Being involved in any relationship opens us up to disappointment. Whether you are a parent, child, sibling, employee, church member, or friend you have lived through relational disappointments. Investing in others becomes increasingly difficult when our eyes have become distorted through the brokenhearted tears of disappointment. How does Scripture encourage us to walk through times of brokenheartedness? How does God instruct us to deal with disappointment in relationships?
Perhaps you are living vicariously through your children or you depend too much on how your spouse responds to you. Maybe you've made an idol out of a person in authority over you and you’ve come to expect perfection from them. Each of these scenarios is a blueprint for disappointment.
Many times when I’m disappointed in a relationship it is because I am trying to control something that I have no authority over. Once we know that we have fulfilled our responsibility in any relationship, we must turn over the care of it to God. Phil. 4:6-7 reminds us, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." There is no peace in disappointment. Once we know that we have fulfilled our relational duties in kindness and love, it is time to cast the care of the situation where it belongs: into the hands of our loving Savior.
When we are disappointed by a relationship, we often experience confusion about our ongoing role in the relationship. We might feel that someone has not kept their end of the bargain and we don’t know where we stand as a result. Disappointment can bring disillusionment. We just don’t know who we are or who we should be in the current situation. During these times we have the unique opportunity to reappoint ourselves. We must always use God's thoughts and ways as a compass to redirect our gaze onto him. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He will direct us through any disappointment and bring us to the other side when we put our trust in him. Psalm 61:2-3 says, "from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy." Reorient yourself to be found in God, it is only in him that we are free from all disappointment.
We are not meant to experience total satisfaction from any relationship other than the one with our creator. When we choose to remember this, we place the correct pressure on our other relationships. Our expectations are fixed on God rather than on others; and our hope is found in him. As Romans 5:5 (NLT) tells us, "And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."