I was in college and it was my birthday. My roommate had forgotten. I was so hurt. I had put expectations on her that she would remember my special day. I was upset and offended. It drove a wedge between us. I was wrong.
I grew up in a household that constantly put expectations on others. So everyone constantly walked around offended with one person or another. It took me a long time to see how damaging expectations are. It is a non-verbal way of saying “I EXPECT THIS FROM YOU. YOU OWE ME.”
Should we ever have expectations of others? Absolutely. In marriage there has been a covenant made between a man and a woman. You have a right to expect that person to keep their vows. You have a right to expect your children to treat you respectfully, as long as you do the same. Expectations that are inappropriate are when they are above and beyond the normal common courtesies and when we want more from others than they are willing to give.
The more we expect from others, the more insecure we are. I used to feel so hurt when my family forgot Mothers Day. I was insecure and needed to be recognized. As I grew in Christ and His love for me, I became more secure. I needed less from others the more I received from God. Sure we all love to be remembered and treated in a special way. Yet there is something warm and comfortable knowing that if I am forgotten on my birthday, my heavenly Father always remembers me.
What expectations have you put on others? What are you trying to get from others that only God can give you? Can you allow others to love you just as you are with little expectations from them? There is great peace and freedom when we release people to love us in their own way and release any undo expectations. “Heavenly Father, help us to love others without putting expectations on them.” In Jesus name we pray. amen