The movie Jerry Maquire came out while I was in college. Many of my peers loved it, but I was never too fond of it. The whole idea of, “You complete me,” just did not resonate with me. But it would be years before I would really understand why.
You see, I was never incomplete.
I look around and see young men and women who feel they must be in a relationship to be whole. They cannot thrive without a significant other by their side. Sadly, that mentality is becoming ingrained in even our young children, as fourth and fifth graders believe they must be in exclusive “relationships.”
Ultimately, they all believe they are incomplete without that relationship.
I could go on and on about the danger of this mentality among our children, youth, and young adults. But, that’s another discussion for another time. For now, I am overwhelmed by the implication this mentality has on the married people of our society.
The idea that we need a spouse for completion makes two presuppositions.
First, it presents the idea that we are incomplete before marriage. Oh, my friends, that is a lie! I said it once, and I will say it again: I was never incomplete. At least, I have not been incomplete since the day I surrendered to Christ’s lordship and He made me whole. Perhaps I was lonely for the type of relationship that can only come from marriage. Maybe certain aspects of my life could never be truly fleshed out without a spouse. But I was not incomplete.
Secondly, this mentality places on our spouses a responsibility they were never meant to carry. They cannot make up for what we lack. If we lack completion, it is because we lack Christ. No human being on earth can fill that hole.
So, if marriage does not complete us, what does it accomplish? After all, the Bible speaks of us as two becoming one. Does that not mean that we fit together like a puzzle?
What if we were to think instead of marriage as a compound?
Think back with me to the basics of high school science. A compound occurs when two elements are combined to form something new. The two elements cannot be easily separated once they are joined. Take water, for instance. Hydrogen and oxygen are elements with their own identities and their own usefulness. But when they come together, they form something brand new – water. Water cannot be used for the purposes hydrogen or oxygen were intended. Neither can hydrogen or oxygen be used in place of water.
Marriage accomplishes the same purpose. When we join together as husband and wife, something new is formed. I can never again be what I was as a single woman. If I try to do so within my marriage, I will only cripple the new creation that God has formed through the union with my husband. If I try to step out of the marriage to reclaim what I once was, I will never succeed. Instead, I will be constantly battling the scars formed by a forced separation. But if I embrace who I am as Doug’s wife and who we are together as a couple, there is much that can be accomplished!
Is there a way you are expecting your spouse to complete you? I encourage you this week to seek that in Christ instead. And watch how that one act will give Him freedom to turn you into a beautiful, fulfilling marriage compound.