We humans can be so different. Take gender, cultural influence, family background, age, environment… and it’s amazing anyone ever agrees on anything. The very existence of friendships, relationships, marriages. The fact that they ever work out at all proves an almighty God.
I haven’t been on here for a while, words have been absent from my mind and heart and typing hand. I’ve had a lot change in my life in these past weeks, bringing in change in emotions and thoughts and the newness of different things have left my mind unable to focus on pouring out in writing.
There’s a book I’ve been reading called “Love and War: Find Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage” by John and Stasi Eldredge. I’m not married, but the Eldredge’s are my favorite Christian authors and I think principles and lessons that apply to marriages can also be applied to making non-marital relationships more successful as well. I wanted to share an excerpt from this book, not just for my married friends, or friends in committed relationships, but even for my single friends who are learning now in preparation for a significant other in the future. I feel like this following excerpt is something I need to remember in my life right now. Maybe some of you can benefit from it as well.
.…from chapter 4 of “Love and War” …
Of Course You Are Disappointed
The human heart has an infinite capacity for happiness and an unending need for love, because it is created for an infinite God who is unending love. The desperate turn is when we bring the aching abyss of our hearts to one another with the hope, the plea, “Make me happy. Fill this ache.” And often out of love we do try to make one another happy, and then we wonder why it never lasts.
It can’t be done.
You will kill yourself trying.
We are broken people, with a famished craving in our hearts. We are fallen, all of us. It happened so long ago, back in the Garden of Eden, so early in our story that most of us don’t even realize it happened. But the effects of the Fall are something we live with every day, and it would be best for both of you if you understood what it has done to the soul of a man and a woman.
Every woman now has an insatiable need for relationship, one that can never be filled. It is an ache in her soul designed to drive her to God. Men instinctively know that the bottomless well is there, and pull back. I don’t want to be engulfed by that. Besides, no matter how much i offer, it’ll never be enough. This is Eve’s sorrow. This is the break in her cup. She aches for intimacy, to be known, loved, and chosen. And it also explains her deepest fear-abandonment.
Men face a different sort of emptiness. We are forever frustrated in our ability to conquer life. That’s the “sweat of your brow…thorns and thistles” thing. “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you…” (Genesis 3:17-18).
A man aches for affirmation, for validation, to know that he has come through. This also explains his deepest fear-failure. Now take, these fears, brokenness, and this famished craving, throw them together into the same house and lock the door. What ensues is the pain, disappointment, and confusion most people describe as their marriage. But what did you expect? I mean, are you really surprised?
Of course you are disappointed…
…we have famished cravings within us that only God can meet. Of course you are disappointed… go to God.
You have to have some place you can turn. For comfort. For understanding. For the healing of your brokenness. For love. To offer life, you must have life. And you can only get this from God.
We cannot trade empty for empty
We must go to the waterfall
For there’s a break in the cup that holds love…
Inside us all.