Think of an improvement in your relationship with your sweetheart that you’re hoping for.
Hope is one of the top three virtues (which are faith, hope and love; see 1 Corinthians 13:13). They work together: We hope for something while placing our faith in God and his way of providing it, and God’s Radical Love leads us into what he is providing. And the result is greater and more far reaching than we had hoped for!
Hope is the fuel that moves us forward into what God wants to provide.
Expectation, on the other hand, turns faith-filled hope into disappointment and unloving behavior.
If, for example, we hope our sweetheart will begin coming home from work earlier, hope motivates us to pray and to a having a loving dialogue with our beloved about it. But if we expect our sweetheart to change his (or her) work schedule just because we ask for it, we will be disappointed the first time he fails, and we’ll feel grumpy about it. Then we’ll whine, complain, and demand that he comes home earlier tomorrow, adding to his stress.
Love is patient. Love does not demand its own way. Love communicates the value of making an improvement, with unselfish motives. And when change comes too slowly for our expectations, we ask Jesus for supernatural patience, hoping that we will improve how we love our sweetheart. And of course God’s Radical Love provides it.
- What’s an expectation I have, and how can I change that to hope?
- What does my beloved hope for?
Strengthen your relationship:
Together, read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, first as it is written in the Bible. Then read it again while substituting the words “love” and “it” (when it refers to love) with the word “God”. Next, read it two more times to substitute in both of your own names or “I”, realizing that although we all live this way imperfectly, it is how God designed us to be when he created us in his own image. When finished, tell each other how it does indeed describe your beloved’s true nature. Close the discussion by turning this scripture into a prayer.
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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries