You Don't Owe Anyone Anything: A Three-Part Series on Expectations

Friday, June 17, 2016

Anytime I scroll through my Pinterest feed, watch television, or even read a magazine, I often find myself overwhelmed. The more I scroll, watch, or read, the more I see what I "should" be doing. What I "should" look like. And who I "should" be. I find myself longing to be thinner, more organized, more wifely-ish (that's a word, right?). And it's great that I want to be those things...unless the reason I want these things is because the world tells me I have to live by them.

I often feel like I am not enough because I am not organized, I am not the perfect wife (or anywhere close), and I am not the weight I want to be. I overwhelm myself with the fact that I need to go to the gym, I need to start cooking and baking more, and I need to be making more money.

But those aren't the only expectations. There are also perceived expectations. The expectation to always say yes to every extracurricular activity that comes my way. Then, ironically enough, there's the expectation to rest enough so I don't overdo it. There's the expectation to have a tidy home, to eat healthily, yet not over-diet, to exercise but not over-exercise. The expectation to make marriage a priority, and the expectation to use our free time to help others.

There seems to be a never-ending cycle of expectations and contradictory expectations- making it impossible to meet them all.

Can you relate? Do you find yourself swirling back and forth through the vicious cycle, barely keeping your head above water? I know I do! And it often feels like the only option is losing.

You don't owe anyone anything!

But friends, I'd like to encourage you to take heart! The feeling that we can't win is only a lie. However, if we are going to beat that lie, we have to accept something crucial- we don't owe anyone anything!

We don't have to be something, just because that's what someone else wants us to be. We don't have to bow down to the ambiguous rules of society or try to please the masses. Heck, we don't even owe our loved one's anything!

You don't owe anyone anything. Neither do I. We are free to be our own person, and we can quit feeling guilty over every little thing we do "wrong". So what if the other moms don't let their kids watch TV? You don't need to feel guilty for letting your child watch. Who cares that you don't cook. There's no actual rule that says a wife needs to cook. Don't feel bad that you aren't Julia Child!

Hold on before you run with this...

You don't owe anyone anything- I stand by that. But, if you are a believer, you should probably handle this truth a bit differently. You don't owe anyone an explanation or an excuse for being you. Your mom may think that you and your hubby should raise your kids differently, but as long as they are well taken care of, it's ok to respectfully not take your mom's advice. Your dad may want you to go to Princeton, but if you feel called to go to Julliard or tech school, or no college at all, then that's ok. You do not have to go to Princeton.

But when following this- when finding freedom from burdening expectations- remember that there is a big difference between living in freedom and just being a jerk. You can live out your freedom without being rude, without being disrespectful. Realizing that we don't owe anyone anything is not a free pass to become self-centered or rebellious.

And for the Christian, this subject becomes even more complex. How we live in this freedom can affect our relationship with God and whether it's for good or for bad is up to us. Keep watch for my next post in this three-part series to find out what I mean!


  1. So true! We don't owe anyone anything! it's so important to figure out what we want and stick to meeting your own expectations of ourselves and nobody elses!

  2. Yes! The Lord created us uniquely and we don't need to spend our time trying to be someone else!

  3. Those expectations rob us of being who God created us to be~!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great post, thanks for this!!!!

  5. Love your attitude! I found my own happiness knowing that nobody owes anything to anyone!

  6. Great post! There is a lot of conflicting information to get wrapped up in. Although it's frustrating, it's also encouraging to know God's expectations for you is all you need to worry about and He knows better than anyone, so he knows exactly what we could be.

    1. That's a great point, Kayla! God sees our potential and knows how to get us there!

  7. Let me tell you something i learned after 25 years Kristin, there is no such thing as a perfect wife. People give off the perception of what they want you to see, but the reality is all the ugly parts are the parts people hide. You are a great wife. You are the wife you are supposed to be. And i love all the reminders in here that the pressure from the world to be the perfect this or that is all a lie. Thanks for writing this and thanks for being who you are. You are a blessing!

    1. You are so sweet, Christina! I appreciate that. I have a lot of growing to do, but so does everyone else.
      You are a blessing too! And I am glad it encouraged you!

  8. This is super! You are so right to add that as a Christian, we need to be respectful. One of the biggest challenges in life are unfulfilled expectations. IF we can get beyond those - for our selves and what we expect from others - we will find success.