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Fabulous Family Friday–The Enemies of Relationships

I had intended these to be a bit closer together than 2+ months!   I had written about the first enemy of relationships in August, here.




The second enemy of relationships also begins with an “E”, and I think it’s probably even worse than the first one.




I’m speaking of Expectations.




That could be a book all by itself!




Truly Expectations can kill a relationship–with God, our husbands, our children, friends, church family…..




In my own life I have found that lack of gratitude is usually linked strongly to this monster.   Once I start feeling I am owed something, I don’t see the many efforts others go to to bless me, and then I expect it, then they feel they can’t ever do enough for me…..ay yi yi!  What a horrible downward spiral it becomes!




Then I become bitter, lack gratitude and express it even less, and here we go again! :p




STOP!  I want to get OFF!




I can remember a specific time in my prayers for my husband, where I was praying Godly, Scriptural things….but my spirit was becoming more and more bitter.  I was comparing him to my idea of a spiritual leader, and in doing so, was missing his unique gifts and abilities God had placed within him while focusing on what I perceived were his weaknesses.  Of course I wouldn’t want him doing that to me!  But as often happens when we let this monster grow, we don’t think about that part.  It actually all stems from pride.




Thinking that we are not doing the things others are “guilty” of.    Of course I’m not judging…I’m not ungrateful….I’m doing what I’m supposed to do….  (ack!)




And this pride doesn’t always stem from just an “I’m better than everybody else” attitude….usually it is rooted in having been on the other end of the “expectations” ideal—someone had unrealistic expectations of us (or we of ourselves) and that insecurity fuels perpetuating the same monster through the generations.








It’s time to slay this monster!




I honestly don’t know what made me finally get sick and tired of my way of  “praying” (or was that complaining to God?!), but I do remember one day finally writing “PSALM 62:5″ in HUGE letters across my “prayer page” for my dh!




“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”



I honestly quit praying all those things.  Even Scriptures.  I just prayed, “Lord, make him the spiritual leader YOU want Him to be.”




That was all I prayed for a long time!




As I’ve realized more and more Abba Father’s love for me, and His acceptance of me based on who I am in Him vs. what I do, I’ve been able to not only let go of unrealistic expectations of myself—but of others as well.




Some time ago–again, I’m not sure exactly when, I started praying Scriptures for my husband again.  But this time, my focus was different.  I wasn’t praying for him so he’d be the kind of spiritual leader *I* thought I needed so I could be comfortable and happy.  I was praying for him to be what God wanted him to be so he could fulfill God’ s call on his life…..and be fulfilled by doing so.   Of course that could only benefit our family.  Much better than forcing my dear husband into a mold he didn’t fit into!  (And that didn’t benefit anybody!)




This has spilled into other areas of relationships as well.  I quit expecting my children to act or be a certain way so I could look good, or because I thought that’s what a good Christian family should be.  I started saying “thank you” a whole lot more and praising God for the wonderful gifts they were to me.




I would say that the biggest antidote to expectations is gratitude.  I have suggested this before, but I’ll do so again–start a gratefulness journal.   Write down at least one thing you are grateful for each day.  You could even write three things–one thing you are grateful to God for, one thing you are grateful for in your husband, and one for your children (or even one for each of them!).  It is amazing how focusing your eyes in a different direction affects your heart and attitude–and then of course your words and actions!




I remember as God was teaching me to lay down my expectations, we were trying to sell a pop-up camper.  We had already dropped the price and didn’t want to go much lower.




We had lots of lookers but no takers.  Then one day, I came home from some errand, and Dallas told me he had sold the camper!




Of course I wondered how much.  He had come down even further on the price, but I felt peace about it.   He later told me he felt total freedom, that I wasn’t going to make him feel badly about dropping the price.  He specifically said he could tell I didn’t have expectations of him to do things a certain way.  Wow!




Yes, I was disappointed we had to lower the price, but I had total confidence in his judgment in this.




It was equally freeing to me!




Many times we try to hang onto control, either fueled by the fears and expectations or resulting in them.  Either way, once we learn where our true trust must lie (in Him), and quit putting it on those around us, we free ourselves and them to be who God created them to be!




I have found that our Lord’s ideas are far better, wiser and infinitely higher than mine!




I’ll write more about this, more specifically how this enemy can affect our relationships with our children.




If you have also been working on slaying this monster, please share what has been helpful to you!


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4 Responses to “Fabulous Family Friday–The Enemies of Relationships”

  1. Momof6 says:

    Hi- I found your blog through the TTapp site. I’m a homeschooling mom of 6, TTapper for about 10 months.
    I loved this post…so true! I have been married almost 20 years, and my husband is not a believer. I have been saved for 16 years and praying for him all this time.
    Talk about constantly letting expectations go…it’s still not easy, but I have no choice with an unbeliever but to let go of expectations. And it has been so freeing! About 7 years ago, my “Mentor Mom” told me that I should have no expectations but in the Lord alone…so I surrendered my need to have my husband meet any expectations….not an easy thing and I need to keep on doing it. It’s not like it’s something you do once and never do again. As long as we are in the flesh, it will need to be dealt with. It’s a hard and lonely road but at the same time a blessed road because I know from experience that only Jesus can meet (and exceed) my expectations.
    I’ve been doing a gratitude journal for years and years…every morning first thing, I write down 5 things that I am grateful for from the day before.

    • Trisch says:

      Welcome, Momof6!

      It sounds like you have been blessed with a wise and Godly mentor! Yes, even the most Godly of husbands still aren’t perfect, and we can ruin our relationship with expectations. When my husband was in a serious accident 7 years ago, he had a head injury and was totally unable to meet ANY of my needs. I had to learn to sink my roots deeper than ever into my Lord. Thankfully my husband is fine today, but that was a hard, hard year!

      But God is faithful!

      HUGS to you and thank you so much for sharing!


  2. Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for this. I know you wrote it a bit ago but it is very timely for me. I have been on both sides of this topic…feeling utter hopelessness that I would/could never please someone who’s expectations of me seemed higher than humanly possible. And on the other hand I have expectations of my family so that we “don’t make a mockery of Christ’s name” but in reality it is my own pride which causes me to expect so much from others. Almost as if they “do better” than I can finally be who I should be. But really it starts with me! It starts with my acceptance (not of sin) but of things that just simply shouldn’t cause so much anxiety. It starts with me “looking in my own back yard” and praying that my own heart is dealt with.

    I’m rambling! But this has been very thought provoking for me and I am so glad I read it today. Extremely timely for me.

    May you be blessed!

    • Trisch says:

      So glad it ministered to you, Dawn! The Lord is of tender compassion towards us–patiently showing us our hearts so He can inhabit every nook and cranny. Then we can make decisions and minister to our families from the overflow of His love poured out on us!

      HUGS to you!


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