40 Things To Expect From a Christian Life

40 Things To Expect From a Christian LifeAfter writing in my last post about managing your kids’ expectations when teaching them to listen to God, I realized how little most of us knew what to expect on any faith matter when we became a Christian.

We were taught what to believe.

We were taught what to do with that belief.

We were taught the eternal result of that belief.

But most of us were given very little, if any, expectation of what we might think, feel, hear and experience throughout a life dedicated to Christ. That lack of insight into other believers’ inward experiences sometimes leaves us wondering if our experiences are “normal” for a Christian.

When my kids get older, I want to be mindful of this and equip them with some ideas of what they might expect (good and bad) in their day-to-day Christian life. Here are, based on my experiences, 40 things to expect from a Christian life (while acknowledging that not all of these apply to all people). 

 

40 Things To Expect From a Christian Life 

 

1. The strength of your spiritual life will ebb and flow. Faith is not driven by a simple on/off switch. It’s more of a dimmer switch with a broad spectrum of spiritual light that depends on how much attention you give it.

2. You’ll find that many non-believers take a condescending view of Christianity, implying (or directly saying) that being a Christian is a less critical/less thinking/less intelligent position than believing in nothing.

3. There will be days when nothing seems to make sense about God, Jesus, or the Bible. You’ll later realize those struggling days actually made your faith grow stronger.

4. The connection you’ll have with other believers will be unlike any other.

5. Your church and leaders in your church will let you down. (Always remember that Jesus never said to believe in the church. We are to believe in Him. When the church lets you down, that is a reflection of the imperfect nature of humans in the church, not a reflection of the perfect God we worship through it.)

6. You’ll change your mind about your beliefs on certain theological points multiple times. You’ll realize that’s OK because there are things for which we simply don’t have clear answers.

7. God will seemingly disappear from certain periods of your life. It may be in ordinary times, times of joy or times of pain. But when you look back on those times, you’ll realize more often than not that it was you who moved away from God, not God who moved away from you.

8. You’ll grow to understand that worship is more for you than for God.

9. The joy of serving others will far exceed the joy of serving yourself.

10. You’ll grimace watching Christian public figures fall into (public) sin and seeing the media take every subsequent opportunity to make a mockery of Christian values.

11. Material success will become less important the stronger your faith becomes.

12. Despite believing fundamentally in salvation by faith alone, you’ll sometimes find yourself wondering if you really are “good” enough or are “doing” enough to be saved.

13. You’ll look back on the “small voice” you heard in your head at various times and realize it wasn’t your own.

14. You’ll struggle with how to understand parts of the Old Testament.

15. When you are weaker in your faith, you’ll look at stronger believers and wonder how they got where they are. When you are stronger in your faith, you’ll look at weaker believers and yearn to help pull them closer to God.

16. People who don’t know you’re a Christian will make insulting statements about Christians in front of you.

17. People who know you’re a Christian will make insulting statements about Christians in front of you.

18. You’ll experience both answered prayers and unanswered prayers, but usually won’t understand why the answered prayers were answered and the unanswered prayers were unanswered.

19. As you mature in your faith, you’ll graduate from seeing it as a way to ensure you don’t go to hell to seeing it as a beautiful relationship with your Creator that begins now and stretches into eternity.

20. You’ll wonder why God didn’t choose to make Himself more easily and clearly known.

21. You’ll realize during a sermon on the book of Revelation that you really have no idea what is in the book of Revelation.

22. You’ll remember how fleeting life is and how important faith is every time someone you know passes away.

23. You’ll be blown away by God’s amazing creation while watching a beautiful sunset.

24. You will have new insights every time you read the Bible…even if it’s a passage you have read hundreds of times before. The Bible will speak to you differently in each of life’s seasons.

25. You’ll read the fruits of the Spirit and think your life looks nothing like that. Then you’ll realize how much worse your life would look without the Spirit.

26. Some struggles will be lifelong, requiring constant dependence on the Lord.

27. You’ll feel significant sorrow for not talking to a non-believing loved one or friend more about God before they passed away.

28. You will most truly experience gratitude for the enormity of what it means to be forgiven when you fail the most.

29. You’ll feel angry at God either on your own or on another’s behalf.

30. There will be people you share your faith with many times who never come to know the Lord. (Remember that it’s only your responsibility to share the Gospel, not to convert someone. That’s God’s job.)

31. You’ll see that it is often the people you least expect to become a Christian who do.

32. You’ll be amazed that God continues to love you through so many ups and downs of your faith and so many personal failures.

33. People will accuse you of being arrogant for believing there is only one way to salvation.

34. You’ll read about life after death experiences, people seeing angels, people hearing God’s voice audibly and other “supernatural” encounters and wonder why that never happens to you.

35. If you’re a heart-led Christian, there will be a time when you realize you need to satisfy more of your intellectual questions to strengthen your faith. If you’re a head-led Christian, there will be a time when you realize that all the head knowledge in the world is not sufficient to transform the heart.

36. You won’t always want to pray for your enemies but you’ll understand why you should.

37. Your satisfaction from serving others will come from fulfilling your Godly calling, not from the response of the people you served.

38. You’ll find that most Christians readily admit that they occasionally doubt the existence of God, but that Atheists rarely admit they occasionally doubt His non-existence.

39. You’ll realize there is a giant gulf between knowing about God and knowing God personally…likely because you’ll be stuck in that gulf for a while yourself.

40. You will see that some of the kindest, most extraordinary people in the world refuse to give their life to Jesus, and feel humbled being reminded that it is only through the grace of God that you are saved.

Which of these resonate most for you? What would you add?

20 Comments

  1. Dana Susan Beaskey on April 2, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    I would add you can expect the enemy of our souls to attack because every day is a battle.



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      Excellent addition, thank you Dana!



  2. Shani Pearce on April 2, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    This is a great list. I would add that sometimes God asks us to do unconventional things, things that don’t make sense in our logical minds. However, obedience to His calling is such a great reward.



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 2, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      That’s an awesome one too! Thanks Shani!



  3. Jeannine Melville on April 2, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    What an excellent list…I’m so glad that you started this blog. You always get my mind going.



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 2, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      Thanks so much Jeannine! Always appreciate your comments!



  4. Kevin on April 2, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Hi,
    I really enjoyed reading the list you’ve compiled, but I wonder why you’re making a choice to eliminate 50 percent of potential readers by only writing to “moms” and not “dads” also? Our faith is stronger when we share wisdom with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I could really relate to some of the 40 points, and I’m a christian man. Thanks for posting at any rate!



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 2, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      Hi Kevin, Thanks so much for your comment! I’m curious as to why you think I’m only writing to “moms”? I actually make sure I never address moms specifically in my posts because I do want to be gender neutral. I take it you were just inferring it is “only” for moms because of the blog name? I’ve thought many times that I wish I had named it something more neutral, to be honest (for this very reason). But that said, the blog is for ALL parents – moms AND dads – and I actually have quite a few male subscribers, so please do follow too!



      • amy taormina on May 30, 2012 at 9:07 PM

        this is a wonderful website, thank you!! I came to this site via an ad that asked if i was a Christian Mom, and it IS Christian MOM Thoughts, though you are right, you can use this as a daddy, too. =) again, thank you for doing this site, and Praise God that I found it!!!



  5. suzy on April 3, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    In line about church leaders letting you down, remember to always pray for them because this Job has many unpleasant aspects to it. The congregation only sees what most of us allow them to see in an effort to establish boundaries. We just recently closed our little church because we felt it was time but we are so burned out.



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 15, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Hi Suzy, That’s an excellent point. I’m so sorry to hear that your church had to close, but I’m sure those experiences will lead you even further in your calling. I can only imagine how difficult it is to lead a church! I hope you find the encouragement to continue your ministry in another way.



  6. Christina on April 3, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    This was excellent! Absolutely true. We probably could add a million more things to the list. It’s refreshing to get older and make our own realizations and not be held in a prison of what may had been handed to us. Thank God for Jesus and the Holy Spirit who brings all life and truth to each heart personally. We can add in there that Jesus came to make a home in each one of us and He is the one that we solely depend on. : )



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Thank you Christina! I love what you said – it IS refreshing to know that faith isn’t some stale box of “to dos” that we end up living with forever. I realize that more every day – it is an incredible joureny!



  7. Cheryl on April 3, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    I just stumbled on this site. Thank you for starting this. I could have used guidance like this throughout my life and appreciate that its now available. Enjoyed reading the blog and the comments to. You’ve given me some awesome answers and things to think about. I’ll be checking in regularly.



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Thank you Cheryl! Welcome to the blog…so glad you have found it helpful.



  8. David Crain on April 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    “23. You’ll be blown away by God’s amazing creation while watching a beautiful sunset.”

    I would add 23A. You’ll be blown away when you hear a new born baby’s cry. In that moment, you feel as though eternity just stepped into out temporal place.



    • Natasha @ Christian Mom Thoughts on April 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      That is an excellent addition to the list…so very true.



  9. Kaila on May 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Hello,
    I’m new to this as well. I was on my FB page and saw the button on the side and just really caught my eye and had to click on it. I’m so glad I did. I’ve only been on here for about 20mins now and already have gained so much from not only the post but the commenst as well. Ya’ll really do get the mind going and me as a constantly growing women of the Lord, I believe this page is just gonna help me grow more in my walk with the Lord. What you have started here is just truely nothing short of amazing! I know for sure I’m gonna be checking back reguarly as well. May the good Lord be with each and every one of you.
    God Bless,
    I would add that God always hears our prayers and answeres them, even when they aren’t the answeres we’re looking for. God does sometimes says no, now’s not the time. I’ve learned that and that’s where we need to continue to have that Faith that in due time that no He was saying will turn into a yes. I couldn’t imagine my life without the Lord. Also, being a part of our churches children’s ministry and having 2 little ones myself, they to open our eyes to the Lord. Little kids are great witnesses. I know when a few times when I have down days, my kids will say something or just do something and it’s the Lord working through them for me to see and change my attitude. Anyways, just wanted to add that tid bit. Thanks again
    Kaila



  10. gordon on September 17, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    It seems that this article is directed toward RICH Christians. Or blessed, stable, people, like yourself. There is another threshold of love and hate and discrimination that is even apparent amongst Christians that the media, society created. Its the threshold of fleshly set up and desire to find a perfect mate. Being poor with bad influences and being Christian is a a terrible mix. I first ended up getting mad at God, because I watched pretty much all Christians still obey the pro feminist sexual agenda of pre- determined relationships by the flesh. Being a poor Christian with problems, I am judged amongst Christians as lower, and find it hard to find a partner who doesn’t judge themselves are better / greater on Gods account or set up, to find a partner who is like them, functional, responsible, successful, work ethic, or earthly necessities for self worth. I feel alone in “denying myself” since, most people DO NOT DENY THEMSELVES.They act like THIS life is the kingdom, they want the BEST JOB the BEST LOOKING spouse, THE MOST EUPHORIC EXPERIENCE. it works, its fruitful,.. in a closed society amongst people who are given the same earthly parameters, who the world, especially Christians Judge most of the things of their lives by. The bridge that is jesus is being destroyed because of the ones in power are seeking such a personalized life in every respect. That’s what You get when Your a 3rd generation half breed with 2 parents who were bastards and rebelled by lack of direction/instruction, whos not black enough to be black (physically) or white enough to be white (physically or mentally), amongst these well prepared vessels of Gods love and Grace, built up for glory in themselves and in God. That’s why North America Sucks , if your not born into anything. I don’t wanna try in life anymore because of it. I loathe and do nothing, and I ask God for 1 of 2 things. I ask for the opportunity to change(change like the leper or the blindman) instant and distinguishable, (since when I followed God before the issues I outlined before, I thought they would disappear when I repent and turn to God, which it didn’t. Its amplified, because I was no longer seeking the mammon that people seemed to just receive in their category of abilities and opportunities. But then I thought… would a man of inheritance seek lower employment. would I man who has power, give it up?

    I grew up erroneously beleiving that my lack of blessings, skills and life were to be mended by my good works, by my kindness, by my love for the lowly for being Christian… only to find out that its the EXACT OPPOSITE. being Christian limits your opportunities.

    I guess you can say from an early age, due to being an odd child, I Always wondered why for many things, and begin measuring the things that happened, who dated who and why. why are people friends with certain people and not others? what attracts people to people, and what detracts. and I am speaking on a child/teenager level here. People who don’t even look at the first social injustices don’t ever bother and live their lives ignorantly to it. some probably die in their great surrounding in their lives and don’t even think about others, why would they,if things are normal and fruitful.. right?

    Then It came to me. God did this.. God is the author…

    Then I realized that in order for a blessing to occur their has to be a cursing. or else there would no way to distinguish between the 2. like light and dark. God cant love EEEEVERRRYONEE. or cant show it on the earth now. Especially in north America where its a multicultural mess and identity sensitive and its literally black and white, the experiences…

    It sucks because God really put effort into some people and makes sure they grow, and in the same place, just a blatant disregard for others and to the pit they will go, unless they go against their nature..



  11. Blessing on March 16, 2018 at 8:20 AM

    Lovely write up…God is indeed awesome