When we look to others for needs like Love, acceptance, security, total commitment and significance,(LASTS) we are often let down. We put an expectation on a person they were never meant to fulfill. This isn't to say they cannot meet other significant needs, but when it comes to Identity, we must find that in God. This is easier said then done when it comes to real life application but when I'm freed from need, then I'm freed to love.
So a couple comes in and they are asking each other to meet the needs that LASTS. When the other person doesn't fulfill it to level of expectation God has placed in us, there begins the descend into resentment. Bitterness and resentment do start with legitimate wants or desires but get twisted when we look to the wrong source to get those desires met. Not only do I resent the other person but they become my enemy. Everything they do is either against me or to put me down. When this occurs I no longer can truly love that person. I hear it often said, " I love the person, I'm just not in love." When asked to define this common phrase it usually boils down to some level of unrealistic expectation the other person hasn't met or that my feelings aren't aligned with truth because that person is now my enemy.
Parents bring their kids in because they are performing to the level that "our family" expects. Something is wrong with this kid because they aren't trying hard enough. Kids will get exasperated because they cannot perform to the level their parents "need" them to. Now there is nothing wrong with making good grades or performing well in sports, but when the kid has jumped through all the hoops and it still isn't enough, more often than not, the parents have made their kids their "gods". I need my kids to give me identity and worth. Both kids and parents feel the strain and don't have a sense of freedom that comes from a loving relationship that is freed from need (LASTS).
When I free my spouse or loved one from need then I'm freed to give freely from those needs being met in God. How does God meet these needs when I have legitimate needs in this world? I believe it is a two edged sword in the sense that we cannot get eternal needs met from others, but God meets those needs in and through others. The epistles often talk about how the Church functions as a body tied together with each member having a specific function. The problem is when an eye is asking the ear what it needs to do to be an eye, when the ear doesn't know. But they both depend on each other to make the entire system work. When one is trying to function apart from the others, it doesn't serve its true function. When I know who I am and Whose I am, I'm freed to be myself and let others be uniquely themselves. I can't go to them to get my identity, but as I accept my Identity as from my creator, I can play my part in making the body work. We then by working together meet each others needs.
The same is true for marriages, kids, friends, parents, etc. When I recognize the unique function and Identity of that person in Christ, we can work interdependently on each other without compromising God's design for our lives. In fact when I free the other person from need to be my "god" then they can take their proper place in complimenting my part and their part in the body of Christ. So God, in and through them, as them, can bless me and meet my needs.
The moments I feel most free is when I'm not looking to my wife, my kids, my job, my possessions, my status to give me worth and value. The moments I feel most free is when I can freely chose to love them because they no longer have to meet any unrealistic expectation I may put on them to be my "god".
Day to day is learning experience and a choice in expecting others to be my god or getting my worth from my Source in God! Today chose freedom!!