In a climactic scene in the movie Jerry Maguire, Jerry had just closed a big deal for his client without his wife by his side. He makes his way to the living room, where she is hosting a group therapy session with a group of women, and tells her that his successful experience with his client did not feel like it was complete because she was not there to share it with him. He tells her that he loves her and delivers the slam-dunk: “You complete me.” With tears in her eyes, she responds by telling him to shut-up. He looks puzzled and she says, “You had me at hello.” The ladies in the room sit mesmerized as the couple embraces, and then one declares, “This is the best discussion group!”
The idea is certainly romantic, and makes for a great movie scene. But did Jerry Maguire get it right? Could he find completeness in the woman he loved? I love my wife dearly, and after 32 years of marriage, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her. She loves me, trusts me, believes in me, cares for me, and I am privileged to share my life with her. I wouldn't want it any other way. But she does not complete me, and I do not complete her. It would be extremely unfair for either of us to place that burden on one another. Her identify as a complete person is not found in me, nor mine in her.
We all tend to search for our completeness in places where it cannot be found. As we long to find our complete identity, we often turn to our spouses or other relationships, our careers, homes, status, affluence, and many other things; but all of these things are temporal. If we must find our identity in temporal things, what happens when those things disappear? Many fall into deep depression and make horrible choices when their identify is lost or cannot be found in temporal things.
God created us to have our identity in him. Scripture tells us that man and woman was created in the image of God; as we all have descended from the first man and woman created by God, we all bear the image of God. Genesis 2:7 says that “God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” The very breath of human life is from God, and he is where we find our significance. When we seek our identity from anyone or anything else, that is called idolatry.
Our identity as God’s image bearers has been corrupted by sin. But because of his great love for us, he has provided a way to restore his image in us. When we come to the place of faith, believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and we confess him as our Lord and Savior (Rom 10:9-10), he cleanses us from our sin, and begins to restore the image of God in us. We have new life through Christ, a new identity “which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph 4:24).
Christ is where we find our true, complete identity. This is great news for everyone, whether you are married or single, and it is of great importance. You cannot find completeness in another human being. Look only to Jesus to complete you. Your identity is secure in him.