This all started with a question about tips for dating and has developed into a full-blown discussion. As I’ve said, I’m not an expert on the topic, just someone trying to share what I’ve found to be true. So here’s what I’ve got for you next:
Healthy Dating Principle #3: Recognize that no other person can complete you.
Familiar with this scene from the movie Jerry McGuire?
The first time I saw it I was bawling like a baby and wishing for my own other half. Hollywood does a great job of marketing romantic relationships as the answer to our greatest longings in life.
Slight problem with that. As much as I may WANT my husband to complete me, fulfill my every wish and desire, and make me feel whole… he can’t. He’s not a genie. He’s not a character in a movie. And he was not the one designed to fill that longing in my heart.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m in crazy love with my husband. I am so blessed in my marriage, but I’ve had to come to the realization that the role of #1 in my heart belongs to my Heavenly Father, and no one else. That’s a great thing because God is the only one who can succeed in that role! No one person can complete me. No one person can complete you.
The temptation is to buy into the idea that a boyfriend/husband/relationship will bring us ultimate satisfaction and happiness. That is so much pressure to put onto an imperfect person! I cannot make someone fulfilled or satisfied with life. I’m going to mess up along the way.
But if no one person can complete us, how do we go about living as though we believe it?
1. Keep yourself from watching movies that mess you up. “Ever After” is my mess up movie. It’s a Cinderella story and I absolutely lose it every time I watch Drew Barrymore’s character be rescued. The movie would leave me in a depressed state for days! I was longing to feel rescued, protected, and wanted. Movies may not mess you up – but I know a lot of women who can’t watch “Sweet Home Alabama” without feeling depressed when it’s over. Certain movies, books, and TV shows only serve to bring on heartache. Be strong enough to recognize when your entertainment isn’t really entertaining but hurting. (This one is totally your call. Just a suggestion.)
2. Remember that life doesn’t start when you have someone. Jesus reminds that He is the source of life in John 10:10: “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (MSG)
3. Recognize that God is GOOD even when our relationship status doesn’t reflect what we truly want. We are called to live for Him whether we are married or single. Paul speaks of this contentment in 1 Corinthians 7:17: “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.” (MSG)
No other person or thing can fill you up and complete you. God is the only one who has the power to bring you to joyful completion.
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:4-6 (NIV)