Growing up in the church I heard a lot of sermons on marriage. Mostly centered around passages like Genesis 1-2 and Ephesians 5. Most of those were broken down even further to detail the wife’s job, not completely to the exclusion of the husband’s, but his was more presented as a role and not a job.
But I digress slightly.
Early in our pre-martial counseling, I was told I had two jobs to do as a wife:
1. Help him.
2. Respect him.
At the end of our pre-martial counseling a third job was added, I was to appreciate him, with an idea of fawning over him and making sure to express my deepest appreciation for every little thing he did.
The church and the world talk a lot about our completing our husband or wife. I’ve heard it described as “he fills my gaps.”
Completeness is only found in Jesus. In Him we are made complete, made whole. That’s what Jesus does. It isn’t my job to make my husband complete. My job as his helper is not to help him be complete, or to do what he can’t. My job as his helper is not even to be who or what he needs and so point him to completeness.
My job is to find my wholeness in Jesus and allow him to be whole in Jesus.
Having a husband does not make me whole and complete. Being in Jesus, His life in me doing (and being) all of His will, His plan, His purpose for His pleasure makes me complete in Him. In this He presents me to our Father whole and complete (holy and blameless).
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him.Ephesians 1:4
that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.Ephesians 5:27
His blood makes me whole. That is how HE presents me to our Father whole, because I am covered in His blood.
Man (and woman) is born broken by sin. Even if nothing else broke them (abandonment, abuse, etc) they would still be broken. We were not created to be broken this way, but our choices broke us that day in the garden. Their brokenness passed down to all of us, but in Him we are complete, we don’t have to work it out, it’s not a gradual thing, our wholeness. It’s not a -eventually-I-will-be-complete-in-Him-because-of-him-thing. Our identity is our immediate reality of being whole, complete. What lacks and needs changing is our perceptions, our thoughts, and our habits. They need to be changed to come in line, and reflect our completeness in Jesus.
and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.Colossians 2:10
Our reality, our identity is complete in Christ Nothing more needs to be added to us to make us whole. He makes us complete, whole in Him.
When we think we need someone else to complete us, we are making an idol of that person. Marriage isn’t about taking two incomplete people and making each one complete. Like taking two halves of an apple, putting them together to get one whole apple.
Marriage is taking two people each one complete in Jesus and loving as completely as He loves because He does all the doing, all the loving. We don’t work to help complete each other, Jesus does. He did. He takes two people complete in Him and together they rely on Him to do the work He has created them to walk in.
The only job God gave Adam, before Eve was created, was to name the animals. Then together they worked to subdue the earth and ruled over it.
Woman cannot complete man and man cannot complete woman. They were not designed for that. But they were designed complete in Christ and through His Life in them to enjoy Him and each other. He is the one who works and completes.
Men and women were created for companionship and re-creation. Not to be god to each other. You are not your spouse’s Holy Spirit. Conviction is His job, not yours. Change is wrought by His hands, His voice, not yours. He might speak through you, but it is Him, never you.
And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom that we may present every man complete in Christ.Colossians 1:28
We are taught our reality. What I can see or feel is not my reality. It might be real, but it is not necessarily truthful. The truth is my circumstances (heart and mind) can change and they do. It does not mean my reality changes because no matter what I think, I am complete in Christ. I stand alone, complete in Him.
As do you.
The pressure is off to complete your spouse. You can just enjoy them.
When we believe we have to complete our spouse there is just work and very little enjoyment in and of them. Every one of their flaws becomes a reminder that we haven’t done our job, because if we had there would be no flaws.
Your reality=Complete In Christ.
Your spouse’s reality=Complete In Christ.
Our reality=Enjoy Him and each other.
This is true for all our relationships. Our job is not to complete or perfect each other, but enjoy as He enjoys,
Yes, we will sin, but relationships are not to point out and take responsibility for those. They are to say, “That is not who you are! You are complete in Christ and that is not how He acts.” They point to Him and our reality as complete in Him because of Him.
So instead of being worked up about doing your job of loving, respecting, providing for, cherishing, nourishing, protecting, helping, appreciating our mates, let’s walk as free people who know they are complete in Jesus because of His life, His death, His blood. In this walking, we are free to be who He created us to be and allow spouses and friends to be who He created them to be.