They are in their late 40s. They don’t like talking with other families about their adult children. It is just too painful. Besides they really don’t think anyone else would understand.
Many, many people know disappointment.
Do you know disappointment?
- Your children haven’t been to church in years. You are disappointed.
- Your adult son was indicted for fraud and found guilty. You are disappointed.
- Your college age son is living with his girl friend. You had hoped for more. You are disappointed.
- You were just fired from the church where you have served for two years. You are disappointed.
- You have a new boss. She has made it very clear that she has no interest in keeping you in your current position after having worked in this role for two years. You are disappointed.
- Your daughter is pregnant. She has no job and says she isn’t sure who the father is. You are disappointed.
- Your husband received a DUI after rear ending a car on the freeway. You are disappointed.
As an adult, I have learned that disappointment seems to be a part of life. I do not know how to escape it. A disloyal friend. An immoral church leader. A person who lied about you. Are any of these familiar?
Perhaps most difficult of all is the disappointment you may feel about yourself. You may have failed in some way that embarrassed or hurt another. Perhaps you spoke rashly in a fit of anger and now you feel ashamed and embarrassed.
Of course there are disappointments that occur because our expectations are too high. We may have unrealistic expectations for our marriages, our children, and our congregations and so we generally remain disappointed. If someone challenges you and tells you that your expectations of others may be too high, you may immediately become defensive insisting that people ought to do better. It is possible that your expectations are too high. Of course, it is also possible that others choose to turn their head and look the other way to avoid dealing with the sins of our children.
One of the best things I can do as a Christ-follower is to focus on how such disappointment can help me treasure Christ more. Howe can these experiences help me to become more Christ-like? Perhaps what God wants for you and me is to use disappointment as a means to godliness.
Does this take away the pain of disappointment? No. However, such a perspective might help me remember that my disappointments do not move me away from Jesus. In fact, I may cling to him even more.