The Mosaic of the Heart
“Of course you are disappointed with your marriage. It is not a sin to admit that. It is not betrayal. And it need not be an earthquake…Of course you are disappointed; your spouse is disappointed too…Two broken cups cannot possibly fill one another.” - John Eldridge, Love and War
I’m willing to bet you had one of three reactions to that quote. You either:
a.) Vehemently deny the veracity of that statement
b.) Breathed a sigh of relief
c.) Shook your head in knowing agreement
Regardless of how you reacted, hear me out.
We are broken people. Many of us come from broken homes with imperfect parents. If our parents weren’t the problem, it was someone else somewhere along the way. One way or another, we’ve been cheated out of the love, felt insignificant or told we were not good enough.
Whether we realize it or not, those wounds and insecurities enter our marriage with us. Maybe it takes a year or two for them to surface. Maybe it only takes a week. But broken people cannot expect to give a wholly completing love. If each of us is a mozaic, we can only look to another person to supply the glass shards. As pretty as they may be, they will never be the glue that holds it all together.
That glue is a relationship with God. In fact, in chapter four of Love and War, Eldridge says:
“The greatest gift you can give your spouse is a relationship with Jesus Christ…I’m not simply talking about believing in God. There are many good people who believe in God, but for all practical purposes they still look to their spouse to make them happy…I’m talking about a relationship where you are finding in God the life and love your soul so desperately needs…The love of God is real, and personal and available. He wants this for you.”
I’ll admit, I’ve often struggled with what a “love” relationship with God looks like. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s very different from and yet so similar to a relationship with Hubs. Obviously, I don’t feel the same type of romantic feelings for God that I do for Hubs, but what I do feel is a longing to spend time with God every day. In fact, I notice a difference in my demeanor and emotions when I don’t spend time in prayer or I go too long without reading the Bible.
Like Hubs, I know that God wants what’s best for me and delights in blessing me with things that make me happy. A beautiful sunset, good friends, my recent raise at work, these are all examples of God’s love for me. And just as marriage takes sacrifice, so does my relationship with God. I can say with complete conviction that the sacrifices made for both relationships are worth it.
“The secret of happiness is this: God is the love you are longing for,” Eldridge says. So don’t be afraid to admit that your marriage is not as fulfilling as you thought it would be. Your spouse can’t be all that you need and he/she never will be. When you realize that and put your relationship with God first, all other relationships–especially your marriage–fall into place.