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Longing to be Loved

All women long to be loved. It is a natural and good desire, but it can become a perverted demand. The longing for my husband’s love and affection was the primary factor in developing my destructive fierceness. I was hurt every time I felt he somehow neglected me or failed to demonstrate love and affection. And in my pain, I lashed out in ugly retaliation hoping to get his attention, hoping he’d recognize my need for him to come to my rescue.

Rather than lashing out at the husband, some women retreat into their private world of romance novels or mental fantasy when they feel neglected. Every day, lonely wives make connection with a potential lover via the Internet’s many social media sites. Other women try to stifle their longing for love with food, prescription drugs, or some other addiction.

I’ve spoken with women who’ve turned to alcohol, cutting, masturbation, even crystal meth to satisfy longing. The drive to fill your life with pleasure isn’t wrong. But attempting to substitute the Living Bread with addictive substitutes is like filling your mouth with gravel (Proverbs 20:17).

You may be flirting with the lure of an attractive substitute, a seeming “innocent” Facebook connection or spending long hours in erotic fantasy through the pages of a magazine or novel thinking, “I can handle this . . .”—all the while chains of enslavement are silently encircling.

Let me encourage you to consider what or who you are looking to for happiness, comfort, fulfillment or joy. Where are your desires leading you and what is the source of those desires? I need to warn you, if you want to get serious about making a careful search in answer to these questions, you may uncover some messy idolatry.

I’ve never bowed down to an idol made of gold or wood, but I’ve practiced idolatry. An idol is anything other than God that we look to or seek after for our fulfillment, security, and happiness. Idolatry starts with a desire, it can be a good desire. Wanting affection from my husband is a good and healthy thing, but demanding his affection indicates my desire has grown into an idol.

Isaiah describes the irony of looking to anything other than the one true God to bring complete fulfillment. He says it’s like feeding on ashes. The woman seeking relief for her longing through narcotics, cutting, or alcohol will only become more enslaved to that addiction. If LeRoy would have attempted to fill my craving with his affection, it still wouldn’t have brought my heart complete satisfaction. It couldn’t.

The only answer to the heart’s deepest longing is found in clinging to Christ.

How are you fulfilling your heart’s longing?

8 Comments

  • Krystal Bradley

    I did not get to attend True women 2012. I heard so many great things about it ,and have been encouraged by things I’ve been told by ladies that went. I am sure i will love this book and can’t wait to read it!

  • Susan Condit

    I would love to read your book. The Lord has called me into a women’s ministry. We will study Ephesians next spring and it seems like it would be helpful. Revive Our Hearts has been so helpful in my ministry.

  • Gina Hooker

    Kim, I heard about “Fierce Women” on a Christian television program and could not wait to read it. The Lord had been dealing with me about my refusal (or seemingly inability) to ‘demonstrate’ love towards my husband for several years now. I loved him, yet found it so difficult to show. I spent years spewing poison as a result of being bitter and resentful towards my spouse for not measuring up to the man I had determined he should be. It was not until the Lord revealed to me in Isaiah Ch 54 these words, “the Lord your Maker is your husband”…that I was both deeply convicted and freed. I had been putting all my fleshly efforts towards getting my needs met and loathing the hurt of rejection in my marriage. The Lord showed me that He was able to meet my deepest need and I was freed from having to be ‘filled up’ by my spouse. How unfair it was for me to ‘expect’ that of my husband, to make him responsible for my joy and peace. I apologized to my spouse for ‘crucifying’ him repeatedly for not measuring up, when all along I should have been crucifying myself. I could go on and on, the Holy Spirit has revealed SO much to me over the past 3 yrs. I too have a passion to minister and disciple others and through Christ equip and empower Christians to be overcomers (would love to write a book). I have written several devotions and study lessons, perhaps feeling as you did. Striving in the flesh to teach and lead without the humility of being a servant. I knew that without LOVE I was but a clanging symbol, and I’ve known for a long time that I had to get that “love thing” straightened out and settled before Christ would ever allow me to disciple others. “Now faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these….” I am excited to see what the future holds as I yield and submit to both Christ and my spouse. I’ve always prided myself on being S-T-R-O-N-G, surviving sexual abuse as a child and physically abusive (first)marriage for 12 years. I went into my second marriage with one hand up and one hand out. Determining to never be hurt or cheated again. One thing I have said of myself is…I need a lot less leather and a little more lace! Now, praise be to God, I love with both hands out. Not expecting to be hurt, not expecting to be adored…just resting in Him. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Maria

    Thank you for ths post. I feel like the timing of this article, along with another, is truely what I needed to hear and at last God is answering my prayers. I’ve long been what feels like destroying myself spiritually with the thought that outside of my small family no one loves me…I deep inside knew I needed God to fill this void in me, but even after reading the word diligently and praying, even fasting, I still felt so empty because I would resort to thinking again that no one would ever love me. I would indulge myself with fantasies that someone did. I don’t want to resort to this anymore, but after several years of trying to put my mind on God, I struggle so much at times it feels nearly unbearable. I realize now through God blessing me to read this and another today, what I’m doing wrong…but what remains is I felt I’ve been so diligent before with reading, fasting and praying; what else can I do to put Jesus first in my life and stop this?

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Maria,

    I am so sorry to hear of your struggles and understand how painful it is to feel unloved and alone. You asked what else you can do to “put Jesus first” and to stop your wrong thinking.

    Have you ever read Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book: Lies Women Believe? I highly recommend this book as a helpful resource for spiritual growth. I have more on that book here: http://www.kimberlywagner.org/?p=106

    Also, I hope you are plugged into a solid, biblical church where you have a network of godly believers who can help you as you seek to grow in Christ. This is imperative. Titus 2:3–5 describes the role of older women and how they are to be an encouragement to those who are coming behind. I pray that God will lead you to some good Christian friends and mature women who will help you in your desire to grow in Christ.

    I encourage you to sign up to receive emails that will give you my daily blog post (see the place to subscribe in the upper left hand side of the page). Look for other websites that can be a source of inspiration and instruction and apply yourself to reading good materials.

    I hope you’ll read this blog post:

    http://www.kimberlywagner.org/?p=2047

    Fill your mind with the truth of the Word (see what type of things your mind should be dwelling on according to Philippians 4:8).

    It is important to not only receive, but it is more important to give. How are you pouring the love of Christ into others? How are you seeking to serve, encourage, and help those in need? As you demonstrate 1 John 3:16 type of love, you will experience God at work in and through you . . . and there is no greater joy and sense of fulfillment than having God at work in your life!

    I’m pausing to pray for you now, Maria, asking God to confirm to you His great love for you and that you will find your greatest joy in walking with Him!