Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The No. 1 Relationship Killer (IMHO)

Do you know what it is? 

Lack of communication? No. Lies? No. Infidelity? No. Money matters? Nope. Sex matters? Non. Third party influences? Rara, not that either. OK, before you scream at me, I shall tell you. First, don't get me wrong, I am not discounting the effect of all the above issues BUT I now believe that there is one ill above these ills and in my humble opinion (IMHO) it is the number one relationship killer of all times. What is it?

No expectations. No disappointment
Expectations.

I know many of you know already that I am a true fan of  the book 'The Shack' so you will not be surprised when I say that my heart and mind grasped the truth of the above when I read this book. Actually, the first time I read the book, I did not fully catch this revelation when PapaGod explained to Mack how expectations ruin relationships but as I read 'The Shack Reflections' recently, it sank in. Maybe I am  in the right season for it to do so.

Expectations are the mark of bad, unhealthy and/or mediocre relationships. It is being in a relationship with preconceived notions of what needs to happen to make it work. Doing this I have learned opens us up to disappointment.

So if expectations kill relationships what are we to have then? We are to have an Expectancy.  What is that? It's having a desire to be with someone with no agenda, no preconceived ideas but a whole lot of anticipation that good things were coming your way with that person.

True, as humans, we will probably always have expectations but I see now that if we do not watch them carefully they have the potential to be huge problems in our relationships. Anyway, you know what? I shall leave you to think about this yourself. Permit me to just share with you a quote from the book which I believe sheds some light on the matter. Read it and think. May the spirit of God in you speak to you and cause change to be birthed in you in this area. I personally believe that many of our relationships will be healed as a result.

”Mack, if you and I are friends there is an expectancy that exists within our relationship.  When we see each other or are apart, there is an expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking.  That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else.  But what happens if I change that expectancy to an expectation- spoken or unspoken?…You are now expected to perform in a way that meets that expectation…Our living friendship deteriorates into a dead thing with rules and requirements. It is no longer about you and me, but about what friends (spouses)* are supposed to do, or the responsibilities of a good friend (spouse)…”

How about that? Tell me, which do you prefer? Expectations or Expectancy? Can you just imagine how our friendships, marriages would be transformed if we lived in expectancy rather than in expectation? I will not lie, it has occurred to me that perhaps the reason why God can love us enough to live with us this way is because he is well, God. Only the divine can live like this, right? Wrong. Jesus Christ lived like this while he was here on earth and he was fully human. And that is exactly what he came to prove: That being human, we can still live divine as long as we remain bound to him, his spirit living in and through us.

Perhaps like me, you do want to enjoy the kind of life that expectancy brings but don't know where to start.  Perhaps like me, you look at your relationships, your marriage and can see how expectations are snuffing the lights out of  you and all concerned. Fear not, I am sure God knows where we are on this journey of ours and I think were he able to leave a comment on this blog right now, he would probably say: 

"Salt and friend, I am not asking you to change anything about you. That is the Holy Spirit's tasks and he knows how to do it without brutalising you. This whole thing, you becoming me is a process, not an event. So release yourself to him and  chill."

So, it's not going to happen overnight but with God on our sides, we must commit to choosing a life of expectancy over expectation. It is truly a better quality of life if you ask me. I mean who needs all the disappointment?

Not me.



23 comments:

  1. You are on point Salt. Expectations bring along with them disappointments. Expectations kill relationships sharp sharp. No agenda it is o!

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    1. Agenda-less loving. Agenda-less relationships. Lord, we want it, help us have it and live it! Live it through us o!!!! Eya, aluta continua!

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  2. I agree that having expectations exposes us to disappointments. I remember telling someone that once, and I've learnt this the hard way in my relationships with people in general and also not just in relationsips but even in other areas of my life, like my academics.

    Sometimes I just wish I'd stop having these expectations and just live and breathe.

    I definitely prefer expectancy.

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    1. Even if, as humans, we cannot help having these expectionations, we MUST not let them 'have' us, own us, reduce us to the living disappointed. I can see how a friend should expect loyalty from another friend but in the expectant mode, even if they fail in this area, you love them anyway. Loving does not mean condoning, it just means letting them know you accept that they are not perfect. Plus loving a friend that keeps failing you does not mean you have to keep them in your life.

      On the other hand, a friend expecting you to return ever single call or a lady expecting a guy to ALWAYS open the door for her or remember her birthday? It is those kinds of expectations that I am pretty sure we should rid ourselves of. They are nice to have not by force when you are living in expectancy becos you are committed to loving. Regardles. *phew*. AY, God will keep helping us as he sees out hearts o! Thanks for coming by.

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    2. Academics

      This is an area I struggle with, I have come to realize that expectations delays thanksgiving. If I am hoping to get an A in a class and I get a B. Dissapointment, anger and frustration will set in almost right away because I had put all of my hopes in getting an A instead of thanking God for seeing me through the course. So many others who might have to retake the class, will gladly take the B that I have allowed to sadden me.

      Before I realize my wrong attitude and my need to show gratitude towards God; hours, days and even years might have gone by. This is a sad reality I have allowed myself to pass through. The scripture says that God inhabits the praises of His children, so that means He is not getting any glory from my anger. If I want God to live in me, I have to choose to live in expectancy, so that my thoughts, words and actions can bring Him all the glory at all times.

      Of course this is not reason, but with the help fo the Holy Spirit, we can live such lives.

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    3. You just read my mind Funmi cos today as my thoughts remained on this topic, it occurred to me that we actually do this to ourselves too! We sometimes 'expect' too much from our own selves. Instead of living in thankful acceptance of who, what and how and where we are. Being content like this does not mean you cease to reach for 'a better you', it just allows you to remain in that attitude of gratitude that not only pleases God but enables you increase your altitude in the end! Thanks for beating me to this point. We need to live in expectancy with our selves too o! For in truth, you can only give what you already have, n'est-ce pas?

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    4. @Funmi

      Exactly how I feel concerning academics.
      Felt all that disappointment, anger and frustration recently. These feelings still creep up once in a while. I'm learning everyday how important it is to be thankful to God always, although it's really a hard process.

      ".....expectations delays thanksgiving"..so true.

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  3. I totally agree. By having expectations, one is usually set up for a huge crash as most times these expectations are largely uncommunicated, hence hurts are inevitable. However, sometimes we have to go through the pains of "Expectations" to get to "Expectancy". I have had my own few share of hurts stemming from expectations that I had to wise up quickly and now live MOSTLY in expectancy mode. (it's not always easy I must confess as I sometimes catch myself drifting to "Expectation").

    After all said and done, I am a work - in - progress, hitting a better learning curve as each day goes by.

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    1. *sigh* So am I Bernnie. So am I. Sadly, society does not make it any easier. Men have their own rules of what they think wives/moms should be, do. Women too have their own rules of what they think 'Mr. Right' should do and be.......I tell you, only God can help us do this. In us and through us. I appreciate you coming by .

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  4. Unfortunately, so many expect what they cannot give themselves. Bringing in baggage from mummy and daddy's marriage... I hope we are all learning from here. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. True that Ugochi. I mean you would think we had enough baggage of our own, we then go back in time and carry forward stuff from our parents. It's why it is important to pray to God to ensure that only the good from our past will have any ties/links to us. But you know what else? It should make us live our own lives in ways that our children have only positive stuff to inherit from us........or at least they have more good than bad.....

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  5. I totally love this angle of looking at that word. Give me expectancy and give me life!

    Thanks for sharing this insight, I loved it.

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    1. Always great to 'see' you Myne. It is one of my favourite take aways from The Shack. That book takes me into the mind and heart of God, I tell you. He truly wants to give us Life. ABUNDANT LIFE!!!!

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  6. You all have got me searching for the shack in every christain bookshop here in benin to no avail...I wee keep searching..

    You know I used to think the worst ill in a relationship was assumptions(from ma experience),but true expectation is a potent ill too. You've opened ma eyes to seeing expectancy differently and it sure is better than expectation.

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    1. Assumptions are not good either. Never assume. Always ask and clarify. Always seek to be sure. Don't guess. They have it here at Laterna. I will get you a copy. Inbox me a deliver add at abimbolaen@yahoo.com. I will send you a copy. It is the least I can do, abi? Thanks Tamie.

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    2. Yay! *Dancing* Ŧђɑ̤̥̈̊п̥̥̲̣̣̣kƨ̣̣̣̇̇̇̇. Imma email you asap!

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  7. Hmm! What else but to say you pulled out a thought from my heart. You see expectations-- a fast killer of relationships. It breeds disaapointments, and I think that though we are humans, it is best to work towards a goal from your end than expecting it would be done by the other person's effort.
    Please, I ll appreciate if you ll have me on your blog list and follow me on google connect too. I just did! *Happy like a child* :)

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    1. First of all, thank you Debbie for coming by. True, we should just focus on giving out love.....and trust God to send it back out way. It is so hard though cos people are mean. It is only God that can help us and live through us.....to be love like he is. Regardless.......

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  8. I would agree wholeheartedly. Expectancy seems to me to be a thing of the spirit, giving us room to see God's divinity in people even as we deal with our humanity. Expectations are the stuff of man. Creating rules and standards that are sometimes impossible to maintain. In expectations there is disappointment, In expectancy there is compassion and empathy.

    I enjoyed this post. Stay salty!

    PS: I may need to re-read the shack. Been a while.

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    1. You should Ekene being as you were the one that gave me the book in the first place. Every time I think about the book, I think of you. Yes, expectations is the stuff of humans. Brutal ones. Seeing you here made my hert smile. Thank you.,

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  9. Hmm this is so true. food for thought for me. www.secretlilies.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello latest mommy! It is for many of us I am sure. I am trying hard to be an NFE - a person with No Future Expectations. It is hard but when I get it right, it leaves me free to just enjoy and appreciate the people in my life while still praying for God to work on them to be HIS best. Not mine.

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  10. Wow! I needed this post. Thanks for sharing dear Sistadivine. I will add the shack to my reading list.

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