You’ve been to this wedding. Two of your friends are totally in love. Life for them is a dream. No two people could be more compatible. He finishes her sentences. She sends him to work with lunches tucked with love notes for him to find.
A year later, you ask how her marriage is doing. You listen, but some of her comments cause you to raise your brows. Phrases like, “he’s not not home enough,” “he doesn’t do <insert need here> for me.” Two years later, you hear they are filing for divorce. Ouch.
The Lie: In the movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise’s character declares his love to Dorothy (played by Renée Zellweger) saying, “you complete me.” And all the ladies in the room went “aaaaawe.” Oh, the romance.
The Truth: Truth is, no one can complete us but God.
Jerry Maguire had it wrong. This fictional relationship was grounded on the expectation of “my partner will complete me.” If we’re not careful, we’ll believe the lie that if my spouse loves me, he will meet my needs. We see marriages start off like this all the time.
Let’s examine this. An expectation is something you look forward to that you regard likely to happen. Life happens, kids arrive, schedules get busy, and suddenly that spouse can no longer complete the other. The false expectation isn’t met, and the two people begin to doubt if they were even meant for each other.
The Number 1 Marriage Killer: Idolatry
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” NASB, Exodus 20:2-4
An idol can be our spouse, or dare I say, even our children. That’s a tough one. I’ve witnessed a few loved one’s marriage dissolve because the wife placed her children in front of God and her husband.
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength,and whose heart turns away from the Lord.'” NASB, Jeremiah 17:5
Who do you look for to meet your needs? The Lord is explicit, we cannot depend on man to meet our needs. Who do you look to? Your spouse? Kids? Job? Where do you look to feel good about yourself? If the answer is any thing or anyone else than God, they will fail you. No one is perfect. Only God is perfect (Job 37:16).
There’s Always Hope. The cool thing about God is there’s always hope. God always gives us a way out “if” we turn from our sins, even the sin of idolatry.
If… “My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” NASB, 2 Chronicles 7:14
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” NASB John 7:37-38
The Number 1 Marriage Killer-Preventer: Fullness from God
Fill your love tank with God. The bible says “the one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). You can’t fully love your spouse unconditionally unless you first receive that unconditional love from God.
Spend quality time with the Father with bible study and prayer. He will fill your love tank, and out of your completeness you can pour into your spouse. Chip Judd says our goal is to “not take from one another in our emptiness, but to fill one another with your fullness.” That’s when something beautiful happens. The couple serves one another out of unconditional love. It’s awesome.
related post: No phone zone