Friday, April 6, 2012

Setting down the Expected Yoke

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  (Matt. 11:30)  This is one of my favorite phrases in the scriptures.

Yesterday I wrote about letting go.  Today I ponder the concept, tied to the "yoke" of the Lord.

I've also been thinking a lot today about the word "expectations".  It seems as though it's an often overlooked concept in the field of emotional healing, but I think it's quite important in our society.

In the world we live in, generally people are *expected* to work for a living, to sustain themselves.  Faithful Christians are expected to obey the commandments.  Wives expect their husbands to participate in their family's lives, and vice versa.  I expect my kids to do their homework with little prodding.  My kids expect me to prepare their meals.  My husband expects me to accomplish a certain amount of housework each day, and I expect him to assist in nightly bedtime routines.

But what happens if none of those expectations are met and fulfilled?

It seems that when we place expectations on others, and they don't follow through, we tend to experience some form of anger.  The expectation has not been met, and instead we have to compensate for the other's negligence.  Why does it create frustration?  If I didn't communicate "rules" with my husband, why should I be upset if he decides not to participate in the bedtime routines?  What gives me the right to impose any frustration on him?  And would I be angry if he weren't home to participate in these expected routines?  I would be prepared to compensate for the work required.  

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  God's expects us to keep his commandments, once we learn them.  If we choose not to fulfill them, to obey them, the burden is on us.  If we choose to follow him, he tells us his yoke is easy.  So why is it that so many Christians feel so overwhelmed in their faith?  What is lacking?  Why the overwhelm?  Why does the burden seem heavy, if the promise is that it is light?  What's missing?

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