There’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. To be honest, it’s been around for several years now, but the intensity has ramped up these past few weeks and this question sits pounding away in the back of my psyche demanding an answer. It’s a two part question which is this: Is God really enough and, if so, what does that mean for human relationships?
There’s a common belief among Christians that often comes out as a cliche when some is stressed or lonely or in want. “God is enough. He is faithful. He will provide. Trust in Him. Don’t look for fulfillment elsewhere because everything you need comes from the Father of Lights.” Like many of the things we Christians believe and say, there’s definitely some truth in it. There’s biblical backing for this idea, but do we take it too far? Obviously He created us with needs: physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, etc. and He asks us to trust in Him, to rely on Him, but I doubt that means the idea is for us to sit back and let the fulfillment of these needs rain down from above. As with most things, there must be a right balance there somewhere, but the hard part is finding it.
At the moment, the primary need I’m concerned about is relational or more specifically romantic. I’ve wanted to be in a relationship for so long it almost feels like that desire has become a part of me. I want shared history, I want inside jokes, I want someone to think of fondly throughout the day who just may be thinking of me too. I need support and encouragement, someone who can make me believe that the things I do matter. I need someone to lavish with affection to show how much they mean to me. What’s often so difficult is determining if this is a want or a need.
I’m immensely grateful to my friends and family who are often able to meet these needs in their own ways. Without them I don’t know if I’d have been able to survive this long, but I feel like I’m constantly starved for love, never knowing where the next bite will come from, looking out at the future and wondering if I’ll ever be able to settle into a comfortable pattern or if this constant search for affection will be how I live out my days.
And here’s where the question comes in: Is God enough? Is He waiting to fulfill all of these needs either directly or through other means that I’m just not taking advantage of? Am I refusing to let Him provide for me somehow? If I search for a partner to love me, am I rejecting the love of My Father that’s being graciously offered? Does He have a design for how these needs get me or is that up to me?
I often wonder if growing up on TV and rom-coms has twisted my thinking. Has this idealized version of romance caused me to turn what was supposed to be a gift into an idol? The desire becomes almost all-consuming at times and I think there must be something off in my thought process. I often find myself praying to be fixed, that He would patch this hole that lets the love I receive from friends and family leak out so quickly once I’m no longer in their presence. I wish that when God made Eve and said, “It is not good for man to be alone,” that He had been a bit more specific so I’d know if I really do need a partner (a help meet if you will) or if company is enough.