“You complete me” and other lies Hollywood tells us about love

12167016_10208006309258917_852143385_n“Hello. I’m looking for my wife. Alright. If this is where it has to happen, then this is where it has to happen. I’m not letting you get rid of me. How about that? This used to be my specialty. I was good in a living room. Send me in there, I’ll do it alone. And now I just… I don’t know…but our little company had a good night tonight. A really big night. But it wasn’t complete, it wasn’t nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn’t share it with you. I couldn’t hear your voice, or laugh about it with you. I missed my wife. We live in a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors, I love you. You complete me. And I just…”

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Do you remember that famous speech? It’s what Jerry Maguire uttered to Dorothy Boyd in his “heart felt” attempt to win her back. He had ignored her and broken her heart in many ways throughout the movie, even though she has stepped out of her job to support him in his personal career goals… she finally had enough. At the end of the movie we all watch with baited breath as he finally puts forth some effort. And how did she respond?

‘Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello”

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Ahhh romance. Every woman watching that movie with her girlfriends longed to have her husband utter those words.

You complete me.” 

Do you know the main problem with that sentence? Your husband can’t complete you. It’s not his job to complete you. If you enter a relationship with the expectation that your spouse will “complete you” your marriage will suffer. We are all designed to need to be completed by something, there is definitely a hole in our souls that we long to fill. Hollywood tells us to fill that hole with a man, with a soul mate, with love. However, that void can only be filled by God. Praising Him through prayer, worship, service and seeking Him. That hole in your heart was put there by God. He designed us to know that something is missing so that we would seek Him. He’s the only one who can complete you. 

Isaiah 43:21 

21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

Think back to all the relationships you’ve watched on the television or big screen in your lifetime. Ross & Rachel, Michael & Sarah, Cliff & Clair, even Zach & Kelly and Kevin & Winnie. We are told that we need to be completed by the perfect romantic relationship at a very young age. Hollywood models relationships after unattainable standards. They also show us love through the world’s lens. Not God’s.

Love isn’t perfect. It’s messy. Yes, we all feel that new relationship feeling. The warm and fuzzy butterflies that make us swoon every time we think about our new love. But that fades. Husbands leave dirty socks in the floor; wives burn dinner. Children come and things get really crazy. If you’ve used your marriage to try to fill your spiritual needs you’ll be feeling some serious strain at this point. Without a relationship with Christ, you can’t understand true grace. Grace is undeserved mercy. That’s beautiful isn’t it? If my husband tracks dirt through the house I can have one of two reactions. I can get mad and start a fight or I can sweep it up, understanding all he does for me. Maybe he was out cutting the grass and tracked dirt in when he was done? That’s grace. That’s a very simple example but you get what I’m saying. We make mistakes, we aren’t perfect, but we still love each other because we choose to.

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Most television relationships promote sin. Ross & Rachel lived together and were physically intimate long before their drunken wedding ceremony in Vegas. They had a child together while they continued to date other people. When they came home and sobered up they had an annulment. No biggie right? Their marriage was disposable. Do all of these things happen in real life? Of course. Does God love any of the people who have been in this situations any less? Not even a little bit. I lived with my husband for nearly 3 years before we married. It was a sin. I’m not proud of it but it’s part of who I am. It’s part of our testimony. You see, we were young and not in church. We lived in the world and in the world it’s acceptable to live together before marriage. They do it on tv and in movies all the time. That sin has become an acceptable sin because we’ve been taught that “everyone is doing it” and so we do.

God wants us to model our relationships after His Word. We are spiritually and emotionally complete when we have an intimate relationship with Christ. Walking daily with Him, depending on Him, talking to Him every step of the way. That’s what completes us. Then and only then can we have a successful, godly marriage. When you allow yourself to be completed by God it takes the pressure off your husband. You’re able to give him grace for his imperfections, he’s allowed to be human. When you aren’t expecting him to meet every emotional and spiritual need you have you’ll be happier in your marriage because you no longer have unrealistic expectations from each other.

Hollywood also tells us that if we are unhappy with our spouse, when we feel that they aren’t completing us, we should look for a new one. When we get married we say vows, they vary in the exact wording, but traditionally they all involve the following.

“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part.” 

The Bible tells us that when we are married before Him we become one flesh. We don’t marry for a season or until we aren’t feeling fulfilled any longer, we marry until death do us part.

Matthew 19:4-6

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Divorcing your spouse because they don’t make you feel special any longer goes back to that hole you’re trying to fill in your soul. You see, people are selfish. It’s part of our sin nature. The world tells us to look out for ourselves, are we being served? Does my husband bring me presents, does he make me feel pretty, does he meet my needs? A godly marriage, between two people who are modeling Christ in their marriage looks different. Spouses ask how can I serve my husband or wife? How can I show them they are loved? How can I make them feel special?

See the difference? It goes from “What have you don’t for me lately?” to “What can I do for you?” (<<<did you see what I did there, music is another way the world tells us how we should love)

Let me be clear. I am in no way advocating for anyone to stay with a spouse who is mentally, physically, sexually or even verbally abusive. I’m not even advocating staying with a spouse who has been unfaithful, although I believe that some marriages can survive unfaithfulness if the cheating partner has genuine repentance and remorse. Those couples need to seek counselling together to repair their marriage. If your spouse is habitually unfaithful you are not going to get genuine anything from them, in which case, divorce is acceptable, even in God’s eyes.

Matthew 19:9

9And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

You see, God knew that marriage would be hard. He knew that it would take work, therefore he set up guidelines and rules to ensure we give each other grace for most situations, and that some situations just can’t be repaired. Love is an action. It’s not a fuzzy feeling when he touches your hand or you kiss his cheek. Love is grace in action. Love is accepting that your spouse isn’t perfect and loving them regardless because you are one flesh, joined in the eyes of the Lord.

So to recap. God completes us which gives us strength. God’s perfect strength gives us the ability to give grace to our spouses when we realize that they aren’t perfect, when the new wears off. That grace that we give is given back to us when we don’t deserve it. Spouses learn to serve and love each other the way that Christ loves us. Hollywood has it all wrong. God designed it perfectly.

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