As I shared a bit in my last post, last week was a difficult one for me. Part of it was because I felt lonely. It was a very busy week for Jeff- flew to Florida to do an event, got stuck in Detroit on way home, worked late hours getting ready for a huge event with For the King on Friday, and then became sick. I missed my husband and if I’m honest, felt a little put to the side. Not because of what he did, but simply because I was focusing on myself instead of having an understanding heart that supported him. On Sunday I had a melt down. (No exaggeration here—I was a real blubbering mess!) Finally after talking with Jeff and talking a lot with Jesus, I realized that I hadn’t been trusting in Jesus all week. I hadn’t been placing my hope in Him, relying on Him and focusing on Him. Instead I held Jeff up on a pedestal and idolized him. I desired his affection and affirmation more than Jesus’. I looked for Jeff to satisfy my longings instead of Jesus. And when I didn’t get his attention completely, I crumbled.
Now, yes I will admit that there were other things going on in my heart that contributed to my melt down. And yes, there is a part where I should communicate with my husband my desires (aka I could have asked him to set some time aside for us to reconnect this weekend) and where we need to continue to cultivate our relationship and serve one another. However, the main problem was that I was idolizing Jeff- placing him above Jesus and looking to him to satisfy my longings, instead of the Only One who can fully satisfy.
Isn’t this a struggle with all of us ladies? If you’re married, you most likely have to constantly fight to not place your husband above Jesus in your life. If you aren’t married, perhaps you struggle with idolizing the desire of a relationship, or your boyfriend, or some man’s affections in your life. I see this in my life as I look back- when I wasn’t dating anyone, I totally idolized wanting to be married. When I was dating, I struggled with idolizing my boyfriend. And now in marriage, I see that I will have to fight to not idolize Jeff.
Our desire and longing for affirmation- spiritual, emotional and physical-is a good desire given to us by the LORD. Our desire to be wanted, pursued and loved is good. However, it can only be satisfied and fulfilled in Jesus.
After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit—basically placing themselves above God, saying “Forget you God, we know what is best for our lives”—when sin entered the world—God brought a curse for the serpent, the woman and the man. Consequences of sin. The need for a Savior.
God tells Eve, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Gen. 3:16
We see here that the curse for women was 1. Giving birth will hurt (yes! I can only imagine.) 2. Our desire will be for our husband.
Now that may sound nice. “Oh yay, we’ll desire our husband!” But that’s not the meaning of desire in this passage. God here is telling us that we will have a longing for our husbands (or a man, men) that borders on idolizing them above God. A longing that we’ll look to our husbands (or men) to fulfill, instead of looking to Jesus who alone can fulfill our desires. For example, we want to know we are beautiful so we look to a guy to tell us, instead of looking to Jesus who tells us we are beautiful-made by Him, and being molded to be more like Him. We long to be wanted, so we settle for a guy who treats us poorly, instead of resting in how Jesus wants us- He wants us so much that He died for us to win us back. We feel pressured to have sex with a guy so they’ll continue to “love” us or so we’ll feel loved, so we give in, instead of knowing we are loved unconditionally by our Savior and waiting for marriage—when we can give ourselves fully to our husbands in a covenant relationship-one where you know you don’t have to prove your love to them so they’ll stay, but one where you can freely give yourself to someone because of the promise you’ve made to one another. The list goes on and on.
Do you see how we can, and have, looked to man to fulfill those longings of our soul? Do you see the struggle?
Thankfully there is hope. Jesus came to redeem and break the curse. He wins. He has the victory. In Jesus we are free and can walk in His good and right ways.
Psalm 73:25-26 says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
This is the cry of my heart. I long to desire Jesus above all things. My flesh fails—I get sick or injured. My heart fails often- I become a blubbering mess. BUT. God is my strength. He is the rock of my heart. He is my steady. He is my firm foundation and hope. The anchor of my soul. And He is my portion—forever. I get God. Totally. 100%. He is mine and I am His. In Him, I have all I need in life and godliness. In Him, I am full. I am complete.
Here’s the beauty of it all—when we place Jesus in His rightful place, we are full. We are satisfied and at rest. No matter what is going on in our lives. When our husbands have a busy week and can’t give us their full attention. When our fathers let us down. When we don’t hear how beautiful or valuable we are from the men in our lives. When we need affirmation for who we are, or what we’re doing—we can still be at peace. We can still be full. Because Jesus fills us. He is available 24/7. He is with us always. He is faithful and never lets us down. He gives us our value and worth.
And when we look to Him, we can then pour ourselves out to others. We can serve & love them without expecting anything in return—but simply out of a heart that overflows with His love. We can listen, pray for, and support out of a heart that rests in Him.
Have you idolized your husband, or a man in your life, recently? How can you look to Jesus to fill you instead of that person? How does Ps. 73:25-26 encourage your heart?