Thursday, May 21, 2009

one myth in the quest for contentment....

"I have met many women who live miserable lives because of the expectations they have for their husbands and children." This was the first line from my Bible study this morning. Okay, so I don't live a "miserable life"....but often, my bad days stem from unrealistic expectations that I have for my family. I often expect my 3 year old to act like he's 6, my 5 year old girl to make 10 year old decisions and remember every instruction I have ever given her in her life.....and too often I expect my husband to give me undivided attention while playing with the kids and doing laundry and helping with the dinner dishes at the same time.
This newest Bible study(Get a Life: Debunking 6 myths in the quest for contentment)in our MOMS group has been good so far, but today's kind of kicked my butt! It started with this line and talked about expectations of others, but then actually went on to talk about how material things can't make you happy. Although I think we all struggle to some extent with wanting "things" we don't have, I have never thought about how much it relates to expectations of others. Both get in the way of my full joy and contentment. Anything that interferes with finding full peace is not a good thing in my walk as a Christian. .... I think I am posting to help me sort through it in my mind. The expectations and desires that I have for myself are not my husband's or children's. My kids just want my love, praise, and to play with me. My husband just wants my love and a compliment every now and then (his love language is words of affirmation). But what I want them to do or to want doesn't exactly match up with what they want sometimes.....and I think that causes me to be disappointed all to often. So, how do I give up some of these unrealistic expectaions??? First, I guess I can pray... a little cliche, but a good starting point. What next, I think I need to pay less attention to every little issue or set-back that happens. Although I usually consider myself pretty good at finding the good in situations (probably why my favorite childhood movie was "Pollyanna"), I seem not be able to let the bad things go quickly with these 3. I see the bad, draw attention to it, tell them what's bad, how to fix it, and watch to see if the result happens immediately. If I can work on "defending" them when I see something in them I don't like or agree with as hard as I will " defend" others, it might help! I usually can overlook another person's character flaws and I am really good at saying, "that's just how God made them" but I have more trouble believing that God also made my husband and kids different too!
I don't know the exact solution, but I am going to pray for and search for a peace about loosing my high expectations of others (namely the 3 people that live with me!). I will try to be more thankful that God has given them the desires that they have and the talents that they have and thankful that theirs are different from mine. I apologize for the somewhat confusing nature of this post...I think it is mostly random thoughts, but it's kind of like studying for a test, if you write it down as you are studying, it helps you remember it more. Maybe writing it will help me do it! I am certainly open to insight from others if any one else out there struggles with this! Have a good day!

No comments: