Wednesday, August 19, 2009

As It Should Be

Originally published June 13, 2008.

I had coffee with a friend two days ago. It was a delicious time of iced coffee and great conversation. We got caught up with each other's year since we hadn't seen much of one another during the past few months, difficult for both of us in different ways.

We got to talking about how people can let us down--spouses, children, friends--and my friend told me about a 90 year old woman in her church who, before my friend got married, sat her down and told her this: "Your spouse will let you down. He will never be able to fulfill all your needs, and that's as it should be."

Confused, my friend asked her why. Why wouldn't her spouse fulfill all of the hopes and dreams she had held for twenty-some-odd years? She had certainly been looking forward to nightly foot massages and deep conversations long past midnight.

"Because, my dear," the senior saint went on, "when people let us down it makes us realize that no human being can do what God can do for us. It just reminds us that only God can fulfill our need for closeness."

And that's as it should be.


  1. My mom has told me this before. Unfortunately, I don't think she's really internalized it, because she continues to be bitter about every disappointment she experiences in her marriage. I've tried to learn from that and NOT be like her in that respect. But it's hard not to put all our hopes on a person. Good reminder, Shelly - thank you!

  2. This is beautifully expressed and oh so true. Perfect follow-up to yesterday's post loneliness, which struck a familiar chord with me too.