We don’t need Valentine’s Day to show us how needy and clingy we can be. All we need is a day when we feel lonely, overlooked, pushed aside, or under appreciated, and the inner rumblings of our hearts and mind reveal that we’re looking for love in all the wrong places.
We look to people to fill the heart needs that can only EVER be met in a relationship with God.
But we ask people to be things they can never be to us and make these impossible demands on flawed, human people.
Did you ever expect your husband to do more than he did and feel disappointed and unloved when he didn’t?
Or a friend? Ever expect a friend to always be there for you? Always support you, say the right things, do the right things, remember special days, keep up with you?
We ask people to meet needs that only God can ever meet, and we are frustrated when they don’t deliver.
Whenever we are in despair over a failed relationship, or find ourselves feeling hopeless when people don’t love us the way they should, we’ve allowed these things to morph our small g-gods.
“Whatever you cling to or confide in, that is really your god.” Martin Luther
To whom do you cling to? When things get tough, do you head for the phone? A gallon of ice cream? Sleep? Hours of TV? Shopping?
What are you banking on for happiness? Respect, kindness, great relationships? A fulfilling career? A doting husband?
Where do you place your hope? What elates you? Excites you? Makes you want to spring out of bed in the morning when you have it?
These needs are supposed to be found in Christ. In Him we have all the things we ever looked for in a friend or husband:
- a best friend,
- someone to listen to us,
- someone to be there for us,
- someone to love us unconditionally,
- someone to be faithful to us.
Knowing this lets our friends, husband, family, and expectations off of our happiness-hook. It allows them to be human. It allows us to accept their limits. And it helps us to see the Awesomeness of Christ.
Valentine’s Day is simply a catalyst that exposes that in our heart of hearts, we need Jesus.
But we aren’t quick learners, are we? We tend to straddle the fence between God and other “lovers”: career, perfect children, romance, a Pinterest home, a perfect body, experiences, food, drink, fun, best friends, fulfilling work, respect. When they fail us and leave us disappointed and disillusioned, we move back towards the God-side of the fence.
Straddling is no way to live. God wants your heart. All of it. And He is jealous for it. He wants you and I to love Him first and best and most.
Let’s stop with the spiritual adultery and idolatry. Let’s call out and dethrone any idols that challenge the Lordship of Christ in our life.
Still not sure where your idols are lurking? Here’s the surefire way to know: How do you react when it’s taken from you or withheld? What gets an unrighteous rise out of you?
- When your husband is unloving and you believe you deserve love, do you go all.the.crazy? A loving husband, though a good gift from God, has morphed into an idol for you. Something you believe you can’t live without.
- When your “supposed” friend says hurtful things, do you find yourself self devastated or holding a grudge? Trying to hurt them in return? An understanding friend has become your idol. God calls us to love anyway, and when He is our God, we’ll do this whether they deserve it or not.
- When your co-worker gets recognition you desired, do you sulk and envy? Respect and self-love are your idols.
- When a friend gets an opportunity or an honor you wished you had been given, do you resent her and belittle it? Honor is an idol for you. God calls you to rejoice with those who rejoice and to refrain from envy, and if He is your God, you’ll happily obey.
- When God answers someone’s prayers for good, can you rejoice with them when you’ve been praying for the same thing and God seems to be withholding it from you? That
“prayer request” has become a demand and an idol.
Let’s let God be God and fill our hearts with the abundant love He’s offered. Let’s let our husband (and friends and positions) be put into proper perspective. They are blessings from God that we can enjoy. They are wonderful gifts but not rights. We are free to love them because we don’t expect them to bring happiness that only God provides. We can thank God when we have them, and praise Him– that He’s our all in all– when we don’t.
What about you? Is your happiness dependent on people or circumstances? Have you determined to seek God first to put Him in proper perspective? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or on FB.