Have you ever thought about what you’d like to be able to tell your much younger self? If I could, I’d tell the naive young woman that I once was that the romantic notion that a woman needs a man to complete her is absolute balderdash!
After 45 years of marriage, does my husband complete me? No! Absolutely not. He has a different skill set than I do and different spiritual gifts, so we are better together than individually, but he does not complete me nor I him. In many ways he complements me, but he cannot possibly meet all of my emotional and spiritual needs. There is no man on this planet who could do that and to expect otherwise is to put a load on another’s shoulders that there’s no way they can carry. I wish I’d known that sooner.
In the 1996 romantic comedy/sports drama of the same name, Jerry Maguire uses the line, “You complete me” when trying to win back his love interest, but in the real world a partner or spouse should not define who you are. While “I love you” speaks of genuine affection, “You complete me” reeks of dependency, of needing another person to fill a gap, solve a problem, or heal a wound.
So who completes me? Am I complete in and of myself? In some ways yes, but not entirely.
I am not a theologian or even a Bible scholar, but I do know that only God, the one who created me and knows me more intimately than I even know myself, can truly complete me.
So what does complete mean? In this context, the dictionary defines it as to make something whole or perfect.
Does that mean that I think I’m perfect because I’ve surrendered my life to Christ? Absolutely not! That will never happen this side of heaven, but God has imputed His perfection, His righteousness to me. That means that when He looks at me, He sees Christ’s perfection in me, not my own human imperfection. His estimation of me is equal to His estimation of His Son!
Being completed by Christ means even more than this though. It means that because I am united with Him, I can lean on His absolute sufficiency. Hard as he might try, my husband can never be my ultimate source of peace, joy, or security. He is human. He will fail me. If I look only to him for meaning, significance, and value, I will be disappointed. No, these are the things I gain when I allow Christ to complete me.
These are things I would like to tell my younger self.