Emptiness Inside

In sipping coffee with a friend we talked and laughed about a great many things. She stated something that made me pause and consider why it resonated so powerfully. “God fills us because He created us”, she said. I recalled being told “You will always need God because your husband will never be enough for you and you will never be enough for him.” What about Jerry Maguire’s “you complete me.” The romanticism of that line won the hearts of many as it roared through pop culture and was reiterated in memes, Valentine’s Day cards, and, I would bet, even marriage vows. That is simply a lie.

Saying, “God fills us because He created us” implies a perfect design that includes a hole in our heart and feelings of emptiness inside. That hole can only be filled by our maker, God. Seeking to fill this hole is one of many ways the path can lead to Him.

 

Pop culture and romance novels would have you believe that finding the perfect spouse will fill this hole. That expectation sets us up for disappointment. The grass will always be greener on the other side because the one we chose will always come up short. People and relationships aren’t the only things people choose to fill the emptiness they feel. There are many motivations that drive what we ultimately choose to fill that hole. Our choices reflect how we view ourselves and what we value. Alcohol, drugs, sex, cars, houses, titles, status are just a few of the many things people value and, therefore, seek to fill the emptiness they feel.

 

While I always believed in God, my notion of what exactly that meant was vague at best. I would pray to thank God for blessings or ask for help in times of need, but it never occurred to me that there was more. I treated God as something “out there” and separate instead of central and integral to everything I do and say. Being happily married with children and good health still leaves a hole to be filled.

 

Abraham Maslow articulated his psychological theory of human needs and what priority each of those needs have relative to one another. McLeod does a pretty good job of explaining this theory in his article Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The diagram below is also from this article.

Maslow’s Pyramid

God is not mentioned in Maslow’s pyramid of needs. I would argue that God under-girdles the whole thing and true self actualization is possible when we fulfill our purpose in His plan.

 

What do you think? Where do you see God in the hierarchy of needs?