A spiritual son explained to me a truth that he and his girlfriend stumbled upon about relationship conflict. They realized that when they fight, at the root of the fight is a false expectation that one of them had for the other. They realized that not putting expectations on each other but rather having an attitude of discovering and accepting each other tends to ward off arguments and hurt feelings. This idea rings true with me not only for relationships but for all areas of life: jobs, churches, families, vacations, schools, God, etc. For example, I decided that since I live so far out in the country that I can’t keep going to my city church because I have to drive 40 minutes to get there and it prevents me from being as involved as I’d like to be with my church family. So I started visiting some country churches closer to me. Now, I really enjoy city churches and I was unhappy with the country churches I visited until the Spirit showed me I was putting unrealistic expectations on these churches by comparing them to my city church. Once I started blanking out my expectations and just accepting the churches for what they are I had a better appreciation for them.
Where are we putting unrealistic expectations on the people in our lives that we conflict with? A teenager expecting his parents to give him the same freedoms some other parent gives their teen might find their expectations are creating unnecessary bitterness leading to conflict in his heart. A parent expecting their teen to comply with all their boundaries with no push back has an unrealistic expectations which may cause bitterness and conflict. Selah (stop and think about and apply it).