There’s that Scripture you know should mean more to you: “Your Maker is your husband.” (Isaiah 54:5) But you’re just not feeling it. You’re single, and you desperately want to feel some “skin in the game,” not some nebulous spiritual platitude. Or you’re married, and if God is anything like your husband you’ll pass, Thank you very much.
God blessed me with over seven years of a loving marriage. I wrote about what it means to find God as your Husband a couple years ago, and my marriage certainly helped me understand some new dimensions of God’s love. Now that I’m single again after my husband’s death the reality of God as my Husband has taken on a new depth once more. And it’s got nothing to do with some nebulous spiritual platitude.
For all the ways in which modern Western society has allowed women to take care of themselves (and that’s a good thing), there’s a part of us that still needs a man. Or at least some of us think we do. Some of us rush from one relationship to the next, unconsciously (or consciously) desperate to find the one who will finally make us OK. Others of us refuse to pretend to need a man, ratcheting up our independence, certain that we’ll be misused or betrayed or at least disappointed – again – if we let our heart risk allowing a member of the male species inside. We may parade our independence in front of our friends, or we may relentlessly complain about how the man we ended up with is making us miserable.
Some of us are miserable without a man. Some of us are miserable with the man we chose. Remember, if you’re out there looking for Mr. Right, there are a lot of married women who be happy to give him to you! Ladies, this ought not to be!
Owning and Directing Your Deepest Need
I was a successful independent woman before I married my husband, but I’m deeply grieving now that I’m single again. My husband completely captured my heart, and rebuilding my life after his death is like trying to live with half of one’s whole being traumatically amputated. Even though I knew this day would come (barring Jesus’ prior return), nothing can prepare you for this kind of grief.
And yet I’m OK. I told my husband a few weeks before his death, “If you die before Jesus returns, I will hurt a lot. I will cry – a lot. But I will be OK.” And I am. That’s because I had learned not that long before Al and I met what it was to know God as my Husband. It’s real. And it’s enough.
It’s not that we don’t have very human hearts that long to feel human love, human embrace, human caring, even physical intimacy. God built us that way. Those needs are very real, and we do violence to our own hearts when we try to deny those needs. Married or unmarried, happily married or miserably married, single, widowed, divorced – those categories do make a difference. The state of our closest human relationship (or lack thereof) affects all the aspects of our lives and wellbeing.
But there’s something deeper still. There’s a part of our being that is the same regardless of our marital status, a part of us that “I do” or “I don’t” or “Goodbye” can never touch.
We will only ever find wholeness, intimacy, and satisfaction when we own that part of our being, and learn to direct it in the right direction.
- If you’re single, learning this before you get married will make it possible for you to enjoy a healthy vibrant marriage if God brings a man into your life
- If you’re married, learning this now will make it possible for you to thrive and flourish even in a bad marriage or to enliven and maximize the joy in a good marriage
- If you’re single again, learning this will make it possible for you to be truly OK – really truly OK – regardless of what your future holds
How to Experience God Meeting Your Deepest Need
What does it look like to do that? Here are some things to think about.
- Examine your heart’s needs. Take some time in a quiet place and reflect. Perhaps you’ll want to do this by journaling. Visualize taking your heart in your hands and examine it. Look at it carefully. Where is it strong? Where is it broken? Where is it weak or needy? Where is it beautiful or courageous? Where have you tried to deny its needs – perhaps unsuccessfully? Where have you tried to get its needs met in empty or meaningless ways? What is its current state? Be objective. Be honest. It may be painful to do this, but it’s important. You can do this!
- Lift your heart into God’s hands. After you’ve taken the time to brutally and painfully examine the state of your heart, take it in your hands and lift it up. Visualize Jesus being there with you, reaching out His hands to you. He won’t take your heart from you; He’s waiting for you to offer it to Him. Some parts of your heart will be strong and perhaps even lovely. Some parts of your heart may be dark, hurting, empty, broken. Offer it all to Him. Can you see Him accepting your heart as you hand to Him? See Him taking it, and holding it as precious, priceless.
- Take some action. Whether right away or in the near future, there’s something – or many things – that you will need to do as a result of examining your heart and offering it to Jesus. That may be learning to feed yourself – taking into yourself the nourishment your heart needs to grow and stay healthy. It may be treating the people around you (including your husband if you’re married) differently. It may be investing your time and energy in a new way to benefit other people in your world. Now that your heart’s needs are offered to Jesus and are in His care, you’re responsible to live differently.
You may well need to repeat the above exercise more than once. Doing this will help you understand and experience how God wants – and can – truly meet your deepest needs regardless of your marital status.
Learning to experience God as your Husband will make all kinds of difference in your world going forward. People in need have born witness to this reality for centuries, and you can experience it too.
For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. (Isaiah 54:5)
Your Turn: What parts of your heart have you tried to deny? Can you imagine owning them and letting God have those parts of your heart? Leave a comment below.
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