A favorite premarital counseling exercise of mine is to have each person write up a list of 15-20 things they expect of their partner. Those expectations can be big (like contributing to household income) or small (like not leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor). Couples report that it usually takes a while to get started, but then the list grows quickly. My hope is that as they share their lists, they will understand one another a little more deeply, and maybe even avert a future conflict. As a wise person once said, “Unspoken expectations are disappointments waiting to happen.”
In Micah 6:8, God is perfectly clear about what is expected of God’s people: that we will do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. Are these things always easy to do? Of course not. Nor are they one-time accomplishments to be completed and checked off a list. But they can help us understand God’s heart, and shape our own hearts as we put them into practice.
Lord, help me live up to your expectations today as I encounter those in need of your mercy and love. Amen.