Thursday, March 20, 2014

High Expectations

The Comment:
Are my expectations too high? Here lately The Lord has really been showing me what kind of man I am going to be with. ie: his character and such. I at times think it is almost unrealistic to expect a man to have all of these things, however I don't want to put God inside of a box. I know a man of character is out there and I know that The Lord is preparing him.
I can't specifically say if your expectations are too high, because I'm not sure exactly what they are. If they are simply that you might end up with a man with great character, I don't think that's too high or too much (but, in my experience, expectations are never that simple...).

There is, however, a difference between high expectations and unrealistic expectations. Oftentimes, I think the two get interchanged too easily and we find ourselves being women who are unwilling to even consider a guy because he looks different than we might have imagined (even though he has the best character of anyone we've ever met). Sometimes we are unwilling to see what's right in front of our face because it isn't packaged in the way we might have initially expected or wanted.

If you had told me a few years ago that I was going to marry a man with long, blonde hair who was five years younger than me with a large tattoo, I would have laughed. Yeah right... The long hair was one of those "dealbreakers" not to mention the age difference. And now? Now I couldn't imagine any better for me... because he is a man of great character (and a million other wonderful things).

So maybe you're not someone who focuses too much on the external and you're still questioning if your expectations are too high. They might be. Because, here's the thing... while you might have a man who has great character, it doesn't mean that he's perfect. I think it's easy for us to confuse those things, too. It's easy to think that because we've found a "good" guy that he can do no wrong (and then, imagine our frustration and surprise when he screws up...).

No matter how truly wonderful he is, for us to expect that he will do everything "right" is unrealistic. Not only have many of us experienced this in our lives and relationships, but Scripture is smattered with stories of men who had great character (even a man after God's own heart) who can still fail, sin, hurt others, make bad decisions, live selfishly, be lazy...  you get the idea.

But, to me, that's the beauty of it. Getting the chance to love someone when when they mess up, to walk with them through it allow them to be fully themselves (sinful and all) and to choose them anyway. It's where the picture of the Gospel comes in for me. Pushing them toward better, wanting more...but not establishing that in such a way where he might always feel like he's a constant disappointment. It's a fine line that's absolutely rooted in love and grace.

There are good guys, yes.
But there are no perfect guys.
Make sure, as you set your standards on guys of good character...that you establish realistic expectations of what that looks like. Make sure that you're aware that they'll disappoint you sometimes, that they'll make decisions without thinking about you, that they may even sin and blatantly turn from the Lord at various points in their life. Make sure you still allow them to be human. Because, part of what makes them such great guys is that they're extending that same grace to you as you strive for more, fail, and then repeat.

It's a funny dance... filled with humility and grace and a constant recognizing that the Lord's grace is the only thing that covers each of us (no matter how great our character might be).

We still all need Jesus.
I'm still surprised every day by how the Lord is molding and growing and changing my fiance into more of His image and I, without a doubt, think he is a man of great character. But he's not perfect and he never will be... and he most certainly didn't come in the package that I expected. But I'm so glad it's him.

Have high standards.
Have high hopes.
But, maybe lay the expectations to the side for how it's all going to look (including WHEN it's all going to happen).

Trust that the Lord's got this.

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1 comment:

  1. Perfectionism is birthed from a religious spirit, but EXCELLENCE is from the Lord! 2 Peter 1: 5-10