I have a theory about relationship. I believe that as you fall deeply, madly, and truly in love with Jesus, as you chase after Him as hard and as fast as you can with every fiber in your being, He brings someone (who is matched perfectly by the way) alongside you to run your race with. Too many people make marriage and family the adventure. Jesus is the adventure, marriage and family are just mile markers along the way. Jesus is the prize. Jesus is the reward. Jesus is the end goal.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 3:14
In this theory, I see relationship as a triangle. A triangle is the most geometrically sound shape there is. It can withstand the most pressure while maintaining its structure. As a man and a woman each seek God, He brings them together on the bottom, and the relationship is built on a firm foundation. But if a man and a woman seek each other first, or in greater proportion than they seek God, the triangle is upside down and the relationship is literally built on no foundation at all. It topples over. And instead of submitting to, and allowing God to flip the triangle and do reconstruction on the relationship, all too often, man and woman try to balance the toppling triangle and hold it up themselves; refusing to put God first, resulting in broken relationship, broken hearts, and broken lives.
I remember a time in the early stages of my relationship with my now husband, when I feared a significant romantic moment was being stolen from me. (I was wanting him to ask me to be his girlfriend, and not just fall into relationship together). I complained to Jesus, “I don’t want this moment stolen. I want a lifelong romance.” God said, “You have one. It’s with Me.” Immediately I felt convicted. Tears welled up in my eyes. Jesus is the lover of my soul, the One who truly satisfies. When I am filled by Him and His love, I am able to love my husband and others from that place. Marriage is 100% give—100% give. If both parties come ready to give, there is enough to go around. If it’s 50% give—50% take, what happens on the days when you’re both taking? There isn’t enough. The only way it is possible for a marriage to succeed is if both people are surrendered to Jesus, letting Him fill them, and love through them.
Part of the curse for Eve was that her desire would be for her husband. “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16. She now desires relationship with man over relationship with God. Satan uses this to tempt women with lies like, “When I’m in a relationship that’s when life will begin.” “I’ll believe I’m valuable and loveable when a man says I am.” “I want to be wanted.” “I just want to be held.” “I have baby fever, I really want kids.” “I’ll be satisfied or content when…relationship, kids, family, etc.” The truth is, if you aren’t satisfied in your life with Jesus now, if He isn’t your everything and enough now, you most definitely won’t be content then. The grass is always greener on the other side. If marriage and kids are so great, why do over half of them end in divorce? Marriage is not the answer. Relationship with another human being is not the answer. Relationship with Jesus is. Seek the Creator, not the created. Desire Him. Love Him. Want Him. Spend time with Him. He will satisfy you. He will romance you, love you, and sweep you off your feet if you let Him. Will you let Him?
“How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God!” –Psalm 36:7
A challenge to those who are single:
If you are married to Jesus, united to Him in spirit (1 Cor. 6:17) are you really single? If you’ve taken the vows of for better or for worse, don’t you belong to Him? Aren’t you His bride? And as His bride, how can you really be single? This thing with being the Bride of Christ is so much deeper than we often comprehend. Paul said in Ephesians 5 that it is a profound mystery, talking about Christ and the Church.
If you are truly united to the Lord in spirit, you are not single. You are not your own, you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). Your life doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to Jesus. Do you realize that this is what marriage is? You are giving yourself to someone else. No longer living unto yourself, but living to love and serve someone else. Do you realize that marriage is denying yourself and loving someone else? Love is selfless you see. It’s putting someone else, and their desires above your own. While marriage is a huge benefit and blessing if both parties are committed to loving the other with the heart of God and being submitted to Him, it is also a great responsibility. God is entrusting you with the care of another heart and soul.
If you are married to Jesus, what does your marriage look like? Are you like a young couple in love and can’t wait to be near your lover? Or, are you more stoic and austere? Amiable, but it’s business as usual—making sure all the chores are done and things are in order, but there’s no romance. Or, is there a coldness and distance between you. You live in the same house, but never see each other. You think you are fulfilling your marital duties, but somewhere you have another lover on the side. See, that last one isn’t really an option with God. Most people would say that isn’t a real marriage, and there is no faking it with God. He detests other lovers and requires purity of heart.
“These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” –Matthew 15:8
What would it take for your relationship with Jesus to look like that of the young lovers? Where you are constantly yearning to be with Him, near to Him and hearing His heart and mind? What would it take for your relationship to be in a place where you say, “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” –Psalm 139:17
The key to finding and having a successful relationship is finding and having Jesus. While you wait for the benefits and blessings of marriage, will you enter into and enjoy the one you have now? With Jesus? In heaven there is no marriage. Jesus is your Husband.
Is He enough for you?
“Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.” –Psalm 63:3