Why Marriage Won’t Complete You

What I wouldn’t give to go back to the final scene in the movie Jerry Maguire and change Tom Cruise’s romantic line,

“I love you…you complete me!”


Because it’s unhealthy and untrue.

What he should have said is, “You can’t and won’t complete me!”

There. I like that line a lot better.

It’s so unfair how the movies that make us swoon and tear up with sweet emotion often carry messages that leave us confused when we do fall in love. Here are 3 things I’ve learned about love that are even better than romance, but might contradict what you see in the movies!

1. Your Spouse Cannot Complete You.

As someone who is coming up on 1 year married, I have been learning the hard lesson that depending on my husband to complete me and bring me happiness is not only unrealistic but it’s unfair to him. He is human just like me so he makes mistakes. Your spouse WILL fail you and they WILL let you down because they are not perfect. My husband is sometimes crippled under the weight of my expectations that he will meet all of my emotional needs. In those moments it’s like a neon sign in my brain is blinking saying, “He’s not meant to complete you, your creator is.”

Marriage cannot be about finding another person to make you whole, because no human being can do that. Yes, two halves do make a whole if we are dealing with fractions, but the marriage equation works differently. Two whole individuals can equal one successful marriage. When I stop putting the pressure on my man to be the missing emotional pieces in my life then he is free to be himself and love me to the best of his ability without fear of failure. (Trust me, I DO NOT do this perfectly!)

Your spouse is not meant to complete you, your creator is! Click To Tweet

2. You are Already Complete in Christ.

There is no need to find someone to complete you because God has already done that!

For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10 NLT)

This verse is a powerful reminder that in God we have access to all that we need. God does not see you as imperfect and incomplete. He gave his son’s life so that you can have a relationship with Him and have victory over the things in this life that weigh you down. Simply working out of the knowledge that I am complete changes how I look at situations in life. The good news is that if you have a relationship with Jesus you do not have to work harder to be more complete in Jesus. His work for you was finished at the cross so you are blameless and set free – COMPLETE in Him.

3. God Wants to Give you What You Need.

You might be saying right now, “But Joy, sometimes I don’t feel complete!” And I fully understand, because I don’t either!

Good thing BEING complete and FEELING complete are two different things. All we need in this life can be found in our relationship with Jesus. Our spouse is only a physical reminder of that. When my frustration grows because my husband cannot meet all of my needs, I know that I need to hand those things over to God and ask Him for what I’m lacking.

We serve a gracious God who knows our hearts so intimately that he knows when we are lonely, anxious, or sad and He wants to meet us there. God wants to fill those empty places with truth about how he sees us and who we really are when we feel like we are lacking.

Even if you do not feel complete now, God is still here for you. The first step is to actually pray and talk to God about what you are struggling with, even how your spouse may not be giving you exactly what you feel you need. Then to “abide” in Jesus like this verse talks about.

“If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)

I’m still trying to figure out this “abide” business myself, but to me, it looks like continually thinking about God’s word and talking to Him throughout your day and your life.

Tips on how to abide:

  • Take your needs to God in prayer throughout the day.
  • Spend focused time with God in prayer, reading the Bible, or with music that connects you with Him.
  • Act intentionally to show who God is and honor Him with your actions.

Abiding in God is not some magic potion to give us whatever we want, just like saying “I do” does not transform us into a completely fulfilled person. But abiding in God can start to make us into who we want to become. God is in the transformational business and wants to make you feel complete! Stick with him, even when you don’t feel it. He’s always there to help you, if you just ask!

God is in the transformational business and wants to make you feel complete! Click To Tweet
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