Christian Living Relationships/Family

The Reluctant Idols: Reflections of a Bride-To-Be

Jasmine Holmes

I’m getting married in 78 days.

Most of the time, that reality hasn’t fully settled in on me.

If you’d have asked me ten years ago what I hoped my future husband would be like, I would’ve laughed: nobody will want to marry me. Nobody could love this. You’re talking crazy talk!

As my friendship with my fiancé grew, and as our relationship blossomed, one of the things I appreciated most about this guy was that he was growing to love, not just the idea of a wife and a mother for his future household, but me, every awkward, bumbling, sinful bit. It’s the most bizarre thing ever. I gawked in wonder the day he told me he loved me.

And then I never felt lonely or insecure again! The end.

Idol Factories 

And all of the married women in the house gave that world-weary look and said, “Yeah, right.”

You see, even though I would have told you, growing up, that no one could ever love me and all of my insecurities, I always figured that, if, by some miracle someone did, then I’d never feel insecure or lonely ever again. Because, that’s how it works, right?

Well, that’s what the love songs say.

The truth is a more complicated matter entirely.

There are longings and fulfillments in an insecure, lonely single woman’s heart that are, indeed, sated by the love of a good man. There’s a deep love that reshapes her life, there’s a deep commitment that reorients her priorities. There are all of those amazing Song of Solomon feelings that crescendo into the symphony of marital intimacy.

But there’s still a sinful woman whose heart is prone to idolatry. In the words of Calvin, ““Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.”

And if she’s not careful, there’s a sinful woman who makes her husband just another one of her idols.

The Reluctant Idol

Making an idol out of precious metals is a bit different than making one out of a person. When we stand in front of idols without feelings or voices, we’re doing an exercise in futility, yes. But when these idols come up short of our expectations, they’re not made to feel insecure or inept. Because they can’t feel anything.

The men in our lives?

Little bit different.

When we expect our boyfriends, fiancés, or husbands to eradicate our insecurities, we’re not only placing ourselves in a position of disappointment and disillusionment: we’re also placing them in a position of helplessness and discontent. In asking them to do something they were never meant to do, we’re destroying our bonds and placing ourselves, not Christ, at the center of our relationships. We are worshipping the creature of self rather than the creator (Romans 1:22-23).

The Creator Over the Creature 

Singles often equate relationships with the end of a loneliness man alone was never meant to satisfy.

Whenever we feel a pang of heart-longing, we immediately think, “If only someone loved me, this would be better.” “If only I had someone to call, this would be easier.” “If only he would notice me, I’d feel fulfilled.”

In doing so, we’re setting ourselves and our potential significant others up for failure.

The only one who can fully satisfy us is the one who fully satisfied God’s just requirement for us on the Cross. Our deepest longings are meant to be sated only in Christ Jesus. Our most heart-heavy insecurities are only eradicated in the face of his overwhelming beauty and goodness on our behalf.

Again, this is not to say that there are not some aspects of intimacy that may need a bit of work in your particular relationship. Maybe he doesn’t call you enough, or, perhaps, he isn’t prioritizing your time together the way he ought to. Mentioning these things and managing them is all part of growing together.

But if these things are not mentioned and managed in light of the fact that only Christ can fully satisfy, then we don’t have a healthy meter for how dissatisfied we are with a sinful shortcoming, or how dissatisfied we are with the fact that the man isn’t everything that only Christ can be for us.

Any satisfaction we can derive from a relationship is just a reflection of the deeper satisfaction we already have in Christ Jesus.

Marriage Satisfies 

Marriage will satisfy you completely.

This is true.

But the marriage that satisfies you completely isn’t your fleshly marriage at all, but the marriage that your fleshly marriage points to: the relationship between Christ and his Bride, and his sacrifice on her behalf (Ephesians 5:22ff)

Do not confuse the music with its instrument: marriage is beautiful, sweet, and melodious, but it’s not worth much apart from the foundational and sustaining power of Jesus.

A little while ago, I was talking to a Titus 2 woman in my life about neediness: “How can you make sure you’re not just being overly needy with your husband?” She chuckled, knowing that, in my pride, it’s hard for me to need anyone. “You’re supposed to need your spouse,” she told me. “There’s no shame in it.”

And it was good for me to hear, because I do need to learn that becoming one with another person requires the vulnerability it takes to express sweet, healthy dependence on someone else. She continued, “But, just remember, that sometimes, those pangs you feel point to your ultimate need: Jesus.”

We depend on each other, we need each other, but those needs should always point the focus to the true fulfiller: Jesus.

Take the load off from your man’s shoulders and look to Christ. When your eyes are both pointed towards him, the love you have for one another just draws you deeper in to the love that allows you to enjoy being seen and known and chosen because of His work and in spite of your interference.

Awkwardness, insecurities, sin, and all are sated in the person and work of Jesus.

12 thoughts on “The Reluctant Idols: Reflections of a Bride-To-Be

  1. Gale-Ann

    Married 7 yrs. and this I know to be oh so true! To be as young as you are, and have such clarity about this before you walk down the isle is truly a blessing (and makes me a bit envious :))! Happy, happy wedding day to you and a marriage that will be a glorious reflection of Christ and his bride!

  2. Tanisha

    Super good read. I’ve been married 6 years, and everything you said resonated with what I have learned. I shared this to pass on your godly counsel. Happy wedding day to you and Happy Marriage to you!

  3. Moses S Dolo Jr.

    Good read very uplifting knowing The Lord should be fulfilling the void, and our focus while fulfilling His wishes as Gods creation. Thanks for this my bro shared and it really put myself in perspective. God bless you Jasmine

  4. Rachel Bird

    Great reminder!

  5. Tyshan Broden

    I was just talking to the girls I mentor about this last night. This is great. Ill have to share it with them

  6. MarkSingleton

    Great write-up, sharing this with some women in our community.

  7. Mara

    Just what I needed to hear. I had a feeling I was putting too much weight on my husband to satisfy my longings and loneliness, but you have confirmed it for me. Thanks for sharing!

  8. george canady

    You have an advantage that should be the good envy of any woman. A godly father, a godly husband and the unity of family conviction in the created order. God has been extremely gracious to you. Praise His name. Great leverage and influence to be sure.

  9. Faith

    Thanks so much for sharing, Jasmine! Thankful to the Lord for using writers like you to impart His wisdom.
    “Singles often equate relationships with the end of a loneliness man alone was never meant to satisfy…The only one who can fully satisfy us is the one who fully satisfied God’s just requirement for us on the Cross. ” Amen.

  10. Ronaé

    Thank you Jasmine for sharing your journey. This is a very timely address for my longing heart and your vulnerability is encouraging sis!

  11. Rachel White Stanton

    That was excellent, Jasmine! I’ve been happily married for 21 years and I couldn’t agree more with all that you said. A good husband is a blessing from God but only Jesus can satisfy our deepest longings. Blessings on you, sister!

  12. Ashley Nicole

    Great, Awesome article. You are blessed!

    I recently attempted to share some of the truth that you just eloquently shared. So I am going to forward them this article! lol

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