The Perfect Spouse Will Not Complete You
There are few pains like the long ache of loneliness. That experience can motivate singles to obsess over finding and keeping the perfect spouse. Sometimes it even drives people to end perfectly healthy relationships for fear that there is a more perfect choice somewhere.
Regardless, even the most laid back of the matrimonially available crowd must wrestle with the desire to find the absolutely perfect spouse.
The desire is understandable. There are few decisions in life that carry the weight of a covenantal commitment (Ephesians 5:22-33). If done correctly, your marriage will be a dominant influence on your decisions for the duration of its life - sometimes giving unsurpassed satisfaction and other times requiring gut-wrenching sacrifice. For most people, they have never come close to making such a long-term and life-altering decision before, and therefore they want to be as diligent as possible about making the right decision.
But sometimes we cross the boundary from merely trying to be a good shepherd of our hearts to actively trying to wrest control from the almighty and trustworthy God. A little bit of the garden temptation can play out in our own lives (Genesis 3:1-7), Is God's plan really sufficient? Does he really know what he's doing? Can he really accomplish it without me?
Once we understand our motivations more clearly, we can bring them to the throne of grace more swiftly. Our hearts cannot help but be restless on this subject because it carries such weighty implications, yet our hearts can find genuine rest in the love, wisdom, and might of a gracious God (John 14:27).
Assess Your Expectations
Motivations are one thing, expectations are another. If you asked most people, they would affirm that there is no such thing as a perfect spouse. However, I'm betting that most of those same people would probably also affirm the "perfect-for-me" theory of spousal selection. That is the idea that there is some perfect person somewhere on the planet, and if they could just find them, the two would be perfectly happy together. Their interests, strengths, and shortcomings would all blend in perfect relational harmony.
Let us disabuse ourselves of that expectation. There is no perfect person on this earth waiting for you. Find me a potential spouse, and I'll show you a sinner - because we are all sinners. And there is no matching or mixing of sins that leads to perfect blessedness, because that's not what sin does. Sin is selfish, deceitful, and power-hungry. Marriages require us to be sacrificing, honest, and willing to serve. Your spouse may complement you, but he (or she) will never complete you. That's the job of Christ.
When I'm evaluating couples in premarital counseling, I'm looking for three components: character, chemistry, and compatibility.
Character is the domain that lets me know that two people value the same things. In order to be able to have a long-term healthy relationship the couple must be able to build up trust. As my friend and former professor Dr. Jim Hurley would say, "trust comes from repeated acts of trustworthiness." Consequently, I ask, do both partners have the same idea of what it means to behave in trustworthy ways? Read Full Article
By Josh Squires Source: DesiringGod.org