There are numerous roles in life that involve expectations- spouse, employee, parent, etc. Expectations are fickle. Their existence suggests something that needs to be accomplished or completed, lest disappointment should follow. However, if expectations are not used to define or direct a task, then the person completing it may feel as though their work is in vain and there is no end goal.
As a ministry worker at a Pregnancy Care Center, I come in contact with clients who usually fall in one of two categories- determined or indifferent. Some clients see their situation as a temporary stop in life as they work towards better goals, others simply do not see a reason to try and take a different path.
A few months into my job, I realized that my personal expectations of my clients actually made an impact. If I voiced advice or a soft opinion regarding their situation, I received reactions. Many of our clients are without one or both of their parents, therefore, some sort of expectations were often absent throughout their adolescent years. These clients are often the ones who seek approval or some indication of our pride in them. When they visit the center I go out of my way to ensure that they are told that their actions are something to be proud of.
The biggest lesson I learned in regards to expectations is this, if you set them high then people will often surprise you by surpassing them. I think this is important to remember in our relationship with Christ as well. Oftentimes we see our struggles in life as obstacles. However, what if they are expectations that God is using to push us towards achievement? We are not meant to sit idle and watch the days pass by, we are meant to strive and accomplish and spend our time in a productive manner, therefore, expect much from yourself and others.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.