Agape Christian Counselling, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
© George Hartwell, 2006, All rights reserved
Releasing is also called 'letting go.' It is about giving up trying too hard to control some outocme. I am told that a monkey can be trapped by a simple trap that offers a prize too big for the monkey to withdraw his hand. Even the fear of getting caught will not bring the monkey to let go of the prize trinket.
Have you ever stopped pleading with God to change someone and just put then into God's hands. People have found that god gets moving when we take our hands off. It is like a car can only have one driver and we are taking up the drivers seat. When we move over God can be in the driver's seat.
Unrealistic expectations, like all frustrated goals, lead to anger, demands and aggressive attacks on the other. A wide gap between expectations and reality leads to continuing frustration, aggression and, perhaps, in time, alienation. Marriages have been hurt by a pertner's expectations and associated demands and frustrations.
Unrealistic Expectations and God
The ultimate source of supply for all our needs is God. Our partner cannot fulfill some needs - for deep love, friendship and communion with God. If our partner has never opened himself or herself to a heart to heart relationship with God, have never united with God's Spirit, then the need for God's presence can be felt acutely. But that need is not understood or recognized. One blames one's partner for the void inside.
It would help to pray our loud in some form of confession for the sin of expecting and blaming one's partner for what only God can provide. If both partners are present the confession and request for forgiveness can be directed to and responded to by your partner. Be sure to say: "do you forgive me?" and be sure to respond with, "I forgive you." To be clear and brief, "It's okay" is avoidance and deception. I forgive you means 'I give up all my rights to extract revenge upon you. 'I forgive you' does not mean 'I forget' or 'there are no consequences for your actions.'
Because we want God to heal our lives, we need to pray out loud and ask God to deal with our unrealistic expectations. Please note, do not say "Jesus please help me with this problem" if you really mean Jesus take charge and be Lord, Saviour, Healer and Deliverer of my unrealistic expectations. See Session Component #5 - Jesus Proclamation.
We use picture language (vision, story, imagination) to allow the Holy Spirit access to our prayers about our unrealistic expectations. Your heart will find the picture that suits you. Here are some that I can suggest:
1.Picture an umbilical cord in the spirit to represent drawing nurture from your partner. Invite Jesus to come and release this umbilical cord from your partner and connect it instead to God's provision. Notice what happens in the picture and how it feels.
2.You are drawing water from a well with a bucket when you could be drinking from God's abundant stream. In the picture you stop trying to get enough water from the well (representing your partner) and turn to God's stream.