I don’t know if you noticed, but I am a Christian. I read my Bible, pray, take naps on Sunday afternoon instead of sleeping in, etc. I expect that some of you would file yourself in the same category- and that an equal amount of you would not. But because I am a Christian, this is what I know to be the truth:
We are broken.
Some might call this “flawed” some might say “untrustworthy.” But really it all comes down to the same thing, this idea that we are incomplete. It’s probably what drives us to do everything we do. Some of us eat out of loneliness, some feel the need to prove how great we can be, and a lot of us seek completion in another person. Which brings me to a lie I’ve seen a lot of us believe when it comes to relationships. The lie:
Whoever I end up finding & marrying will complete me.
Ah… You had me at “Hello.”
I gotta say, this completion thing is a very appealing lie. There is so much romance and magic wrapped up in these few words. And man, there is SO much danger there, too.
To say that someone is going to complete me is a lie. To hope for as much is setting yourself up for grave disappointment. To put those expectations on someone else is absolutely unfair.
But if I said my wife Jenny completed me, that means I am an incomplete person putting all my hopes for redemption being made right into a person who, like me, also has flaws will not be able to do that. But even more significant; because I am flawed, I have messed up ideas about what I need to be able to feel complete. A spouse will never- never- be able to fulfill everything we need out of life, relationships, and what we crave deep down.
Understand what I’m saying: I love Jenny immensely. And I’m pretty sure she loves me back the same way. But there is no way I can give her everything she needs.
This may be a weak example, but it’s the simplest and therefore most generalizable one I can think of: Sometimes I need to get beat up and tackle people during an ultimate frisbee game. It’s weird, but it is definitely something I need. Now, if I relied on my tiny wife to get what I need out of that, for her to complete me, we’d be in a lot of trouble physically, emotionally, and lawfully.
So I put all my hopes and desires for completion in Jesus. If you’re a Christian, I want to invite you not to put your relationships on a pedestal so high that you rely on those relationships rather than actual redemption. If you’re not a Christian, I’d love to talk with you more about what it means to have a God love you so much that He made a way for you to be inseparable from Him despite your flaws.
This conversation started with a sermon by my pal Justin Woelk. If you like what you read here, check him out.