Two halves make a whole, right?
Well, that may be true in math, but not in marriage.
It takes two whole people to build a relationship. ½ + ½ = one whole only works in math.
It’s only true in movies
I guess a lot of people have seen this part of the movie Jerry Maguire. I’m not a big movie person, and I don’t think I’ve ever watched this one. That’s for the best, though, because this is a really terrible quote.
As a general rule, movies don’t give us the best marriage advice. Yet we believe this line anyway because the quote has become a part of today’s Pop culture. It tells us there is a perfect person for us who will be able to complete us by filling in any holes we feel like we have in our lives.
Expecting your spouse to “complete you” is nothing but a movie quote that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. But then your partner doesn’t live up to the expectations, and you question whether you may have picked the wrong person.
This is the same Pop culture that tells us, “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you,” is a valid statement and reason for divorce. Marriage advice from the world will do nothing but tear you down. Marriage is God’s plan, and you should only take advice from Him and based on His Word.
A Destructive Mindset
When you rely on your spouse to fill all the gaps in your life, you expect them to be something they can never be. You won’t ever have this ideal, imaginary spouse you want, and you will become frustrated. They get discouraged because they can’t live up to what you expect, and this takes your marriage down a dangerous road.
Relying entirely on your spouse to make you complete can turn into a codependent relationship. Instead of learning more from Jesus and applying that knowledge to our lives so we can grow and mature, we remain stagnant and our relationship struggles.
There’s a much better way to go about this. People aren’t made to fill the God-sized holes in other people’s lives.
Rely on Jesus to Complete You
The Greek word for complete is teleios. The word implies perfection. The definitions of the word found in Strong’s Greek Lexicon (https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/teleios.html) are as follows:
- brought to its end, finished
- wanting nothing necessary to completeness
- that which is perfect
- consummate human integrity and virtue of men
Look at how this applies in this verse:
Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need. James 1:4
God is making us perfect and complete. He fills all the empty places in our hearts.
Many people have an aching hollowness in their lives they don’t understand. They try everything they can think of to fill it. One acceptable answer for this in today’s society is marrying different people to see if they are the one who will complete them. If spouse number one doesn’t work, just move on and find spouse number two!
To feel complete in your marriage, you have to feel complete in Christ. You have to understand that you received everything you need to be whole the moment Jesus died on the Cross for you. Often we don’t feel that completion, and for a lot of us, that may happen most of the time.
Your needs are being met every day by a God who loves you and wants you to live a life worth living and have a marriage worth celebrating.
Let Him Complete You
What if you’re not feeling complete? What can you do?
Allow Christ to make you aware of what he has for you by taking responsibility for your spiritual growth. You can’t just make a wish and magically expect to feel whole. It takes commitment.
Spending time in prayer and Bible study, as cliche as that sounds sometimes, will lead you toward the complete feeling you are craving. Let God reshape you and polish you during your times with Him. He will change your mindset about life, love, and marriage and make it easier for you to accept others’ flaws.
The Amazing Results
Once you understand that only Jesus completes you, you will realize your spouse cannot do that, nor should you expect them to.
Look at all Christ does to complete you!
- Christ can work in every area of our lives. Your spouse can’t.
- Christ can supply every need. Your spouse can’t.
- He is all sufficient. Your spouse isn’t.
- Jesus has unlimited strength. Your spouse doesn’t.
- He has the answers to all your problems. Your spouse doesn’t have them.
- He has infinite grace. Your spouse doesn’t.
- Jesus fills our hollowness. Your spouse can’t.
- Source of all knowledge. Your spouse isn’t.
Jesus has all the joy, peace, meaning, value, purpose, hope, security, and fulfillment you could ever need. You just need to tap into the source instead of relying on people, especially your spouse, to meet all those needs.
This new understanding of where your completion comes from will help you create an interdependent relationship in your marriage where you meet each other’s needs with equality and balance.
And when feel complete through the work of Christ, He will enable you to pass everything you have received from Him on to your spouse. Your marriage will be more satisfying because you are no longer trying to get something from your spouse that they are, quite simply, not capable of giving you.
And you’ll know it’s okay that they can’t complete you. You have wisely given Jesus that role in your life.
So, don’t try to get something from your spouse they can’t provide, no matter how much they want to. Improve your marriage by spending time with Jesus and let Him fill you. Remember, the best marriages are made up of two people who are made whole through their relationship with Jesus.