My older sister is getting her Master's in Counseling at Regeant. I'm excited because I can now get free counseling from her! Today she shared something with me that I thought was very wise and important to keep in mind. Everybody has those relationships in their life that disappoint them. Maybe it is a relationship you can (and should) get out of, but maybe it isn't. Maybe it is one of those permanent relationships: a coworker, a family member, or even a friend. What most of us tend to do is live in a fantasy world where we keep hoping that the person will not dissappoint us again. We say things to ourselves like, "maybe this time will be different," or "surely this time they won't hurt me again". When the person follows in their usual behavior, we are let down again, and potentially crushed because we had hoped for something that was simply not our reality. We need to remember to live in reality! If you are honest with yourself about the reality of this person's ways, then it is easier to deal with and you can manage your expectations.
With that said, I am not saying that you cease to pray over a difficult relationship. I am not saying give up on it, or harden your heart towards them and become bitter. By no means! God can perform miracles and change people's hearts! But, oftentimes we cannot. I can't make someone love me or appreciate me. I have learned that it is not emotionally healthy to live in a fantasy world because reality is hurtful or hard to deal with. We have to manage our expectations according to reality and let Christ get control over our emotions. Surrender the hurt feelings and dissapointment to Him! He cares and wants to be the one to comfort us. So many times the first person we run to is not Him, but our spouse, or friend or mother. This is the exact opposite of what we should do. I've heard a quote, "Take it to the throne before you take it to the phone". Amen!
Let's live in reality and be honest with ourselves about the expectations we should have for others.