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The Ultimate Lover

Even before her personal encounter with Jesus, Annie learned the hard way that having a husband was not a magic key to happiness. Two years into her marriage, Annie’s husband decided that he wanted to move from their home in New Zealand to Australia—to live life “to the fullest.” He quit his job and left, leaving Annie behind with no support. With no place to turn and feeling the pain of rejection, Annie ended her marriage by divorce.

Annie soon met a young man who showed great interest in her. With no family or friends to support her, Annie accepted this man’s expressions of compassion. He seemed to understand the pain she had gone through in her marriage and promised that he would protect her for the rest of her life. To Annie, this sounded wonderful. She thought she had found her “Mr. Right”—the man who would genuinely love and care for her and who would never leave her, as her ex-husband had done. Believing that they truly loved each other, Annie moved in with him, anticipating that this time would bring them even closer together.

But her dream of a blissful relationship with a man was quickly dashed. Mr. Right was like many of the “free-thinkers” of today. He claimed to be a Catholic, yet he believed that the homosexual lifestyle was acceptable. His mother was a lesbian, and he even admitted that he wouldn’t mind living a bisexual lifestyle. Though Annie didn’t consider herself a saint, these values were so different from how she had been brought up. She was Asian, from a traditional Chinese home, and her parents were very conservative!

Enter: a Biblical Perspective!

When a girl at work invited Annie to attend a Bible study at her church, she was curious. A group of international students about her age met regularly to study the Bible and look for answers to life. Annie shared with the group that though she could resonate with many of Jesus’ teachings, she only believed in him 50%. She still believed 50% in Buddhism. The group accepted her graciously, but someone explained to her that she couldn’t stay halfway. It would be like wanting to stay halfway in a flooded area and be halfway rescued by a helicopter. Shocked by this friend’s statement, Annie began to read the Bible on her own. As she read, her heart was stirred by how much God loved her. Eventually, she responded to God’s love and placed her complete trust in Him.

As a new creation in Christ, Annie found joy in her salvation welling up in her heart every day. She wanted to share this newfound joy with her boyfriend, but when she tried to talk to him, he became abusive. He even admitted to having had an affair with another woman. Deeply hurt, Annie packed up her belongings and moved out. She knew in her heart that God was not pleased with the relationship she had with Mr. Right. Leaving him was the right thing to do. And she wanted nothing to do with another relationship with a man—ever!

New beginnings

It was then that God began to show Annie the kind of husband He could be to her: Provider, Protector, Comforter, and Friend. Isaiah 54:5–6 says: “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.”

Understanding the many ways God wanted to husband her, Annie realized she didn’t need to keep looking for a man to care for her. God was all she needed, and she would look to Him to be her husband. He was the only One in this life who had truly said, “I will never leave you” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV). She understood that God would be with her both now and forever, and, as God’s beloved, she deserved to be treated with kindness by men. She accepted that God might not necessarily give her a godly husband in this life, but she had joy, because God had filled the hole in her heart with a sense of fulfilment found only in Jesus Christ.

Verses from the Bible became more personal and precious than she could imagine. Psalms 139:14: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And Ephesians 2:10: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Annie also began to realize that her past did not surprise God. She had tended to love people who loved her and harshly judge those who didn’t—including the men in her past relationships. But Jesus taught that even sinners do that. She realized that she was lumped in with all sinners: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Today, the covenant relationship Annie has with God—and is remaking every day—is more eternal than any marriage covenant she might someday have with a husband. God, the Maker of her soul, is her eternal lover. An earthly husband could not be God in her life. He could never meet all of her needs. Only God as her “Husband” could love her in a way that would complete her and never disappoint. She now rests and lives in the joy that she is loved with an everlasting love, “and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). She knows that in this life there will always be challenges and disappointments, but by believing the reality of who she is in Christ and trusting God in all circumstances, she has peace. One day, all believers will meet our truest Groom face-to-face. And, in this life, regardless of our marital status, we groan for the culmination of all things: the coming of Christ—our Groom—and our eternity together.

Kaili Zhang is Ministry Representative of International Students, Inc., a senior lecturer in education, and a freelance educational consultant.

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20220403
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Oct-Dec 2022. CCMUSA.