Encouragement for Today - Sept. 5, 2012


Lynn Cowell

September 5, 2012

Filling the Gaps?
Lynn Cowell

"I made you. I am now your husband. My name is The Lord Who Rules Over All. I am the Holy One of Israel. I have set you free. I am the God of the whole earth." Isaiah 54:5 (NIRV)

I never thought I'd marry the guy I had crushed on since sixth grade and whose name I doodled on all my folders! Twenty-five years later, while far from perfect and at times under lots of parenting pressure, there is one secret that has helped make our marriage strong. A secret I'm passing on to our two teenage girls.

A man can never fill the love gap in your heart.

Most women have a need to nurture and a desire to receive care in return. We long to have the places in our heart that are hungry for love filled. And while people can help fill those gaps, they can never really satisfy. Our heart will always search for the One our soul was created to love and be loved by.

Isaiah 54:5 tells us who can fill our love gap: the Lord, our Maker and our Husband.

He's the One who is perfect and loves perfectly. Today's key verse goes on to say we're set free to be satisfied by His love instead of searching to be filled by another.

Yet, growing up, messages from movies, television, songs and books tried to convince us the perfect man was out there. Princess-like fantasies of being adored, affirmed, and attended to grew in our minds. "If only he would pay attention to me. If only he would say I am his, then I would really be happy." Radio songs reinforced our notions of a guy being our all-in-all. "I'm forever yours ... faithfully."

For some of us, the man we married has not stood by us faithfully. For others, there hasn't been a man who's said, "I do." Where does this leave us? Are we stuck feeling empty or broken for life?

I have walked beside several friends who've dreamed of picket fences, two kids and a dog. Yet their dreams have not come true. But while on a journey they never intended or would have chosen, they too have found:

No man can ever fill the love gap in their heart.

No man but one ... Love Himself.

Seeking Jesus has helped heal my loneliness and rejection and replace them with joy and acceptance. I also believe that looking to Him each day to meet my need for affirmation has taken the pressure off my husband.

Recently I shared this truth with a friend as she wept, "If I had only known that my husband couldn't meet all of my needs! If I had only known that Jesus alone could fill me with the love I was missing ... I wouldn't have divorced my husband last year."

My heart broke! Oh that we would grasp this truth today and share it with the young women in our lives. No matter what comes, we can find true love; a love that will never disappoint, never leave and never reject. A faithful love that can fill the gaps in our hearts.

Dear Lord, set me free to place my needs for affirmation, approval and affection in You. I know You will never disappoint, leave or reject me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Help a teen girl in your life hear truth like today's every day of the year! Lynn's new book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You is a great resource! And if you purchase it today, you'll receive over $75 in free materials! More details here.

Sign up for Lynn's FREE "7-day Faith Builder" - a week's worth of free devotions to share with your daughter, or another girl you know, to help build her faith and confidence.

Visit Lynn's website to find out how you can be intentional about sharing God's truths with your child. She's giving away a "Faith Builder" gift pack too!

Reflect and Respond:
No man can ever fill the love gap in your heart. No man but One ... Love Himself.

Write a list of ways that you look to other people to fill the love gap in your heart.

Power Verses:
Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)

Song of Solomon 2:16a, "My beloved is mine and I am his." (NIV)

© 2012 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 05 September 2012.