"Enforced uniformity confounds civil and religious liberty and denies the principles of Christianity and civility." Roger Williams
In all my years of involvement in organized Christian groups there has been no allowance for freedom. Whether in families or the larger community. Until somewhat recently I couldn't see this...and the same holds true for the society I was born into. What's called freedom really isn't freedom at all. What we've got are just different forms of control or better said...attempts to control. No matter how well intentioned, it just exacerbates the existing deep problems by creating illusions.
“If we accept that God is love, and that it is human beings who are to respond to this love, the explanation is simple. Love cannot be forced, ordered, or made obligatory. It is necessarily free. If God liberates, it is because he expects and hopes that we will come to know him and love him. He cannot lead us to do so by terrorizing us.” Jacques Ellul
"Expectations are one of the dominant ways that we attempt to control our lives, our relationships and God. Largely, they are disappointments waiting to happen. When one has a system of expectations, then ‘I’ become the center of the universe and everything and everyone is subject to my judgment and punishment depending on how they are ‘currently’ meeting up to those expectations (whether my expectations have been communicated or not).
Expectations are all about ‘doing’ … about performance. There is little room for ‘being’ within the web of expectations and ‘being’ has little to offer the one trying to control through expectations. "Who cares about who you are as long as you are doing what I think I need and expect." Expectations are largely a substitute for God, or in some sense, the need we have to play God ourselves.
And remember, ‘control’ is all about ‘fear’.
Letting go of ‘expectations’ is soooo risky; it feels like a free fall since our world was held together by that web, but it is in that ‘risk’ that you find a God who does not meet your expectations (thankfully), but loves you and is involved, and in that ‘risk’ is where ‘faith’ grows. Then we begin to live more in the environment of ‘expectancy’, the edgy, free flowing realm of wonder and surprise." William P Young
To find life it takes some letting go.