The truth is we live in a fallen world filled with flawed people. As such, in this life, it is not a matter of if we will deal with disappointments, it is a matter of when we will deal with them.
The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for – Bob Marley
A dire but commonly employed strategy for dealing with disappointment (especially in a relationship) is to try to avoid being disappointed in the future at all cost. This strategy calls for the tactics of putting massive walls around our hearts, looking for perfection, being overly sensitive and critical of mistakes, and withholding intimacy. These tactics so distance us mentally and emotionally from relationships, that we sacrifice real love and connection for the illusion of safety. The problem with this strategy for the person that employs it is that (1) it leaves a gaping hole in their heart and (2) it does not take away the relational desire. It is not unusual for a person who has employed this strategy to be plagued by bouts of melancholy and depression because they have starved themselves of one of the human basic needs – the need for a close relationship. I do not recommend this strategy but prefer the one of offering our disappointments to God that He may turn our hurt and pain into gain and glory.
We should neither set ourselves up for disappointments, nor try to avoid them – Anonymous
While there is an element of not setting ourselves up for constant disappointments by choosing our partners carefully, there is another element of expectations we must be careful to manage. Below are two expectations that set us up for disappointments.
Expecting Our Partners to Be Perfect
Born out of selfishness (for the person who expects perfection is themselves not perfect), this expectation looks to gain more than it gives in the relationship, and expects from the other person what they cannot give. Asking someone for something they do not have the ability to give is a sure strategy to be disappointed.
Instead of expecting perfection, we are better off accepting their imperfection, just as we accept our own.
Expecting To Change Our Partners
Born out of arrogance (for we try to do only what God can do), this expectation encourages the would be changer to alter the environment of their relationship to effect a change in their partner. Though it may start off lovingly, it usually reeks of manipulation, and will likely end up in frustration and disappointment for the one who engages in it.
Instead of trying to change our partners, we are better of praying to God that our hearts change towards our partners as He effects His change in His time on both us and our partners.
Disappointments are inevitable but discouragement in a choice – Charles Stanley
We tend to get discouraged when we think that things will not change. The thought that things will not change is what leads us to want to give up. It is what has led many people to divorce their partners or end relationships prematurely.
To think that things will never change is to limit the power of God. The root of this line of thinking is unbelief for it truly does not believe that with God all things are possible. Choose to think differently. Before pulling a plug on your relationship, consider these three things:
God Will Finish What He Started
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns – Philippians 1:6
God is not done with our relationships yet. His heart is that relationships not only survive, but that they thrive. We must submit ourselves to Him so that He can finish the good work He has begun in us. As His hands mark our lives, so will it mark our relationships. It is a process – we must let God do His good work. Things will not always be the same in Him.
God Can Create A New Relationship With the Same People
But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland – Isaiah 43:18-19
While people say “well if I tell you what happened”, God says “well if I tell you what I am about to make happen”. See if we knew the future God has planned for us, the past would not discourage us. Our plans compared to God’s plans are rubbish. It’s time to surrender our plans over to Him so He can create rivers of life giving water to sustain the relationships that have become dry wastelands
God Brings To Pass What We Commit To Him
That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of His return – 2 Timothy 1:12
Though you may feel you are suffering and serving a prison term in your relationship right now, understand that He is able to guard everything you entrust to Him. So entrust your relationship to Him and watch as He keeps it and guards it. With God as the guard, no enemy can penetrate. So let go of it and release it into His hands for safeguard. You will not regret it.