In your everyday life, whom or what do you seek first and most to fulfill your needs for acceptance, identity, security and purpose?
You may have realized that the correct answer is something like, “I seek God first and more than anyone else or anything to meet my deepest needs.”
The fact is that most people cannot honestly give that answer, and that is the root of their problems.
The reason for this is simple. Most people never come to Jesus to get their deepest needs met, so they never find what they so desperately seek in life or marriage. The Scriptures at the beginning of this chapter tell us that Jesus has the ability to give us spiritual drink and food to satisfy our inner longings. He invites us to come to Him for true fulfillment. He promises us complete satisfaction if we do that.
As a matter of fact, when God created humans in His image, He built in a “Jesus-sized” hole from which all of those deepest needs stem. Because of that, no human being or anything else on Earth can satisfy those needs but Jesus. Those needs were designed to draw you to the One whom God intended to fulfill you as a person.
Unfortunately, most people choose to seek inner satisfaction through a “quicker and surer method.” They get married and expect their spouses to do for them what only Jesus can do. Or, perhaps, children have grown up being trained to look to their parents for everything.
Sometimes, teenagers — especially girls — deliberately have babies, thinking that then they will have someone to love them. Others move from job to job or place to place, seeking possible fulfillment, but these are only diversions. They never satisfy.
The first thing you need to understand in order for your marriage to work is this simple truth: No human being can meet your deepest needs. Only God can. Of course, if you are operating in God’s will, you can find someone who will encourage you, or who will be God’s vessel to help you experience love in a real way. However, even the most spiritual person on Earth is very mortal and, therefore, quite limited. When you put too much hope in a person, you always are headed for disappointment and, sometimes, even for disaster!
Many marriages end in disillusionment or, even worse, divorce because the parties involved enter the relationship with unrealistic expectations, not because they are evil or even irresponsible. Each expects the other to meet his or her deepest needs. When they realize this is not happening, the real trouble begins. Whenever a Christian does not allow God to meet his or her deepest needs, that person automatically transfers the expectation for fulfillment to the closest person or resource, the one in whom the most hope has been placed. For most people, that person is a spouse. When the expectation of having deep needs met is transferred to anyone or anything other than God, three main problems are created:
- You always will be disappointed with the results, no matter how well things go.
- You will lack the inner resources you need to love others the way you should and to confront life successfully.
- You almost always will be hurt and offended eventually by the one in whom you invested all your trust, because that one cannot possibly meet your deepest needs.
Sometimes the reaction to these problems is an underlying frustration that is manageable. More often, it is an outward anger that is destructive. God’s Word tells us what we can expect if we fall into the trap of trusting anyone or anything but Him to satisfy those needs He placed within us to point us to Him.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool (Prov. 28:26).
Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength (Jer. 17:5).
He who trusts in his riches will fall (Prov. 11:28).
Compare those warnings with the promises made to those who trust in God:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit (Jer. 17:7-8).
Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever (Ps. 125:1).
He who trusts in the Lord will be exalted (Prov. 29:25).
In distinguishing among trusting in people, things or God to meet our deepest needs, there are some insurmountable differences. The contrasts are very clear and unmistakable.
From Marriage on the Rock, © 2007 by Jimmy Evans Published by Regal Books, www.regalbooks.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.