A wise person once told me, “When you are looking for your marriage partner, don’t look for what you want, look for what you need.”
Being married for nearly twenty five years, the wisdom of this statement deeply resonates within me. Our wants do change over our lifetime but our needs remain the same. My wife is patient and nurturing, and me? Let’s just say that I am the poster child of what happens when a strong-willed child is not tamed and grows to adulthood. If I chose someone who was like myself as my wife, I would have much in common with her but there would be inevitable conflict. Two stubborn individuals always jockeying to be right. That is not what I need! Thanks be to God that He did not give me what I want!
When I was a resident in training, I outlined my professional and personal wants and goals in an ambitious five year plan. If only I was as meticulous with identifying my needs. I assumed if my wants were fulfilled, my needs would also be. Once I entered private practice, I was focused on titles and positions while ignoring the weightier matters of my character development and building lasting relationships. Not surprisingly, during this same period, my spiritual life deteriorated. It was only after a series of painful encounters that God showed me the shortsightedness and sinful errors of my way.
God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want, but there is a condition.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
Psalms 84:11 (NKJV)
God expects us to walk uprightly, to abide in His teaching. Jesus instructed His followers with this same principal.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:4 (NKJV)
Instead of looking inward and seeking fulfillment for your wants, look upward to God and ask Him to give you what you need. He will never withhold any good thing if you abide in Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.