Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

Letting go of expectations

I must confess, I had built up and established expectations for my children’s path. When they were younger I had expectations on how well they would succeed in school, in sports or how well they would treat others. I wanted them to follow my guidance and do things my way with my approval. As they got older, I expected to see great things from them, to see them succeed in areas that I myself may be weak in. To break the cycle and move the ball farther down the field than I had ever been able to take it. As you can guess, my expectations didn’t always line up with theirs, or with reality!

My four crazy and wild children!

Now that I reflect I see how controlling that behavior is, how prideful and how it could damage my relationships with my children. I hadn’t really thought of it that way before. It was just what I believed to be the way I should raise my kids, wanting the best for them, and from them. Good schools, surrounded by good Christian families and friends. Mission trips over breaks to expose them to some harsh realities, but bring them back to the bubble safely. Not sheltered from the world or the common world view, but certainly protected from it.

It was not until recently that this pattern of behavior was revealed to me. By the grace of our God, through the mysterious workings of the Holy Spirit, I have come to realize that I need to let go. I need to allow my children to follow their own path, and make their own decisions no matter how costly that may be to my own expectations. After all, who am I anyway, just an earthly father, a sinner bound to this world by flesh.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – John 14:16

As we learn in John 14:16, the Holy Spirit is our counselor, and I must admit he has some interesting ways of counseling me. Recently, during a car ride to soccer practice I was reminded by my thirteen-year-old one very important truth. The most important thing to do is show love. Why is this so difficult to understand and to display? Isn’t that what our heavenly father does every day with us?

This love is unconditional, not bound to any works, achievements or expectations. It’s the love that God displayed to us when he sent Jesus to save us from the bounds of sin. We are all given an opportunity to receive it, to share in it and to pass it along to others.

So, as fellow parents and friends please remember to let go. Let go of the expectations we have for each other. Remember to love each other as John 15:12 reminds us. This is a love through the good, the bad and the ugly. Because in the end that is what it is all about.


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Loves Calling International, Inc.
11953 Ellison Wilson Road
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: (970) 270-0314
EIN: 47-4298542