July 23rd 2014 No comments yet
Most people, Christian or not, have been raised to believe that a spouse will make them complete. After all, God said it is not good for man to be alone—so He created woman. Then God declared that when a couple marries, they leave their parents, cleave to their spouse, and become one flesh.
It is natural to conclude that because Adam needed Eve and because the two became one flesh, then we are incomplete until we find a spouse.
But that is not so.
The word completion is not used in conjunction with marriage in the Bible. In fact, when the Bible does talk about being complete, it never references marriage. Marriage and completion are separate; neither one is contingent upon the other.
You don’t have to be married to be complete.
God’s definition of completion is found in Christ alone. It is a lifelong process He works in us through temptations, tests of faith, the work of patience (James 1:4), denial of self, and reliance on the Holy Spirit. It is not found in marriage to a person, but in our transformation into the image of Jesus Christ.
We have helped generate a false expectation of marriage. We have taught our children that a husband completes his wife, and a wife completes her husband, and have made them, and ourselves, feel that we cannot be complete human beings without a spouse. This damages our relationships in several ways.
First, it puts unrealistic expectations on our spouses. When we do get married, we expect our spouses to complete us, to meet our every need, to make us happy. We give them a responsibility that God did not give them. When they fail to make us feel like complete individuals, we face disappointment, even disillusionment. We feel that our spouses have failed, that we have failed, that perhaps we have married the wrong person. Marriages end because we enter them with selfish motivations when we ought to enter them with selfless love.
This idea also hurts the single Christian. When we seek completion in a spouse but do not find one right away, we feel deserted to an incomplete state. We feel less-than our married friends. We cannot be happy because we cannot be complete until we have found someone to marry. These feelings lead to desperation, to badly made marriages, to mistakes and regret.
Marriage is a wonderful, God-ordained institution. But we have turned it into an idol—expecting it to meet the needs that God alone can meet. The truth is being single does not make you incomplete and being married does not make you complete.
Marriage is the joining of two separate individuals into one flesh. Because they have been united as one, if they are separated from each other, their union is then incomplete. The institution of marriage is God’s representation of Christ and the church (Christ is the bridegroom, and the church is His bride). It is holy, sacred, and beautiful.
But something happened. Adam and Eve sinned. This perfect, complete couple was no longer perfect nor complete. They were flawed, sinful, and dying. Adam could not complete Eve, and Eve could not complete Adam—not fully. They were still united as one flesh, but their one flesh needed more—it needed a Savior.
We need each other, we need relationships, and most of us do, at some point, need a spouse. But God alone can complete us.
Don’t wait to be complete. Surrender your life to Christ—not just your eternal life, but your life here on earth, your life now. Seek to know Him. Seek to be made like Him. Allow Him to make you into the person He created you to be—complete in Him.
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