Be Prepared: Your Spouse Is Going to be a Disappointment
Sometimes I stumble across a truth that, while incredibly simple, is far reaching in scope. I have a moment of understanding and clarity that causes me to look deeply into my soul and examine my very way of thinking. And it is one that impacts so many lives that I feel compelled to share it.
I got an "e-mail devotion" today from Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today that I just had to share with you. I love this guy...and not just because he is a Texan. It is because his insights and resources are usually dead on.
So read his thoughts in the devotion below. And don't just scan through it thinking, "Yeah, I know this." Read it asking God to reveal where you may have been counting on your spouse to provide something for you that can only come from God.
Here's a question I want you to think about and answer honestly: Who meets your deepest needs? In other words, on a daily basis, on whom do you rely the most and to whom do you go first to get your deepest needs met?
All human beings seek satisfaction for four basic needs: Acceptance (knowing we're loved and needed by others), Identity (knowing we are individually significant), Security (knowing we are protected and provided for), and Purpose (knowing we have a reason for living).
We spend our lives trying to get these needs met by a variety of sources, including ourselves, spouses, friends, children, careers, churches, parents, God, money, material possessions—and any combination of these things.
So who meets your needs? Because this is a devotional, you're probably looking at my list of possible sources above, and thinking: I know what I'm supposed to answer. I'm supposed to say that God, or Jesus, meets my deepest needs.
You're correct, of course. The problem is that most people cannot honestly give that answer. We want a “quicker and surer” method for satisfaction. Many move from job to job and place to place seeking fulfillment. Or we get married and expect our spouses to do for us what only Jesus can do. We look for our families and children to meet our needs.
But these are only diversions. They never satisfy.
The first thing you need to understand in order for your marriage to be healthy and strong is that no human being can meet your deepest needs. Only God can.
If you are operating within God's will, you can find a spouse who will encourage you and help you experience love in a real way. And that's wonderful. But even the most spiritual person on Earth is mortal, and therefore limited. When you put too much hope in a person, you are headed for disappointment.
Many marriages end in disillusionment or divorce not because the husband and/or wife are evil or irresponsible, but because they enter the relationship with unrealistic expectations. The expect the other to meet their deepest needs.
The trouble begins when this doesn't happen. And here's the kicker: it never will happen. Never.
Because only God can meet our needs for acceptance, identity, security, and purpose. In John 6:35, Jesus says, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."
Jesus has the ability to give us spiritual food and drink to satisfy our inner longings. He invites us to come to Him for true fulfillment and promises us complete satisfaction if we seek him.
So let's ask the question again: Who meets your deepest needs? How you answer may determine not just your spiritual health, but also the health of your marriage.