I remember driving home from work one day, somewhere in our second year of marriage, when the speaker on the radio made a revelationary statement: my husband can’t be everything I need him to be. Not that my husband can’t be great. Not that my husband can’t meet my needs. My husband CAN be great and he CAN meet my needs. But he is human, and limited, and well, I have lots of needs. 😉
On a small scale, there are needs that my kids and my girlfriends meet better than my husband. Taking care of my children meets my need to mother and protect. I can take care of my husband, but I shouldn’t mother him. 😉 My husband can be a good listener but he tends to tune out when I’m going on and on about which shoes to wear with my dress (my girlfriends and I love to share pictures of shoes and dresses and discuss things like “femininity and fashion.”)
On a much larger scale, we were each created for a personal relationship with our Creator, and there are needs that only He can meet. It’s not only unrealistic but it’s also unfair to turn to my husband with needs that My Creator is longing to and best able to meet. My husband can assure me that our current struggle will turn out okay and I can turn to him for comfort. But only God can give me true peace about it. Likewise, God is best able to give wisdom and guidance, love and joy, security and hope. I can confide and trust in my husband, but he can’t do it alone, and I must remember not to demand of him that he tries to fill the role that God is there to fill for me.
A few years ago I picked up a copy of Heidi St. John’s, “The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance: Nurturing Your Marriage Through the Homeschool Years,” and I only got about halfway through it before I put it down and never got back to it. I picked it up last fall to read it again, and AGAIN, I got distracted. Two days ago I started over at the beginning (this time I’m GOING to finish!,) and I came upon a similar statement from Heidi in the first chapter. She describes a similar conversation with her mom after she got married and then she says, “..we all have profound needs that cry out to be satisfied.”
Heidi goes on to say, “As the Lord becomes our source of strength, we find refreshment for our spirit.” And then, “..just like marriage is the foundational relationship in the home, our relationship with Christ is foundational to our very being. It is what sustains us.” And then finally, “As you find that your strength comes from Him, you will discover that out of the overflow of the heart, your love for your husband will grow.” Reading this was a good reminder for me.
Dear friends, I encourage you, as you go about your business this week, and as you turn to your husband for friendship, comfort, guidance, wisdom, peace and love — as you should — that you remember to turn also to the Lord, to seek Him throughout your day, our Provider, our Rock, our Hope. And in so doing, you will be better able to love and meet the needs of those around you as well.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4: 5b-7
“In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4: 12b-13
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Phil. 4:19-20
Photo Credit: Heavenly Ambiance by Pennie Gibson