Today’s Quote: “One of the greatest gifts you can give your husband is your own wholeness.” –Stormie Omartian
Today’s Song: “How He Loves Us”- Kim Walker
When God speaks about the marriage relationship between a man and woman, he calls us to be a three-fold cord. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
If we take out the God Chord, the relationship will be weak.
We’ve already looked at (and experienced) some of the major weaknesses of those two-chord relationships. Relationships without God at the center.
But exactly how do we bring God into the center of our relationship to be that third, backbone chord?
And how can we prepare now for that to be the reality of our relationship when we are married?
It all starts with going to Him, rather than things or other people, to have our deepest needs met.
Especially our need for love.
This is what I believe to be the absolute BIGGEST issue that God intends for women to settle before we can enter into a Godly relationship.
Where and how we acquire that love that all of our hearts desire.
Because let’s face it, we women are inwardly very high maintenance and we have a very real need to be loved.
We need love like we need food; frequently, abundantly, and shown to us in unique ways.
We live off it!
We talked a few days ago about our infatuation with our image and what guys think of us. How they see us. But I want to dare us to be honest about the fact that it’s even deeper than that.
A lot of us have thrown our obsession and our need for love onto the shoulders of a man. And they don’t like it.
Men do not want to be responsible for feeding our voracious appetites for love. It makes them feel suffocated and for good reason. They don’t want to be responsible for our well-being, and they shouldn’t have to be.
A lot of us are so needy in this area, that we ourselves can hardly stand it.
We get so thrown off, so uneasy over just one conversation, if we feel like the guy is giving us the cold shoulder, or is not quite as infatuated with us that day as he normally is.
We start to panic!
A lot of us will start a fight, just to try to draw him back into us.
A lot of us get to the point where our old tricks aren’t seeming to work anymore, so we have to come up with new tricks.
How quickly a relationship can turn seriously dark and disturbing that way.
Trying to get our incessant love needs met by human means will always turn ugly.
We become sneakier about how we trap him, and he finds sneakier ways to get out of our trap.
Is this the hard truth for anybody but me?
It’s what many people so lightheartedly refers to as “the game.” But those of us who’s hearts have been tangled up in “the game,” know that there is nothing light about it.
Thank you Jesus that you are not into games, and that you offer us a way out of all of this!
I feel like today could be that turning point for so many of you.
Did you know that God wants to meet your need for love in a way that is above and beyond what any man could ever do for you?
Let me try to bring this to life with an illustrative story that I once read:
Imagine that you have a magical kitchen in your home. In that magical kitchen, you can have any food you want from any place in the world in any quantity. You never worry about what to eat; whatever you wish for, you can have at your table. You are very generous with your food; you give your food unconditionally to others, not because you want something in return from them. Whoever comes to your home, you feed just for the pleasure of sharing your food, and your house is always full of people who come to eat the food from the magical kitchen.
Then one day someone knocks at your door, and it’s a person with a pizza. You open the door, and the person looks at you and says, “Hey, do you see this pizza? I’ll give you this pizza if you let me control your life, if you just do whatever I want you to do. You are never going to starve because I can bring you pizza everyday. You just have to be good to me.”
Can you imagine your reaction? In your kitchen you can have the same pizza- even better. Yet this person comes to you and offers you food, if you just do whatever he wants you to do. You are going to laugh and say, “No, thank you! I don’t need your food; I have plenty of food. You can come into my house and eat whatever you want, and you don’t have to do anything. Don’t believe I’m going to do whatever you want me to do. No one will manipulate me with food.”
Now imagine exactly the opposite. Several weeks have gone by, and you haven’t eaten. You are starving, and you have no money in your pocket to buy food. The person comes with the pizza and says, “Hey, there’s food here. You can have this food if you just do what I want you to do.” You can smell the food, and you are starving. You decide to accept the food and do whatever the person asks of you. You eat some food, and he says, “If you want more, you can have more, but you have to keep doing what I want you to do.”
You have food today, but tomorrow you may not have food, so you agree to do whatever you can for food. You become a slave because of food, because you need food, because you don’t have it. Then after a certain time you have doubts. You say, “What am I going to do without my pizza? I cannot live without my pizza. What if my partner decides to give the pizza to someone else- my pizza?”
Now imagine that instead of food we are talking about love. You have an abundance of love in your heart. You have love not just for yourself, but for the whole world. …You share your love without condition; you don’t love if. You are a millionaire in love, and someone knocks on your door and says, “Hey, I have love for you here. You can have my love, if you just do whatever I want you to do.”
When you are full of love, what is going to be you reaction? You will laugh and say, “Thank you, but I don’t need your love. I have the same love here in my heart, even bigger and better, and I share my love without condition.”
But what is going to happen if you are starving for love, if you don’t have that love in your heart, and someone comes and says, “You want a little love? You can have my love if you just do what I want you to do.” If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention. - Don Miguel Ruiz
Now the funny thing about this parable is that is does not come from a Christ-centered book, although it is a very good illustration.
And as far as I can tell the author seems to be speaking more of an inner kind of “love for yourself” filling your heart, rather than the love of Christ.
But I would beg to reason that it is much more appropriate looking at it from a God-Love kind of way. I’m just not one to believe that we ourselves can just conjure up this kind of love from deep inside of us. At least I never figured that one out.
But what I do know to be true, and what I have experienced for myself is that God can fill us with that kind of love.
Such an overflowing love that is filling, satisfying, and perfect.
And from there we can make decisions with a clear head and a full heart- not out of our need for love.
Girls, we don’t need to be ashamed of that need- we just need to redirect it!
We need to go to the right place to have it met!
Again, God made us with a need of which He is the source.
We need love.
And that God-sized need in your heart can only be filled by….God!
But most of you have been going to the wrong source, a very inadequate source, for that need to be met.
That is why a lot of girls will jump right into a new relationship still in a tailspin from the last one- because that need is so strong!
But we’re still starving! It’s not enough.
Jesus, is enough, girls. He is more than enough to give you what you need.
If we are ever going to find true wholeness, if we are going to have a truly healthy relationship, God must be the provider of our deepest needs.
This kind of relationship is of an entirely different nature.
And as someone who at one point was SO reliant on my boyfriend for my love-needs to be met, that difference is one of God’s biggest glories in my life.
I truly cannot even explain to you what I feel every time I am reminded of my old unrested state of constantly relying on another person for love.
I think that most of us who live under that kind of pressure cannot even put our finger on the heaviness of what it is, until it has been released.
Like me. I never actually got that that’s where those feelings of pressure and uneasiness were coming from. From counting on someone else to carry a weight that was too heavy for any person to carry.
I’m grateful for how God’s changed me, to say the least.
But also just heartbroken when I’m talking to a girl who is in that same awful place I was. My heart literally aches for her over the memory of it.
Girls, we weren’t built for it.
We weren’t built to chase a man around trying to keep him fascinated and absorbed in us. And all of the disgusting feelings and behaviors that go along with that.
God wants to give you a magic kitchen!!! Why are you chasing down the pizza man!?!
God can change all that.
Trust me, if he did it for me he can do it for anybody.
Nowadays, whenever I am in a pit over something and I seek out my husband to pull me out, I’m always reminded that even his most valiant efforts are only going to bring me a temporary fix.
So I seek out the true and perfect lover of my soul, my Jesus. The only one who can, and wants to, carry the weight of my world.
And when I do this, it not only satiates me and puts me on a healthy path to resolution, it speaks to my husband that I am a strong, valuable and free woman that is not counting on him to hold me up.
And do you know what that does for a man’s heart? Pitter-patter, pitter-patter.
Girls, I’m not talking about a game here; I’m talking about something that runs all the way through your life from top to bottom. Keeping your man in awe of you is just a side effect;)
It is a relationship, and a dependency for all that you need, on Jesus.
Over the next few days we are going to be getting into some more relationship advice.
But I want to say that what you just read about is the key.
That dependency and reliance on Jesus just does it.
For me, it was the catalyst for shifting from unhealthy to healthy love. Where everything else good began relationship wise, because I was then set free to love from a place that was wholesome.
And it is the best relationship advice that I have for you.
But my advice or anyone else’s advice is just not the thing.
God is the thing.
And the reason that I am reminding you of this right now is because the next two days are going to cover some different kinds of marriage advice. And even though I feel very lead to say these things, life has rubbed off on me just like it has everyone else- and I definitely have my own opinions, biases and cynicisms about things. (In case you haven’t already noticed).
God knows I’m trying! But I struggle just like everyone else struggles.
So please pray for an extra dose of discernment to separate your own walk with Christ from my advice over these next two days.
The one thing that I am sure about is seeking out Jesus first, and Him providing all you need thereafter.
It’s like my Dad always says: “Nobody knows your needs better than the one who created them.”
And nobody is capable of loving you like Jesus. So let Him!!!
Today’s Dare: Today’s dare is somewhat similar to the “bandaid dare” in Phase one.
Today I want you to find two different-color pieces of string, or yarn, or whatever you can get your hands on, and make a little makeshift bracelet with the two pieces wound together. These two pieces of string represent you and God, the initial two pieces of what will eventually become a three-fold-cord. (oooo maybe you could even do something symbolic on your wedding day of adding in the third string!! Sorry, my mind is wandering).
I want you to wear this for the remainder of Phase 2(only 4 more days) as a representation and a reminder that the love between you and God, is the beginning and the foundation of your future love story.
And let Him just LOVE you!
It’s okay to even ask Him to show you that He loves you!!
In fact, from now on during the “filling up” part of your POFU, I want you to spend some time just asking God to pour down His love on you. That you could just feel even a taste of how much He loves you.