing.
When we create expectations for ourselves, we create a method of accountability. If I give myself the expectation of having a post written by noon today and I don’t meet that goal, I’m disappointed in myself. I am a very expectation driven person. I expect my class work to be done at a certain time. I expect that I will have dinner on the table when Austin gets home in the evening. However, it is when I place these expectations on people that I get myself into trouble.
The volleyball example is futile, but so representative of how Austin and I have had to guard ourselves in this marriage. I didn’t expect Austin to throw the ball, but he did expect me to catch it. We both reacted as a result of our expectations.
In the same way, I am apt to place my expectations onto Austin even when there is no reason he should know them. Whether it’s sorting the laundry correctly or knowing when I am upset about something, I expect him to react to situations the way I might; however when he doesn’t, I easily become upset, no longer thinking, “how can I serve you as your wife,” but rather, “why aren’t you serving me the right way?”
Don’t we do the same with God?
We expect Him to work in the way our own experience would say is just. But don’t we know He is far outside the bounds of our understanding. Then when He doesn’t do what we expect, we run into fits of anger, wondering why He has acted in this unjust way. We take focus off of serving and glorifying Him and turn it to our own desires–our own self glorification.
One of my goals as a wife is to stop placing my own expectations upon Austin. Even in the few times when my way is correct, becoming upset when he doesn’t do what I anticipate only displays my sinfulness.
One of my goals as part of the bride of Christ is to stop expecting God to work within the bounds of my own understanding. By releasing my expectations, I am admitting that I am a flawed human being. Oh how freeing is that understanding! When things don’t go right–in my marriage or any other relationship–I run to Jesus: the only One who does have complete, unbounded understanding and whose expectations are perfect. Yet on all the occasions I don’t meet them, His arms are open, welcoming me back into His presence.