Many of us have grown up with a cultural mindset of having to find our “other half.” As if each and every one of us is only half a soul wandering around until we can find that one person who would then make us complete, we tend to live our lives thinking that we cannot be our true and complete selves until that other person comes along.
Well, I may not be an expert at relationships and marriage, but if there is one thing I have learned about how God intended for a Christian union to be, it is that the whole “you complete me” notion is totally wrong and unhealthy.
Why, you may ask? Well let’s take a look at what the Bible says. In Matthew 19:5, Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24, saying that, “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
1+1=1. As mathematically incorrect as it may seem, this is God’s perfect equation, and not ½+½=1. In order for a wholesome union to be formed, each of the two that shall be joined to become one must already be a whole and complete individual by him/herself.
God’s design for marriage is certainly one that fulfills a natural longing for human intimacy and companionship—God created us with such desires and said Himself that it is not good for man to be alone.
Indeed, when two broken people who have experienced the love of Christ in their lives are joined together in matrimony, their union is a beautiful representation of Jesus’ unconditional and self-sacrificial love for His bride, the church. And so there is really nothing wrong in looking and waiting for a life partner who will commit to spending the rest of his/her life alongside you.
But when two half-souls come together expecting the other to do a work of completion, it results in extreme co-dependency and an altogether unhealthy relationship. When both parties find that they are unable to find in the other person what they truly seek deep down, the relationship is bound to lead to much frustration and disappointment.
This is because, although God created us to find love and companionship with that special someone, He also created us to find total, complete fulfillment and satisfaction in Him alone.
No matter how good and strong a relationship between two individuals may be, no human relationship can ever compensate for a relationship with Christ Jesus who is able to fill the void that we all aspire to fill. Whether we are aware of it or not, each of us has an innate longing and desire to form a connection with our Creator.
Thankfully, we can safely say that our Creator seeks to reciprocate such desires! In fact, He wants us more than we could ever want Him. So much so that He descended from His heavenly glory, took on a physical human body, and made Himself accessible to all of mankind throughout history to know Him personally through His death and resurrection.
God, in all His wisdom, gave us His 1+1=1 equation from the very beginning—the moment He created Eve for Adam—not as a suggestion, but with the prior knowledge that ½+½=1 will always be found wanting. As hard as both the halves work at becoming a healthy 1, the absence of Christ as the other halves in each of their lives will always be evident.
For a healthy relationship to grow and blossom, both individuals must be grounded in the common denominator of Christ as their individual and complete fulfillment. When two people who are totally secure in their relationship with Christ come together, it makes for a nice, healthy, fat, and complete 1.
Although the pressure or longing to get hitched may be strong, Jesus wants us to prioritize making Him the first love in our lives. We must first learn to be our own whole person in Christ, with a firm understanding of our identity in the Kingdom of God before attempting to be joined with another who is equally whole.
Just as ½+½= an unhealthy 1, so do 1+½ or ½+1. This is not to say that two halves or one whole and one half are inevitably doomed, as there is always the continuous potential for a ½ to become whole in Christ. Therefore, this is also true for relationships and marriages that have already been established.
Each individual should always be working towards wholeness in Christ so that the union between the two can be that much healthier. Likewise, it is also possible for a 1 to digress back to a ½ if he/she is not walking close with God and should therefore be careful not to become spiritually complacent.
Indeed, both individuals should be continually spurring each other on to wholeness in Christ, instead of attempting to fill that void in the other person that only God can, so that their union will remain solid and unshakeable.
Our God is a relational God. He has intricately woven our human relationships with our relationship with Him in a way that will work, as long as we remember to keep Him firmly etched in the center. So keep that in mind as you go about forming relationships!
Remember that out of all the friendships/relationships you could ever have with anyone, none can compare with the one that Jesus has so generously offered to us, and that involving Him in every human interaction we encounter can only result in an increase in sweetness and beauty!
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