You’re sitting there right now, your spouse in the room, and dialog from your television is humming in the background. One of you is focused on the TV; the other is on this page. In your mind, you’re playing over the list of things on your to-do list and perhaps you’re stewing just a little over how few of them your spouse has volunteered to take over. You find yourself thinking back to the earliest days of your relationship when you felt so connected and so sure. Now, however, you are physically together and yet you are feeling deeply alone. Sound familiar? First, let me reassure you, even in the healthiest of marriages, it happens. The question is: how do we fill in that empty feeling?
You “Don’t” Complete Me
Even if you never saw the film Jerry McGuire you’re likely aware of that pivotal relationship moment between Jerry and Dorothy. Standing there, desperate to convey his feelings, Jerry says, “I love you. You…complete… me.” Of course, we connected with that moment because that is what we’ve been conditioned to look for, is it not? We speak of ‘my other half.’ We talk about ‘soul mates.’ Yet, in doing so we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. The reality is no one person can meet all our needs. When we look for another individual to fill that empty place inside, to complete us and make us whole, we are tasking that individual with the impossible.
But He Really Does
The good news is that there is one who can complete us and make us whole. It’s often in these moments of loneliness that we may find ourselves in the best position to commune with Christ. Luke 5:16 says “Jesus withdrew into lonely places and he prayed.” Although Luke is describing a physical place and not emotional loneliness, the point remains that this sense of being on our own opens the door for a more complete and focused time. God doesn’t speak to us with a deep, loud, resonating voice from on high. He comes beside us with a still, small whisper that we hear only when we’re quiet, focused, and listening. When we turn to Him in these moments, we find a wholeness no single person could ever give us.
Challenge: Where are you seeking fulfillment? Ask yourself, are you looking to your marriage to meet needs that you should be looking to Christ to meet? Find your lonely place and pray.