So I was on my way home from Cru meeting today and when stuck in traffic on 95 my mind began to wonder. I started thinking about the kind of woman I would like to find to marry. I would like to think that I am not susceptible to the influence of Hollywood and culture, but the reality is that is never true for any of us. From the earliest of years we are bombarded with a couple truisms that our culture perpetuates. One of those things we are taught to believe is that some people are on our level and others are not. The myth goes like this: when looking for a relationship you deserve someone who is at least your equal (be that in looks, attributes, intelligence, social status). Its what leads to the cliques in high school of jocks, geeks, popular kids, pretty girls, etc.
As I began thinking, I pondered all of the things that I desire in a woman. I began thinking about the physical attributes, the personality attributes, things that she might like or activities she liked to do. As I furthered in thought I also started to think about how many girls I wrongfully discount because they don’t meet my desires. The sad part is in my sinful heart, the majority of people fall short in my mind for the most superficial of reasons. In a moment of honesty, I realized how I am guilty of establishing, in my eyes, a sort of class system for girls and all people at times. There are those who are in my class for dating and those who are not in my class. Let me explain, the vanity in me says: Hey, you are a decently good looking guy, therefore you deserve what you deem to be a decently attractive girl.” Or “You are a fairly intelligent person, so you deserve someone intelligent.” Here is the problem: that is fundamentally sinful. It believes at the core that I am better than some individuals in attractiveness or ability. This is absolutely false in the eyes of God. It is false because I establish myself as the measuring stick and compare others to who I am. I believe that I deserve someone who is equal in the relative measurement of who I deem to be my equal. But I am not the measuring stick, nor is my satisfaction to be found in anyone but God. In light of realizing my sin I prayed a simple prayer: “Lord, may I be so satisfied in you that I desire nothing else.” If a fundamental truth-that Jesus is enough to satisfy our wants and desires (“those who come to me will thirst no more”) – is true then I should be able to be completely satisfied in Him. In theory, this could mean that I could live a meaningful life without lifelong companionship in a future spouse. But why is it so important that I believe and cling to the truth that Jesus is able to satisfy my desires? It is because in the wake of that truth, a perspective change happens. Suddenly, I am no longer looking for a partner who will meet the longings of my heart. I am no longer looking for a woman with the perfect body to satisfy my flesh. I am no longer looking for a woman who shares all the same interests I do. I am no longer putting the pressure on a woman to satisfy the needs of my heart that only Jesus could possibly satisfy. If I am satisfied in Jesus Christ, then anything else is simply a gift of God.
I am suffering from the same perspective flaw that the woman at the well was suffering from. She had five husbands and was with a partner who was not her husband. She was ultimately unsatisfied. She too, like I, probably suffered from the idea that another person could satisfy her desires. She asked for Jesus to give her the water that would satisfy. Jesus in turn, showed her that she had been attempting to quench her thirst through the search for the perfect man/relationship. Only after exposing her thirst, could Jesus then give her the water that would satisfy. If she, from that day on, was completely satisfied in knowing Jesus Christ, then she would cease to need to find more partners. That man she was with would now become a bonus. She would no longer be in an endless pursuit of fulfilling her desire in an endless trail of men, and rather be thankful for the man God has brought into her life. As Voddie Baucham put it: God, you saved me from the Hell I deserved, brought me into a relationship with you, and are able to satisfy all my needs; on top of that you have blessed me with a wife?! Lord, you are too good to me. God is the main course, relationships on top of that is just the gravy.
I wonder how many of us do this? How many of us automatically assign someone to a category because we have set up some form of class system in our minds. This person can’t be my friend, they are too difficult to get along with. I can’t date him, I am not attracted to him. She’s not athletic enough, I won’t invite her to play.
Have you ever asked or thought: How can she be with him, or how can He be with her? Aren’t we practicing this class system mentality? I know I am guilty of thinking that. Do we ask those questions because we believe that one person is better than the other in looks or some other attribute? Do we believe that we are more worthy than him or her because we have something they don’t?
You see, we are plagued with this class system mentality and that some people are deserving and others are not. But see the Gospel of Jesus Christ explodes that. The only true categorical difference in perfection exists between God and creation. He is perfect and we are woefully short. Yet He has chosen to call us into relationship with Him. If anyone ever wanted to ask the question: what is that person doing with this person, the only relationship where this would be an appropriate inquiry is the relationship between God and man. A third party looking in on God and mankind’s relationship would have to wonder, how could God possibly love those adulterers? How could someone so perfect love someone so ugly and decrepit? The answer between God and man is grace. The answer between two people should be: satisfaction in Jesus Christ.
I confess my vanity, pride, and the other sins entangled in this faulty perspective, now on to repentance…