Change Your Expectations

By Mark Hopper

In my previous article I shared how unfulfilled expectations can result in frustration. That is true when you are playing a round of golf. If you expect to play well and get a good score, you may find yourself discouraged and disappointed by the end of the day. Your score may be a lot worse than you expected!

I believe there are many married couples who are disillusioned after years of marriage. They started married life filled with hopes and dreams. But as the years passed they found themselves frustrated and disappointed. Their married life has not turned out the way they expected it would.

There is a powerful song in the musical Les Miserables where a woman expressed her heartache about the way her life has turned out. It is titled – “I Dreamed a Dream”. Some of the lyrics are:

“I dreamed a dream in days gone by, when hope was high and life worth living – I dreamed that love would never die, I dreamed that God would be forgiving. Then it all went wrong”

Those words may express how you feel about your marriage. But I want to urge you to not give up hope and don’t give up trying. God loves to repair relationships and restore marriages.

One of the things that can undermine a marriage is unfulfilled expectations. Spouses can become bitter and resentful when their hopes and dreams are not met. One of the best things you can do is change your expectations. Don’t wait for the other person to change – look for ways you can change your expectations with God’s help.

Years ago we met a wonderful couple during my summer internship in El Centro, California. The husband was a cattle rancher. He rarely got home on time for dinner. His wife was frustrated. Dinner was ready and the kids were hungry. But she decided to change her attitude and not expect him to be home for dinner. She realized that cattle, fences and water pumps may need immediate attention. She decided to just feed the kids when dinner was ready and warm up dinner for her husband when he got home. She changed her expectations and it reduced the level of stress on their relationship. Let me encourage you to change your attitude and your actions. Change your expectations. Ask God to change your heart. Be willing to forgive others that you feel have hurt you (Ephesians 4:32). You will be glad you did and they will too.   

Read 365 more stories and articles (one for every day of the year) in the book  Let me Encourage You by Mark Hopper. You can purchase two copies for only $30 plus postage ($5). Buy one for yourself and one to give a friend. Order your copies at