Relationships begin in many different ways. Ours began with a prank phone call. Yes, that’s right! While attending the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, I (Patrick) called Ruth pretending to be a local radio station DJ offering an opportunity to win cash. The goal was simple: call an unsuspecting student and pretend to be giving away money to the individual who could “dash for the cash” at a particular intersection in downtown Chicago. What poor college student wouldn’t jump at such a generous offer? From our tenth-floor dorm window, the view was perfectly entertaining. This, along with other radio contest scenarios, provided much-needed stress relief from our studies.
Ruth didn’t fall for the prank, but she did fall for me. I’ll be forever grateful to my roommate who suggested we call this unsuspecting classmate of his. That failed prank phone call led to a double date, then another, until finally I had the courage to ask her to be my valentine.
That’s how our relationship began! But it’s not how a relationship starts, it’s how it continues to grow and flourish in grace. When it came time for marriage, we were thoroughly unprepared for what was ahead. Like a lot of couples, we were juiced up on the idea of marriage without fully understanding the reality of marriage!
All of us enter marriage with expectations. Many of our misconceptions about marriage get shattered early on, and others, take some time to break. While there are certainly plenty of misconceptions about marriage (some positive and some negative), here are our top five.
1. Your spouse will complete you
It’s true that in the creation account (Genesis 2:18), there was something incomplete about Adam by himself. And so God graciously blesses him with a wife, friend, companion, and partner in ministry. But it is probably more accurate to say that our spouse compliments us and not completes us. Our heart is meant to be complete in a loving relationship with our Father, through faith in Jesus. This is the relationship that we truly hunger for and are always satisfied by (John 6:35). Even in the best and healthiest marriage, we will still experience disappointment, loneliness, and the absence of perfect love. Whatever you do, don’t look to your spouse to do what only God was meant to do! Your spouse will compliment you in amazing ways, but they can never complete you the way God can.