Unrealistic and Unattainable Expectations

Wise men learn from wiser men whether they may be younger or older than you or I, we gratefully and gracefully grow as the result of their God given wisdom.  Having said that I’m going to do something I’ve never done in my blog.  I’m going to share at length, someone else’s words of wisdom from a highly recommended teacher and author Paul David Tripp.  Why, because it’s at the heart of what God is trying to do in our relationships and I couldn’t have said it better.

Unrealistic and Unattainable Expectations

By Paul David Tripp

If you hook the hope of your heart to the people around you, you will always be disappointed.    No one is able to be your personal messiah.

You should be thankful for the people whom God places in your life.  You should love them dearly. You should treat them with honor and respect. You should do all you can to maintain the unity and peace of your relationships with them. You should be willing to give to and serve them. You should be open to them as they speak into your life. You should recognize that you were design to live in loving community with others like them. But you cannot look to them to provide for you what only God can provide.

There are many, many Christian relationships that are hurtful, painful, and marked with conflict and disappointment because the people in those relationships are placing a burden on those relationships that no human relationship can bear.

  • No person can be the source of your identity.
  • No one can be the basis of your happiness.
  • No individual can give you a reason to get up in the morning and continue.
  • No loved one can be the carrier of your hope.
  • No one is able to change you from the inside out.
  • No human being can alter your past.
  • No person is able to atone for your wrong doings.
  • No one can give your heart peace and rest.


Asking another human being to do those things is like requiring him to be the fourth member of the Trinity, and then judging him when he falls short.  It simply cannot and will not work. You see, it is vital to remember that human love is a wonderful thing, but you will only ever find life – real, life-changing, soul-satisfying life – in a vertical relationship.  You should enjoy human love, but you should look to God for your spiritual vitality and strength.  You should commit to long-term loving, mutually serving relationships, but you must remember that only God can save you, change you, and deliver you from you.  You should be willing to make sacrifices of love for others, but you should place your hope only in the once-for-all sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Could it be that the disappointment you experience in your relationship is the product of unrealistic and unattainable expectations?  Could it be that you have unwittingly put people in God’s place? Could it be that you ask the person next to you to do for you what only God can do? There is but one Savior, and he is yours forever. You don’t need to put that burden on the person next to you.

For further study and encouragement read: 2 Timothy 4:9-18

I hope that this excerpt from Paul David Tripp’s devotional, “New Morning Mercies is as encouraging to you as it is for me.  I HIGHLY recommend that you get this devotional.  Here is a link to the devotional on his website: https://store.paultripp.com/collections/best-sellers/products/new-morning-mercies-a-daily-gospel-devotional-classic-edition


If you liked this blog, don’t forget to sign up to receive blogs posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Additional resources, like this blog, from  TransformingFamilies.org, have been developed to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the man or woman God created you to be.

I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘rturner@transformingfamilies.org’.  My hope for you is that God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God through these blogs, references, and resources.

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