One of the many benefits of college life is that the breaks tend to be significantly longer than those I’ve grown accustomed to in grade school. I get three weeks off for Christmas, and a lovely, ten-day break for Thanksgiving. One of my roommates was so kind as to invite me to her house for Thanksgiving break, and since Fort Meyers only 2 hours east of Sebring, significantly closer than Alaska, I consented.
During our time here in this breezy beach town, Kelsey and I have formed the habit of taking nightly walks . There are few things more conducive to deep conversation than walking with a friend. A few evenings ago, the topic of marriage came up. Kelsey asked me, “What do people who don’t believe in Jesus even look for in a spouse? They don’t have a Biblical standard for marriage, so what kind of person do they look for?”
I pondered this question for a moment, and God gave me an incredible insight: They look for Jesus. They want to marry someone who loves them unconditionally. Someone who gives them a reason to get up in the morning. Someone who fascinates every aspect of their mind. Someone whom they would spend a lifetime trying to understand, knowing they never fully will. Someone the likes of which they’ve never encountered, someone altogether different. Someone whom the can admire, respect, and trust. Someone who is strong enough to lead, yet humble and considerate enough to listen. Someone who really cares about them and will do anything for their good. Someone who’d be willing to die for them. They want to marry Jesus. Just look at our books, movies and fairy tales and you can see that: we want “true love”.
And of course we do, God hard-wired us that way. He put that desire within us. The only trouble is, we can’t marry Jesus. There is no man, no woman on this planet who can fit that mold. Sure, a relationship can have certain aspects of that dream, but no one can fulfill all those needs. And I think that’s one of the main reasons why so many marriages in America fail: People are trying to marry Jesus. They put a burden of unreasonable expectations upon their spouse, and it’s only a matter of time until either party crumbles under the weight, and both people give up, dissapointed and broken-hearted.
So why did God put this deep want within us, if it can never be met? Is He really that cruel? Yes, and no. God has purposefully made it so we cannot find the answer to our deepest desires in another person. It’s impossible. And I think He’s made it this way so that as we experience dissapointment after heart-breaking dissapointment when we try, we realize that He alone can meet that need, since He made it. He alone is Jesus. He put this desire within us so that we will want a relationship with Him. Only if we allow ourselves to the Bride of Christ will we find the deep fulfillment we so desperately long for. Then, and only then, will our other relationships flourish. When our soul-hunger is being fed in a continuous relationship with Jesus, we do not have a burden of unrealistic expectations to place upon someone else. Jesus bears that burden with ease, allowing us to trade our weighty aching for His “rest” (Matt 11:28-30).
As I pondered the answer God gave me, I realized two things:
1) What a profound way of sharing the Gospel. So many of my peers are reeling from the after-effects of divorce, searching for meaning behind it all. And Christ offers that meaning. I have personally experienced such (check out my previous post: Hesed).
And 2) What a blessing it is to be in this relationship with Jesus. How easy it is for me to take my position for granted, when it has come at such a high price. I do not take advantage of this relationship as deeply as I should/could. Thank You, Jesus, for being my Husband. 🙂