You Won’t Complete Me
This coming Sunday I am wrapping up a sermon series on love, sex and marriage. It has been a fun series to teach and I’m hoping that it has been helpful for the people I love and serve at Faith.
Perhaps one of the most profound discoveries for me during this series has been the idea that Liz will never complete me. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an important role in my life. But her role isn’t to satisfy the longings that rest in my soul. Instead, her role is to be by my side and wait with me as I wait for God to fulfill his promises to me.
I’m not exactly sure where I grabbed a hold of this idea of another person completing me, but I’m pretty sure it came from a movie I saw in high school. When I was in high school I remember seeing Jerry Maguire. In the movie there is this famous scene in which Jerry tells his girlfriend Dorthy that she completes him. It is a pretty powerful scene in the movie and back then couples everywhere at my high school were saying it to each other. I’m pretty sure I wrote the sentiment to my girlfriend in her year book. But now that I’ve gone through this series on love, sex and marriage I have a new name for Jerry’s famous words: idolatry.
Let me explain. In the Bible we are told that God alone completes us and that our longings for completion will not be satisfied until we see him face to face. So in the Bible we are told that a great day is coming and on this day there will be a wedding in heaven and we will be reunited with Jesus. On this day our faith will become sight, our longings will be satisfied, and our world will be put right. There is no question in the Bible that on this day something in our souls will be healed as we are reunited with our Creator.
Here is the kicker though. This day hasn’t happened yet, which means there are deep longings for completeness in every human heart.
In our day many people have begun looking to other people to resolve these longings. This is pretty destructive because a person cannot do what only God can do. After all when we look to another person to complete us we place a burden on them that they cannot carry. Then when we discover that they can’t carry the burden we resent them and the relationship begins to unravel.
So here is what I am trying to do in my relationship with Liz. I am trying to stop expecting so much from her.
I know this doesn’t sound as romantic as Jerry’s words to Dorthy, but I think they are more healthy and full of beauty. Honestly I don’t know of a better way to move forward than for two people to stop using each other to resolve their longings and instead start encouraging one another to wait for God to fulfill his promises.
So from now on, I am trying to live with Liz in light of the reality that someday my deepest longings will be met by God and so her role isn’t to resolve my longings, instead her role is to wait with me and to encourage me as I wait for God to keep his promises to me.