Did you know your husband is not Jesus?
Oh, wait. You’ve known that since day two of the honeymoon (or maybe day one).
[I know some of you aren’t currently married. Before you stop reading, consider that what I’m about to say may apply to other relationships in your life.]
At my bridal shower, my then-pastor’s wife gave me some advice. “Remember your husband is not Jesus,” she said.
Of course, I thought. That’s silly. Why would I ever think he was Jesus?
And then I got married.
To a wonderful, godly man. A seminary student. But in spite of all that, I already knew he was flawed. We had plenty of conflict during our courtship, and I certainly didn’t expect him to be Jesus.
Until he wasn’t.
My sinful anger, which had been hibernating during my idyllic childhood, awoke with a start when my husband turned out to be even more of a sinner than I thought (the surprise was mutual, I assure you.).
And I started to worry about our relationship. I mean, weren’t we supposed to be happier and more fulfilled now than ever?
I could say I didn’t expect my husband to be Jesus. But my emotions said differently. Anger and anxiety are classic signs that things aren’t going the way we expected or desired. And – in practice, if not in profession – I expected and desired for my husband to be Jesus.
I thought he could love me in a way only Jesus can. I thought he could help me grow in a way only Jesus can. I thought he could offer security, hope, and happiness in a way only Jesus can. [God has blessed me with a husband who does indeed work towards all of these things, but he’s never going to do it like Jesus.]
Sometimes I still expect and desire for my husband to be Jesus. And more recently, I’ve discovered that I also expect and desire to be Jesus to him. If I can’t fill him with love, joy, and peace, I feel like a failure.
But last time I checked, love, joy, and peace were fruits of the Spirit, not fruits of marriage. And if I could single-handedly meet all of my husband’s expectations and desires, what need would he have for the real Jesus? That’s a danger I don’t want to contribute to.
It turns out there’s only one person who is just like Jesus.
“Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”’” (John 7:37-38, ESV)
It doesn’t get more satisfying than that.
Instead of worrying about how other people can’t satisfy us, why don’t we look to the One who can?
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