Deb learned the hard way that having a husband was not the key to happiness.
Six years into her marriage, Deb's husband recovered from an accident that nearly killed him. Then he decided it was time to live his life to the fullest. With no regard for his family, he quit his job, no longer provided for Deb and her children and stayed out nightly ‘til 3:00 a.m. with no explanation of his whereabouts. Not knowing where to turn, Deb escaped the turmoil by divorcing him.
Deb then married a second husband who seemed compassionate about all she had been through in her first marriage. But five years into her second marriage, her husband became abusive toward her children and ended up having a three-year affair with another woman. When Deb discovered the affair, she left the marriage and swore off men, wanting nothing to do with another marriage or relationship.
It was then that God began to show Deb the kind of husband He could be toward her: her Provider, her Protector, her Counselor, her Friend.
In Isaiah 54:5, she read:
"For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name….The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God.
As Deb began to grow in her relationship with God, she began to see the many ways He could husband her and she realized she didn't need to keep looking for a man to marry. She had all she needed in God.
"I told God I didn't need a man as long as I had Him!" Deb told me, as she recalled her story.
That was when God unexpectedly brought Dave into Deb's life. Dave was committed to God and was able to show Deb what a godly marriage looked like. Together, Dave and Deb now serve God through various ministries at their church. But Deb is convinced she had to first look to God to be her husband, before she could recognize a godly man.
As she began to understand God's love for her, she was better able to recognize unconditional love in a man. As she saw who she was in God's eyes, she saw how she deserved to be treated by a man. God won't necessarily bring a man into your life just because you put Him first, as He did for Deb. But God will fill that hole in your heart with a sense of fulfillment only He can provide.
I, too, had to learn the hard way that the Lord is my husband. Unlike Deb originally did, I married a man who was everything I had hoped and prayed for. But even being married to a pastor, I quickly learned that my husband was not perfect in the ways God is. My earthly husband could not be God in my life and meet all of my emotional needs. God had to be my "Husband." And while my earthly husband does what he can to love me in the way God has called him to, only the Lord Jesus, the Lover of my Soul, can love me in a way that completes me and will never disappoint me.
For instance, I still, at times, look to my husband to truly know me and understand me as no one else does. But even after twenty-one years of marriage, he still can't understand my thoughts, predict my actions, and know exactly what to say when I'm feeling a certain way. That is still a task that is beyond him in his humanity. Yet, in Psalms 139:2, the Psalmist describes God by saying "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar." God actually knows my thoughts before I think them, my words before I say them, and my actions before I carry them out. On days I feel misunderstood and wish my husband understood me better, I can go to God and know He completely understands the intentions of my mind and heart.
There have also been times I have wanted my husband to affirm me and give me a sense of purpose. Yet, again, in his humanity, he can never say and do enough to communicate affirmation to the depths of my soul. But God, the Maker of my soul, says in His Word that "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10). His Word says "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalms 139:14) and that He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, "plans to give(me) hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).
Yes, those verses may just sound like words at first. But when you get to know intimately the One who said those words, they become words more personal and precious than you can imagine.
Are you still waiting for a godly man to come into your life? If so, let God be the Man. He wants to be the One to husband you. He wants to be the One that you depend on and look to first to be your Provider, Protector, Comforter and Friend. He is, after all, the Only One on this earth who is truly able to say "I will never leave you" (Hebrews 13:5). He is the Only One who is able to say to you "I have loved you with an everlasting love…" (Jeremiah 31:3) and He is the Only One who was able to go to the grave and back to get you for His own (Romans 5:8).
Trust the One who knows your whole history when it comes to relationships—the loves you've longed for, and those you've lost. And realize that the God of this universe—who knows all about your flaws and your failures, your worries and your weaknesses—still chooses to love you and call you His bride.