Q & A: Expectations in Relationships

This is the Questions and considerations for answers to the Message Based Discussion Questions for the message “Expectations in Relationships” given on Februrary 17, 2013. The manuscript was posted on February 19, 2013.  The insert in included below with the blank questions followed by considerations for answers below that.  How would you answer the questions?  That’s what matters to the Lord.

Expectations in Relationships: You’re supposed to serve me!
John 13

1 Samuel 18:1-4

How does Jesus want you to approach relationships?

1)      Jesus shows you how to finish well loving others John 13:1-3   

2)      Jesus wants you to serve others John 13:4-5
3)      Jesus wants you to disciple people to truth John 13:6-17
4)      Jesus wants you to rise above adversities John 13:18-30
5)      Jesus wants you to overcome by loving others exactly as He does  John 13:31-35

 
Godly expectations anticipate Jesus working through you
so you can love others!

How do you implement this? 

1)       Accept that you have expectations..

·         If you expect people to always do the right thing; remember your dates, name, appts.; anniversary.  If you expect people to be civil, raise their kids to be perfect, come to church with their saintly face on.  If you expect people to protect the holiness of others, expect display of modesty, or not use course jokes.  Acts 20:29-30 distorted, misinterpreted; 1 Cor. 16:9.
·         Expectations can be wonderful IF godly, or they can harm

2)       Practice three things:

·         Compassion – genuine awareness of another’s suffering that leads to a desire to help.
·         Forgiveness – pardon for an offense without treating him as a offender
·         Forbearance – patience under provocation.  Willing to stand alongside someone in trouble.

What does it mean?

1)       Means I accept suffering and am willing to endure it for another’s sake.
2)       Means I’m willing to live with the poor. Jam. 2:1-5
3)       Means I resist the temptation to favoritism Jam. 2:1-5
4)       Means I’m committed to persevere in hardship.
5)       Means rejecting a personal happiness and comfort agenda than another’s standing with God.
6)       Means I live with a commitment to forgive.
7)       Means I overlook minor offenses by focusing on the big things God is doing.
8)       Means I won’t compromise on what is morally right and true. I will point others to God and the Word, and not condemn.

 

Here is the insert questions without suggested considerations for answers.  The suggested considerations are below this.  What answers would you give? 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      The greater the gap of what you expect in life and what you experience will create a tension that you may or may not deal with well.  What are some examples of expectations and actual experience that people might see in schooling, occupation, marriage, family and/or retirement?

Digging deeper into the text:

2)      What are two of God’s expectations in Matthew 28:18-20?  ___________________; _____________________________ What are some of the challenges to the fulfillment of that mandate? 

3)      What are two of the expectations the writer to the Hebrews has in Hebrews 5:12-14? ________________________ ; _________________________ How does Hebrews 5:12-14 define our responsibilities so that we can discern godly expectations?

4)      Choose two of the passages below.  What are examples of expectations versus experience in the following?   Gen. 4:4-15; 13:1-15; 17:1-18; 22:1-19; 37:1-28 (cf. 42:21).

Implementing this message to your life:

5)      What are expectations that you may have had that God has taught you were wrong?  Based on the principles of the message, what do you need to do?

6)      How can you learn to discern what are godly expectations for schooling, occupation, marriage, family and retirement?  How does that impact your relationships?

Here are suggested considerations for answers to the questions.  How would you answer the questions?  This is about your thoughts and understanding, not merely regurgitating what you see below.

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      The greater the gap of what you expect in life and what you experience will create a tension that you may or may not deal with well.  What are some examples of expectations and actual experience that people might see in schooling, occupation, marriage, family and/or retirement?

a)      I expected an A and received a D in my Ancient Israel class – the last class of college!  Boy was I disappointed and even after talking to the prof, I didn’t have much satisfaction.  It seemed he took my “Christian world-view” historical answers applied to his secular world-view answers and down-graded me. 

b)      I expect to be treated well by fellow employees, but their ridicule makes me not want to go to work!  Or, I thought I should be able to share in the profit sharing, and only the upper-level management received payouts!

c)      I expect my wife to understand me, but she just wants to talk herself and she doesn’t really care.  She just keeps talking trying to understand from her perspective and we keep moving further apart.

d)      I expect that I’ll be able to go golfing and traveling in retirement, but with the new taxes, I’ll be fortunate enough to be able to go to a movie!

Digging deeper into the text:

2)      What are two of God’s expectations in Matthew 28:18-20?  __Trust His authority ___ ;  _make disciples__;  _baptize converts_ ; __teach others___. What are some of the challenges to the fulfillment of that mandate? 

a)      I fear rejection

b)      I fear I won’t be able to answer questions

c)      I fear I might not look cool or be cool

d)      I fear that I’ll look like a fool being dependent on religion

e)      I’m too busy

f)       I have other things to do

g)      I haven’t been trained

h)      I don’t know enough

i)        I don’t know how to baptize someone or know what to teach

j)        Someone might find out I don’t know everything.

k)      If they are hungry, they’ll figure it out

l)        I think the pastor should do all that.  He gets paid to do it.

m)    I don’t like other people.

3)      What are two of the expectations the writer to the Hebrews has in Hebrews 5:12-14? _should be teachers already_ ; __should be able to feed yourself from the Word_; __ Should be able to discern good and evil___.  How does Hebrews 5:12-14 define our responsibilities so that we can discern godly expectations?

a)      I should grow up spiritually

b)      Quit being totally dependent on the spoon feeding of others.

c)      I should learn from those who are teaching and look for opportunities to learn.

d)      I should learn to depend on the Lord and teach others.

e)      I should learn to bring my senses under control and depend on the Holy Spirit to discern good and evil

f)       I need to hunger for the bread of life (Matt. 4:4) and the Milk (1 Pet. 2:1-2) and press upward (Phil. 2:12-14).

g)      I need to step up to the plate and take responsibility to serve others and teach others in appropriate opportunities.

4)      Choose two of the passages below.  What are examples of expectations versus experience in the following?   Gen. 4:4-15; 13:1-15; 17:1-18; 22:1-19; 37:1-28 (cf. 42:21).

a)      Gen. 4:4-15 – Cain expected God to receive and respect his offering, but God did not.  When God rebuked Cain, Cain chose to disobey God, destroy the competition and suffer life-long consequences.

b)      Gen. 13:1-15 – Abraham left Egypt with his nephew Lot and they expected to get along.  But, Abraham’s and Lot’s herdsmen argued and wouldn’t get along.  Abraham gave Lot the choice of what he wanted. Abraham delivered Lot from capture, but saw Lot’s home destroyed.

c)      Gen. 17:1-18 – Abraham expected God to give him an heir, but not through his body.  He thought it might be through Hagar, but that just caused problems.  Abraham laughed at God’s solution.  Abraham’s expectations of God were not what God provided.

d)      Gen. 22:1-19 – Abraham obeyed God expecting God to somehow resuscitate Isaac off the altar.  God stopped Abraham in time and provided another sacrifice.  Abraham obeyed God and God provided another means without making Abraham go through the actual sacrifice of Isaac.

e)      Gen.37:1-28 – Joseph was Jacob’s favorite and Jacob expected Joseph to be treated well, but at least fairly.  Joseph had a dream from God and he expected his family to listen to him.  Instead they twisted what God was doing and took matters into their own hands selling Joseph into slavery.  They expected they would be done with thinking about Joseph, but his memory haunted them (42:21). 

Implementing this message to your life:

5)      What are expectations you may have had that God has taught you were wrong?  Based on the principles of the message, what do you need to do?

a)      I expect people to treat me well.  That won’t happen.  Comments and actions will be done as a test to see if I will entrust myself to God and be a spiritual parent to the person by rising above the adversity and discipling to truth.

b)      I expect my spouse to respect me.  That may not happen.  Words will be said, delays will happen, projects will not be completed, promises will not be kept.  I need to rise above the adversities, and serve my spouse.

c)      I expect my children to obey me.  They will rebel at times.  I must rise above the adversity, disciple to the truth, serve them by diligently helping them understand and obey the truth and love them to the end.

d)      I expect people in America to keep conservative values.  Many do not.  I need to rise above the adversity and disciple those who will respond to the truth until the end of my opportunities to disciple.

e)      I expect people whom I have disciple to respond and want to disciple others.  It often doesn’t happen.  The result is not the key as much as me being faithful, available to be used by God, intentional in discipling, teachable myself and Holy Spirit controlled.

6)      How can you learn to discern what are godly expectations for schooling, occupation, marriage, family and retirement?  How does that impact your relationships?   Godly expectations:

a)      Study Scripture to know God’s holiness and truth in each area.

b)      Seeking the Holy Spirit’s illumination to discern God’s way versus man’s way.

c)      Study Scripture to understand the growth process and what to expect from people. 

d)     Trust God with the outcome of circumstances, because he knows God can work any situation for good (Rom. 8:28).

e)      Trust God to work in a disciple’s heart to respond and walk worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:10) to be complete in Christ (Col. 2:9-10).

f)       Consider the eternal perspective for each area to what God would want for each area. 

g)      Consider that in each area, God’s mandates of the Great Commandment and Commission are still the important issue, not my personal desires or wants.

h)      Ask other wise persons for accountability to keep growing in these areas.

i)        If I’m not growing, I won’t learn blind spots or grow to become a spiritual parent.

j)        I’ll struggle through some relationships because I won’t understand some of the dynamics of conflict in relationships.

k)      I keep certain close relationships, because they are comfortable, but I’ll avoid others, because I don’t learn how to love them as Jesus does.

 

 

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