What comes to your mind when you read that word? Do you think of something fun you are expectantly waiting for? Maybe you think of something that you expected but didn’t come to fruition? Maybe it brings pain because of undo expectations placed on you?
As a pastor’s wife, this word…..expectation…..sadly most often times brings to mind hurt. I have a hard time thinking of another position that carries with it more spoken and unspoken expectations.
I have been a pastor’s wife for 26 years now and fortunately have learned how to navigate and/or dodge the expectations of others. Over these years, I’ve learned to listen to God first and to be willing to maybe upset others in order to be obedient to what He calls me to and sometimes not to.
But other’s expectations and assumptions can still sting and hurt.
Here are a few that have been spoken and unspoken to me over the years….
·She must have been a believer all her life
·She must know the bible inside and out….after all her husband was in seminary
·Of course she’ll lead the bible study!
·And lead AWANA
·They have nice things, the church must be paying them too much or they are in debt
·They should be available 24/7
·I’m not good enough to be her friend
·She should not make mistakes, she’s a pastor’s wife
·She should be soft spoken and unassuming
·She knows everything going on at the church
·Her children are perfect….or should be
I’m sure you can think of many expectations that have been placed on you too over your lifetime. I can think of even more that I have placed on other people in my own life.
Many people never speak their expectations out loud, they only think them in their minds. But thoughts often times determine actions.
I read a story recently that made me smile and had me thinking of my own life….
One dark rainy night a salesman had a flat tire on a lonely road. But to his dismay he had no lug wrench. Seeing a nearby farmhouse, he set out on foot. Surely the farmer would have a lug wrench, he thought. But would he even come to the door? And if he did, he’d probably be furious at being bothered so late at night. He’d say, “What’s the big idea getting me out of bed in the middle of the night?” This thought made the salesman angry. Why, that farmer is a selfish old clod to refuse to help me.
You see, you might not speak your expectation but even in thinking them it will often times determine how you treat that person.
Expectations, along with assumptions, can sometimes cause you to miss what is really going on. They can cause you to be blinded to someone’s heart and true intentions. And they are most definitely used by the enemy to cause division and hurt.
We have to work hard to put aside expectations and allow God to let us see people and situations through His eyes…..the only eyes that see correctly.
But how can we put our expectations aside? They happen many times without our even thinking about it. Staying close to God is the key. When we remain close to Him we are molded to be more like Him. And as we become more like Him, we see like Him.
….then we see the lives of other through HIS expectations.