Driving down the road a few months ago, fresh spring air whipping my hair a mess, and spirits high, I sang along to Tori Kelly’s 'I Was Made for Loving You'.
I was made for loving you
Even though we may be hopeless hearts just passing through
Every bone screaming I don't know what we should do
All I know is, darling, I was made for loving you
The song began to tap into my romantic side, and I thought how perfectly I was fit for my husband, and how he was also a perfect fit for me, and I found myself thinking, 'I am made for loving Cal'. Then the Holy Spirit stirred, and I backpedaled.
My husband balances me out in many ways; he is steady, where I am chaotic. He is content, where I am wild. He loves to cuddle, where I love words of affirmation. We love to see the world, love to spend time outdoors, and absolutely love to worship Jesus together. I have never heard him say one judgmental word against me, and he is the most committed and loyal man I know. He is brilliant (this guy has a photographic memory, for crying out loud), and my favorite sound in the world is to hear him laugh. But let me be clear - he is NOT the one who completes me, and I was NOT made for loving him.
I believe that sex and marriage are beautiful things when used in the context of their God-given creation, but our culture has placed romance on a big fat pedestal, and it has become far too easy to idolise. Growing up, I felt that my life would be complete after I found my husband and 'settled down'. When 'the one' walked up, then, and only then, would life be good.
In this series of identity, I have covered friendships and career, and it felt like relationships needed to be talked about last. It doesn’t seem like it is stereotypical to notice that many women struggle with their identity being rooted in relationships, specifically romantic ones. It has been my experience, as well as for many other women in my life, that we strongly identify ourselves with the men that we are (or are not) in relationship with. It is just so easy to feel our happiness is contingent upon someone else.
And it just feels backwards that sex and marriage are so glorified, when that is not the main point of life.
I am completed by Jesus, and Jesus only. Our hearts were created with a deep cavern that longs to be filled, known, loved, and accepted. We open up the doors of our hearts for person after idea after thing to walk into this hole, trying desperately to fill it. Women and men alike have felt the longing of something greater than them, and it’s easy to displace this onto relationship, sex, or marriage. We are so relational by nature that it’s hard not to get confused about what completes us. No man, woman, friend, parent, sister, brother, grandparent, or any other person can fill what was meant for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus swoops in, and tells us that He is all we need. All other relationships are a wonderful love gift, but they were never meant to fill the place where only Jesus should reside.
I was made for loving Jesus, and only out of the overflow of Jesus’ love is where I can fully love others, including my husband. Of course there are times when the 'feeling' of love overwhelms us - with or without the Holy Spirit. But the love that is sustained, the love that is patient, kind, that does not envy or boast, that is not self seeking or easily angered, the love that does not delight in evil and keeps no record of wrongs, that love can only be made whole through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the only One who fills that spot in my heart, He is the One who makes me new, and He is the One I was made for. And although marriage is created as a beautiful representation of Christ’s love for his Bride, it was never meant to replace Him.
So, sister, whether you are single, dating, engaged, married, or wishing to be married, just know that you were not made for anyone but Christ. There are men who will love, cherish, and adore you - but they will never complete you. The moment we are able to fully and completely live in this is the moment that we are free to love in all fullness in truth.
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Abbie is a 25-year-old living out of the abundance of Jesus' unending grace and mercy. She thrives off deep vulnerability and connection with others, while striving to live into the call of outpouring encouragement onto others. Often described as feisty, passionate, talkative, and compassionate, Abbie is an ENFJ through and through. You'll most likely find her training for a race, handlettering or painting, whipping up a new healthy and whole recipe in the kitchen, singing worship songs at the top of her lungs in my car, or watching The Office with her husband. What does she love most? Pretty light, hearing people's stories of redemption, peonies, her husband's smile, white walls, and the smell of rain.