Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Not About Them

You know how you know something but sometimes you don't live as if you know it?  If someone would ask you, you would say, "Of course I know that, " but you forget to live that way.  I'm not even talking about being intentionally hypocritical.  It's just something you forget or rather it's a concept or fact that you may believe in but fail to actually incorporate into your life.

Please say you kind of get what I'm saying.


Well, I think I can say that overall, I do a pretty good job living out my beliefs.  But, every once in awhile, something or someone comes along and knocks me up side the head (metaphorically) and I realize how my beliefs and actions are going in opposite directions instead of aligning they way they ought.

This time, it was Angela Thomas who pointed out this obvious dis-align I have going on.  Our Women's Bible Study Group is working through her DVD series/workbook called "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?"  And, while I wasn't sure I'd have too much to relate to at first (outward beauty is only a minimal distraction of mine- particularly, it's my squishy parts that distract me), Angela started pointing her sweet little Southern finger at my insides the other night.

We all have heard about how there is this special spot or void in each of us that can only be filled by God.  Only He can love us in such a way that fills this void.  Only He has the capacity to keep pouring out enough love into us to keep this void filled.  Maybe you've heard some people say that there is a "God-shaped hole" in each of us.  However you look at it, I think we can all relate.  There is just a certain peace and wholeness that comes from drawing close to God and allowing Him to love us.

This is what I know.  In my head and even in my heart.  Here comes my disconnect.

There have been times over the years when I've felt empty.  I may not have been able to put it into those words, but I felt empty.  It was of my own doing.  I wasn't spending time with God, wasn't drawing from His love, forgiveness and encouragement.    But, who did I blame?  Not myself.  Not God.  Instead I blamed my husband, the one person who does the best job of loving and caring for me.

I would think along these lines..."I don't feel special...I wish someone would tell me I'm special...If only he'd tell me what a good job I do around the house and with the kids more often, then I'd feel appreciated...If only he'd anticipate my needs before I put them into words (a.k.a. read my mind)...but who wants to have someone do something special for them because they've been told to do so?...If only he'd this...If only he wouldn't that..."  These thoughts led to words that lead to tears and then even to frustration at times...all directed at someone who didn't deserve my rant in the first place.

As Angela so aptly put it, our husbands are mortal men.  They are not equipped to fill us in every way.  They have their own voids to fill and they are here to "give us a sweet taste of God's love" and live this life with us, but we cannot hold them responsible for what only God can do.

It's NOT their job.  It is our husband's jobs to care for us and love us well on the human level and I am blessed because mine does just that (and more), but I cannot expect him to fill a void that God specifically created in me to be filled by Him.  Even if our husbands, our kids, our jobs, our lives were all picture perfect, we would still experience this emptiness.  It's not about them.  It's about us and our relationship with God.

Some of us may expect others to fill our void- maybe a close girlfriend, our family, or even our children.  It's not their job either.  Food won't do it.  TV won't.  The internet and blogs won't do it. Neither will Facebook.

When I got home from Bible study that night, I did what Angela suggested.  I let my spouse off the hook.  I apologized and he graciously forgave me.  He was a bit a good way.  I think he now particularly likes this Bible study:-).  It was the right thing to do, because even my heart knew on some level that I was not only asking the wrong person, but I was potentially wounding our relationship and I never ever want to do that.  It's been a relief and new found freedom for me.  I know now (on every level) that I need God and it's my job to go to Him to be filled.

Please seek God first.  Take the time out of your busy day to be filled by Him.  Stop looking to people and kids and stuff and distractions to fill you up.  It's a waste of time because it won't work.  And we know it.

"Long before he laid down the earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love...(What pleasure he took in planning this!)"
Ephesians 1:4-5, The Message (italics mine)
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  1. Great post! That night at bible study was particularly enlightening for me too. Thanks for putting a summary of it into writing. As always, I appreciate your has a way of making someone seem beautiful, you know! :-)

  2. Amen! It's so easy to know this in our heads but so hard to live it out. I am very guilty of looking to people and things to make me feel special when I know in my head it'll never be enough. Yet I still try. I need to remember this every morning.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! You are not the only one who needs a reminder. I think this is a common area for most women. Angela Thomas is a brilliant woman, and we would all do well to remember her thoughts!

  4. good, good stuff...I really like Angela Thomas...she tells it like it is. And good for you for realizing it and acting on it...xo

  5. I learned the truth in this the hard way 12 years ago after we had been married just one short year. A time when my marriage fell apart and I only had God...

    I realized that I looked to my husband for everything and depended on him for everything. My world was turned upside down as a young bride when the truth came out and all I could count on was the love of God to pick me up..
    Thankfully he did and I am grateful for that.

    There is so much truth in what your saying here. I think it's so easy to have so many expectation of our husbands because well, they are our husbands;) But, there are voids in our lives that even our husbands can't fill. If we can't feel complete love and acceptance from God, we surely can't feel it from our spouse.

    I surely could go on and on about this, but I won't bore you with a book today, just a friendly comment to say...

    Great post!

  6. Thank you for that post. I have the same bad habit and my husband has suffered through my "everything is your fault" syndrome as well. I've recognized it in the past and realized that I blame too much, but the idea that I was asking him to fill a space that can only be filled by God was enlightening. Thank you for that new perspective.

  7. Wise words. Thank you for sharing. We must look only to the LORD to be our EVERYTHING. How wonderful to really *get* this! :)

    Many blessings,

  8. Wow! This post spoke volumes to me. I do this all the time...mentally evaluating my husband, wondering why he doesn't anticipate my needs or wants, why I feel like my emotional needs are unmet, etc. And, oh how quickly that road leads to resentment.

    Sometimes when I start thinking like this I catch myself and stop it in it's tracks. But, other times I let myself wallow in it until I feel good and sorry for myself.

    Thank you. Thank you for sharing this and such a powerful reminder of Who is the only One who can fill us.

  9. What a great post! This was truly a blessing for me to read and very thought provoking. Thank you.

  10. THHP, excellent post, can totally relate. When things are going great, and I appear to have it altogether, I know I'm not depending on everybody/thing else to validate me... but when the going gets tough... that's another story. Thanks for the gentle nudge 'across the produce aisle'. Organic section of course. lol. Have a super week/end. :)


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