It might sound weird, but one of the most incredible things Candace has ever said to me is, “You don’t complete me.” I still remember exactly where I was standing when those words sunk deep into my heart and mind. If someone were to ask me, “when did you know for sure you wanted to marry Candace?” I might say it was that very moment.
The biggest danger in a human relationship is falling into the temptation to be the ultimate sense of satisfaction for the person you are in relationship with. It’s most clearly experienced in a romantic relationship and it happens on multiple levels (searching, dating, marriage). But is the goal of being your significant other’s greatest joy of satisfaction really a healthy thing? Or is it potentially destructive?
I would argue it’s ultimately destructive.
If you love someone, you should be most interested in their greatest joy. The best way to build another individual’s joy is to invest yourself in helping them experience Christ to the fullest. To point the one you love in any different direction is not love, it’s actually harmful.
The main reason, at its most basic level, is that humans fail. Christ does not. You may fail as a husband in your serving or in your leadership or in your faithfulness. In fact, you WILL fail as a husband or wife in some way or another. Even if you think you never could fail, external factors like health issues or even death can remove you from being the ultimate fulfillment for your spouse. But Christ never fails. He never leaves. He never forsakes. Are you setting up your spouse for devastation without recovery? If they’re happiness is in you, then the answer is yes.
If you’re married, it’s healthy to evaluate whether you ultimate goal is to be everything for your spouse or if your ultimate goal is to make Christ everything for your spouse. If you’re not married and are seeking a relationship, seek someone who loves Jesus more than they love you. Their joy will not be dependent on your perfection.
Some might take this to mean the pressure is off if it’s not really your ultimate responsibility to make your spouse happy. In reality, the pressure is greater. God calls us to mutually submit to one another in love and to build one another up so that we are boasting in Christ, not ourselves. We are accountable to God for the way we love our spouse. Pointing your spouse mostly to yourself is leading them down the path of idolatry. You, as a spouse, are accountable for that. Talk about pressure!
I’m thankful for a wife who is supremely satisfied in Jesus. If I were not around, she would survive. Not only would she survive, but she would keep her ultimate joy because her contentment, worth and value is found in who she is in Christ. I’m just here to come alongside her and help her lift her eyes and fall harder for her first Love. It’s a tremendous blessing. The greatest earthly blessing I know.