We all worship something.
I don’t care how religious, or non-religious you claim to be. We are all worshipping. And by that I mean, we each find something that we hope will be a good “god” to us. We all want someone or something to comfort us, to give us purpose and value, to lead us, and ultimately give us security in something outside of ourself.
For most of us, our worship really begins to develop when we are young teenagers. Our god begins to manifest itself in the form of a drivers license, among other things.
“If only I could drive myself and be free from my parents, then I’ll really start to enjoy life”, we think to ourselves.
Turns out, that god doesn’t last very long. Sure, it was fun having the freedom to drive your friends through any fast food restaurant in town, but eventually the novelty wore off and you realized that there is a gas tank to fill (which none of your friends seem to have money for) and there is insurance to be purchased.
So we move on to the next god; college.
Ah, the beauty of being 18 in the United States. Finally out from under the dictatorship of your parents. Free to live life the way you always imagined; staying up late, exploring new adventures, and deciding for yourself what kind of values and morals you want to live by. That was a good god!
Or was it?
Amazing as those years were, your soul seemed to long for more. There has to be more, right?
If I’m honest, I’ve never met anyone who told me that they worshipped a drivers license, college years, or anything else for that matter.
Yet somehow worship always gets brought up, usually in subtle terms.
Have you heard any of these statements:
“Once I’m out of college, I’m confident that things will open up for me.”
“I’m hoping to land that job and finally be able to have the life I dreamed of.”
“I’m saving up for this car, it’s going to be life-changing!”
“I just can’t wait to find my soulmate, the one who completes me”
“My kids will be my best friends, my world!”
Maybe those words have come out of your mouth. If so, ask yourself, how did that god work out? Is your soul satisfied?
What if marriage conflict and divorce wasn’t an issue of marrying the wrong person, but rather, an issue of worship.
You see, things get super dangerous when I start to put expectations on my wife that were only meant for Jesus to carry.
When she doesn’t comfort me, I distance myself. When she doesn’t meet my physical needs, I get bitter. And when I expect her to look and act a certain way, I get frustrated that she is not satisfying the deepest parts of my soul.
The truth is, my wife sucks at being god. And so does yours.
And so do your kids.
And so does that new house, and new politician, and new car, and new job, and bigger bank account, and grander vacation.
Our souls were meant to worship, we were designed for it. We just happen to be worshipping the wrong things.
I call it salt water. When you’re on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and you are literally dying of dehydration, the water around you seems very appealing. So, despite what you know to be true, you begin to drink of it. At first, it’s amazing. Your dry mouth is relieved by the cold water and your stomach feels full. And for a second, you are satisfied.
But the reality is, you just took one drink closer to your death. What you thought would satisfy you ended up making you 10 times more thirsty, and if you continue to drink of it, you are going to die.
Your wife, and everything else that you have ever placed your hope in, was not designed to be god. She is not meant to meet all your needs and to satisfy your soul. That is Jesus’ role. And when you place that responsibility on her, she will frustrate you and you will frustrate her. Your wife sucks at being god, Jesus does not.
Friends, let your wife do what she was designed to do; point you back to the One true God. Take the burden off of her and begin to love her the way Jesus loved his people; with massive patience, relentless love, and radical grace.
Lay down your idols, your gods, and come back to the only one who was meant to satisfy your soul.
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