You don’t need a significant other to be significant. Yes. Just, yes.
I think we need to have an honest discussion about this perception and belief that we’ve allowed to infiltrate our social norm that people are not complete on their own. When I saw this poster online, everything in me wanted to jump up and scream, YES! For as far back as I can remember, happily ever after and a ‘complete’ life was presented as being married with kids and having a house and a dog. For years Hollywood and books and social media have pushed this belief as well with their portrayal of happily ever after being found only when the heroine finds her hero. Jerry McGuire did us no favours when he uttered the line, “you complete me.” Don’t get me wrong, it was a very swoon-worthy moment, but it also played further into this belief that we are only complete when we find a significant other; that we are not complete on our own. This belief is so wrong. And not just wrong, but dangerous, and here’s why.
It’s dangerous because the more we hold to this view that we are only significant when we find a significant other, the more we lead people to believe that they are not enough as they are. We are indirectly telling people that they are not complete until they have met someone who wants to spend their life with them. The more we buy into and push this lie, the more we belittle the value of men and women and convince them that their worth and value is only found in their relationship status.
If you have ever felt that or believed that, I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. At all. Your significance is not found in another person wanting to spend their life with you because you are significant as you are. You are significant, worthy and enough in and of yourself. You do not need anyone to make you significant. Whether you are single or married or separated or divorced or widowed, you are still significant. You always have been, and you will always will be.
I understand how dangerous this belief can be because I have lived it. Since I was a little girl my dream has been to meet the man of my dreams, get married, have kids and live our own happily ever after, which has yet to happen, so I’ve battled the thoughts of not being complete yet. Add to the mix the fact that I constantly get asked by people that I meet if I am married with kids, it’s understandable that I would think there is something wrong with me because I’m not in the mould that society thinks I should. For years I battled the belief that I wasn’t complete and wouldn’t be complete until I got married and had my own family. For years that belief messed up my confidence in a big way. What’s more, it messed up my identity and my view of my worth, because my worth became tied up with my relationship status, which then tied my identity to my relationship status. My entire sense of worth became wrapped up in whether I would get married.
It took me years to break out of that belief and understand that I am significant as I am. My identity and self-worth are not found in my relationship status, just as much as it’s not found in my career or my position at work. It’s found in Jesus. My worth comes from the One who loved me to the point of death on a Cross and it’s because of Him that I am complete, not because of someone telling me they want to spend their life with me. (If that doesn’t make sense to you, I would love to explain what I mean and explain what the Cross means for us.) Don’t get me wrong, I still want the marriage and family. I still want the romantic love story that I’ve dreamed of since childhood, but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t change my self-worth or the fact that I am significant. They are two separate things.
Do I still think those thoughts at times? Yes, I do. In the quiet hours of the morning when I can’t sleep, that voice tries to tell me that because I am alone, I am not whole; that I am not complete or worthy or significant. And as much as I hate to admit it, there have been nights when I have gone to sleep believing that. But more and more often, when that voice starts up, I am silencing it with the truth that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am seen and heard and fully known and fully LOVED by my Heavenly Father. And that is where my identity comes from. Jesus is what makes me complete.
Listen, if you do, or have ever believed the lie that you are only significant once you are married, or once you have kids, let me tell you, that is not who you are. Your relationship status, whether you are married or separated or single or divorced or widowed does not increase or decrease your significance in any way, shape or form. A spouse does not increase or decrease your significance because you are significant as you are. You are worthy. You are enough. The One who made you sees you and loves you as you are, and that is the only truth we should be holding on to.