Originally published Tuesday, 04 March 2014.
Allison and Greg had been married for more than a decade and had become great friends of mine through the years. Allison was once a single mom who fully understood the challenges of doing it alone. Every chance she got, she raved about what a wonderful husband Greg was and how he had lightened her load when he came into her life. But Allison had been keeping a secret from Greg for some time. She was using credit cards behind his back, and he had just found out about it. He was furious and announced that he was leaving her. He couldn’t take the lies and deceit. I ached with her as she poured out her heart to me and shared of the devastation she was certain would come within the next few days. “But Jennifer…he’s my world. I can’t live without him. He completes me,” she wailed.
In that moment, it hit me. For years, I had heard single girls use that phrase to justify an unhealthy relationship. He completes me. I am nothing without him. I had counseled hundreds of single moms who were certain that the new, eligible, bachelor in our Sunday school class was God’s perfect match for them. But I now realized that this danger didn’t just lie with singles. It was a married couples’ danger, too.
The single mom convinces herself that a Godly man will be the answer to her prayers. The newly-married, young couple (who is so in love that they complete each other’s sentences) think they are destined to a lifetime of marital bliss, since they have found the one that has made their lives whole. Wrong. Completely, utterly wrong!
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 NLT
How unfair that we put a Heavenly expectation on any earthly being! God created us. He put a God-sized hole in our hearts on purpose – so that we would worship him. He wants us in union with him, first. He completes us. There is not a man (or woman) alive that will complete us. Entering into any relationship with this expectation leads to defeat, hurt, and a lifetime of disappointment. Too often, we carry unrealistic measures that are certain to taint any new relationship. We say things like, “If I ever get married again, I will make certain my new husband doesn’t do that.” We search the world over trying to find that perfect man who will remove all our burdens in hopes that we can finally relinquish life’s heavy load. And when he can’t measure up to expectations that no man could fulfill, we are outta there, looking for the next “perfect” man.
It is the reason divorce rates are high. It is the reason we have multiple sexual partners before marriage. It is the reason for extramarital affairs, when we do marry.
Seeking, constantly seeking. What is that thing we need? What is that one thing that will make us whole?
Do you know that Proverbs 31:11 says that a wife will greatly enrich her husband’s life? Think about that for a minute. Enrich means “to add to, to bring great value, to enhance.” A healthy, Proverbs 31 gal is all about bringing value to the one she marries, not looking for that man to complete her soul. Single ladies, be cautious that you have not put unrealistic expectations that once you find the one he will somehow fill that depression, that hurt, that bitterness, that insecurity. Don’t make the new one pay for an old wound.
Likewise, married girls, evaluate your marriages. Has your husband been pushed to vainly attempt to fulfill a void that he couldn’t possibly fill?
(article first appeared on iBelieve.com on 8/20/2013)
Jennifer Maggio is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single moms and womens’ issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who has a God-given passion to see women walking in total freedom. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and has been featured in countless media venues.