Can I talk out of both sides of my mouth for a second?
In a previous post, I explained how Adam’s aloneness in the Garden reveals that we should view our spouse as God’s property, not our own, to love and sacrificially serve.
And further, we should reject the idea of primarily seeing our spouse as an object to meet our needs because Christ is sufficient to provide us everything we need for this life (2 Peter 1:3).
So, someone could summarize my last post by saying, “God is ALL we need”. And, depending on what they mean by that statement they might be summarizing correctly. But let me clarify…
Is God all we need?
On one hand, yes.
God is all powerful and all knowing (Job 9:4, 12:13) and is therefore completely able to know exactly what we need, when we need it, and he additional has the power to meet every one of those needs. Philippians 4:19 explains this nicely:
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
So, God is able to provide all we really need and we should look primarily to him to satisfy all that we long for.
But, if God is all we need, how should we view our earthly relationships, including marriage?
Did God only provide other people in our life to give us an opportunity to serve them, or should we look to others to meet our needs as well?
Consider this passage from 1 Corinthians 12 starting in verse 12 as Paul explains God’s desire for how we should view relationships, including marriage:
The body is a unit…the body is not made up of one part but of many…The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
This passage clearly explains our need for other people in addition to God.
When I was going through being separated from Star 18 years ago, God provided a community of people around me to comfort me, pray for me, encourage me, and instruct me. I’ll forever be grateful to that group of men at my work, my family, and my church for being a tangible picture of “Jesus” to me.
People come to me for counseling all day every day for the exact same things. Its not that God isn’t enough for them. He is! But, God desires for us to live in community with each other so we can experience the giving and receiving nature of interdependent relationships.
How does this translate in to Marriage and what it looks like to love your spouse?
- Believe that our spouse has needs that God desires to be met through you.
- Look for ways to sacrificially serve your spouse – Mark 10:45
- Ask your spouse what they need from you and ask them what it looks like for us to meet that need
Secondly, as it relates to your own needs:
- Acknowledge that God is the perfect supplier of your needs, and look to him first, not your spouse, to supply those needs.
- Believe that God desires to use your spouse, more than any other human being, to meet your needs.
- Communicate to your spouse what you need from them.
If 2 people live the above truths out in everyday life, their relationship will thrive.
So, God is truly all we need.
But, God often times chooses to work through people to supply your needs.
Hans co-founded Marriage Revolution with his wife, Star, in 2010. He counsels couples in The Woodlands, TX, speaks at marriage conferences around the country, and provides leadership and direction to Marriage Revolution.