Idolize — as to regard with blind adoration, devotion, etc. 2. to worship as a god.
Whatever we idolize we make our God. The problem with idolization is that those people, places, and things we focus on do not the source. Misplaced identification of God/Source will leave you lacking divine presence, resources, blessings, fulfillment, and wisdom. Often people worship, chase after, and become addicted to things of this world while seeking to fulfill an innate need for connection to God and love.
Marriage is a state of commonly misplaced idolization. We think marriage will make our lives complete and give us a connection to the love we need. Many seek a spouse believing that the relationship will provide EVERYTHING needed internally and externally. We idolize and romanticize marriage with the belief that coupling will fulfill all of our desires for spiritual connection, love, acceptance, and purpose.
Self Identity, Purpose & Acceptance
Identity — the condition of being ones self
Purpose — the reason for which something exists
Acceptance — the act of assenting or believing (believing who you are)
The simple truth is that these qualities of being can only be understood through self-awareness and a truthful understanding of who we are as the image and reflection of God and the source of all things.
We can not understand our identity, our purpose, or accept ourselves without understanding first who the creator and what the source is.
YOUR purpose, YOUR identity, YOUR self-acceptance, and love for all that is YOUR being must be acquired in singleness, internally.
You must understand these aspects of your individual being before you can understand and identity. This awareness is pertinent to choosing a life partner and discern the purpose of joining with another.
When we do not derive this conception from the source of truth and love we put the pressure onto another being to give us our sense of self-acceptance, purpose, and identity. Strain and disappointment will always manifest when we have not first understood because another being can not give us our own internal knowledge of God.
Internalize the love of God before blindly attempting to acquire it from another person. We so often idolize marriage because we believe it is the source of love. In reality, marriage is an institution where love is carried out.
No person can validate you
No person can tell give you your life’s purpose
No person can tell you who you are
No person can UNDERSTAND for you
When we encounter someone we have a strong attraction to we experience the emotion which society misapprehends as love. This feeling is typically a combination of attraction, desire, interest, excitement, and sometimes lust. Love for this intent and purpose is a verb, an action word.
Most people truly desire affection, care, and romance not love in alignment with God’s definition.
Neuroscience researcher Dr. Helen Fisher defines these feelings, in part, in the love phase of a romantic relationship. These feelings of affection are usually felt most strongly in the first 6 months of getting to know someone that we are attracted to. The human brain releases dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals associated with a pleasurable activity, excitement, and addiction (Dr. Helen Fisher’s TED Talk — The Brain in Love).
Love can be felt and love is an act. One can feel love and one can walk or behave in love.
You will have the feeling of love for many but these feelings don’t identify or signify compatibility, shared purpose, or a reliable partnership. Feelings exist to bring us to your own attention. Analyze them and utilize them in decision making.
Our feelings communicate to us what we are experiencing. Emotions are an internal indication akin to intuition. The way we feel helps us make decisions but they should not decide for us. We are to listen to our feelings but we should not make life decisions solely from the way we feel.
Learn to use your heart (feelings) in collaboration with your mind. Balance the way you feel with reality, use rational thought processing, and the truth of God’s word.
Unconditional Love is Necessary
To be prepared for marriage you must first understand what it means to love in a marriage partnership and how this is carried out. Jesus is a prime example of how to love another and his example is not romantic.
The love which is necessary for marriage is not based solely on our feelings. It is an unconditional God-like love that is displayed through our acts. Unconditional love is evidenced in the manner we express loving care for our children or family members.
Romanticize: to think about or describe something as being better or more attractive or interesting than it really is: to show, describe, or think about something in a romantic way.
We not only idolize marriage as our source but we also romanticize its reality. We make romance the primary factor and necessity in relationships versus unconditional agape love.
Romance is one component, as is physical attraction in a bond. It is similar to affection and passion, a format for displaying love but so is serving someone a healthy meal. Romance brings people together, call it that spark, but it is not the glue that unifies a covenant marriage relationship. Agape love is the selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature) agape. It is qualified by goodwill, sacrifice, faithfulness, and commitment.
Man is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church, unconditionally. He is called to teach and lead in a manner that displays this love.
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘ 1 Corinthians 13:4–8
I don’t know about YOU but it is difficult to be patient, to be kind, to put pride aside, to honor others, to be selfless, to not be angry, and let go of other's wrongs. You mean ALWAYS trust and ALWAYS rejoice with ALL truth?
This type of love requires God, guidance, and maturity. Acting with agape love won’t bring a good feeling all the time. The exercise requires self-control and a constant subduing of the ego. Walking in love is not as easy as it sounds.
Again, this is why Jesus is our example. He overcame the challenge and his example teaches us the way and the path.
Maintaining a lasting marriage or almost any relationship takes internal awareness and God. We are shown how to not seek revenge, to hold our tongue, to forgive continually, to be non-judgemental, not to use harsh words, to listen, and to speak the truth. We all must learn how to love and most of us were not taught. For some of us, those who were responsible to love us didn’t demonstrate love or provide the instruction.
The ministries of marriage and building a family are a commission. In this union, we build and progress the planet. Matrimony is a modality used to cultivate and experience God as one. The family unit with marriage being its foundation is a representation of God, creation, and sustainability of life.
So many get into relationships and become married in seasons of brokenness, loneliness, addiction, and lust. Often when we are lacking a sound understanding of our true identity, purpose, and self-acceptance in Christ we seeking God (love) outside of ourselves. Many idolize relationships with people attempting to gratify the desires of the flesh and chasing after the feeling.
Looking for love in all the wrong places. It starts within …
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
We create idols of many things; ourselves, careers, money, sex, government, education, etc. Anything we interpret as our source for fulfillment, love, and purpose aside from God we form into our idol. We worship these things through our actions. We will devote ourselves, believing we will receive the return.
However, the internal fulfillment of love, self-acceptance, identity, and purpose are best actualized in singleness. While single we are able to explore ourselves, experience others, and learn what we want and need. We are able to focus on our personal development and learn how we function best. In the seasons of singleness, we discover our identity in Christ and who we are at our core.
Singleness develops the character, work ethic, emotional health, mental capacity, and the revelation that is necessary to cultivate and thrive in a relationship.
You can not know how to love someone else in a relationship if you have not figured out how to love yourself, a single being.
God created the individual first, understand one before two. Marriage is only as good as you are in your singleness. In addition, marriage does not upgrade your single being but marriage exposes all of you. To marry, to merge, to become one, to unify with another is a process of full exposure.
God gives an anointing for our partner to expose and uncover anything in us that is not like Christ. If we don’t work on knowing our identity and Christ-likeness during singleness we will be frustrated and lacking in the marriage.
The bible says that it is not good for man to be alone. Alone does not mean lonely or sadness due to having no company. The Hebrew word for man means all is one. So in the beginning God created man, mankind, male and female was man. Out of man came women, woman and man were man, all in one. It is not good for man to be without their counterpart.
Alone is not the same as single. Single means separate, apart and detached, unique, original and complete, whole. Understand and value be lone before being together.
Get to know God, spend time with yourself and then you will have the capacity to love another, receive love, and experience true love together.
Do not idolize marriage because marriage will not make you whole but seek God and he will teach you and fulfill your heart, mind, body and spirit so that you can wholly, wholesomely join with another in authority, power, fruitfulness and love.
I am divorced now but when I got married I entered marriage believing that becoming married would improve an abusive relationship. I thought being married would improve my life overall and fix my relationship issues.
I was idolizing marriage believing it would give me rightness with God and a God-filled loving life. That relationship, rightly, ended. God was nowhere in the union. We both sought God, he even went to Bible college but we were not whole when we got together. We were trying to heal ourselves through a relationship. We married then tried to put God in afterward to fix it the relationship and ourselves.
You have to let God in, in your heart and your life. The glory part is you get the love and acceptance without having to find or wait for someone to give it to you. It's all in you, God is you. Accept it!