Expectations. We all have them. The question is, are they benefiting us or hurting us?
Recently, someone asked me why my kids succeed in their marriages and lives while others struggle. For lack of a better answer, I said my husband and I raised our children in church. Is it true that those raised in church do better than those not?
No, not always. While raising your kids in church does make a difference, choices are the most critical factor in how one lives. A churched kid can make wrong choices just like unchurched kids can. And there are other factors that affect decisions. Someone pointed out to me that expectations can make a difference. What expectations?
We go through life expecting certain things to happen. We turn the car key and expect the car to start. We board the plane and expect to be safely carried to our destination. We work and expect a paycheck at the week's or month's end.
Negative expectations are also common. How often do we hear someone say, ‘He’ll be just like his (deadbeat) dad’ or ‘She’ll be like her (loser) mom’? Why do we expect everyone to become sick or have dementia when they age? When a parent suffers a specific health issue, why do we expect the children to have the same problem? Maybe much of what happens is because of our expectations.
When I read about the miracles Jesus performed while he was on Earth, I find that many happened when people expected him to help them. The woman who was healed from a blood disease expected she would receive healing if she could touch his garment. And she did. The centurion expected his servant to be healed if Jesus would say the words. His servant was healed. The four men who lowered their friend through the roof before Jesus expected the man to be healed, and he was.
What do we expect? When I raised my kids, I expected them to follow the rules of our home and school, always do their best, have integrity and good work ethics, and become productive citizens. I taught and expected them to be followers of Christ. Positive expectations do not guarantee that one will make good choices, but they certainly can influence a person to head in the right direction.
What do you expect for yourself and your family? What words do you use to show positive expectations? Expectations are powerful. Let’s expect good things for ourselves, our families, and others. When we pray, let’s expect our prayers to be heard and answered, and let’s wait with positive expectations.