You Complete Me and Other Ridiculous Notions


Drawn from my archives

It was 1996. Jerry Maguire looked across the room at Dorothy Boyd, and with tear-stained cheeks he gave her his heart along with three little words, “You complete me.”

I’m a hopeless romantic, and yet I have to tell you that this moment in chick-flick history was about as cheesy as a two-topping pizza. But cheesy or not it’s one of those famous lines that won’t soon be forgotten.

All kidding aside, let’s take a look at the idea of completeness and how it relates to our marriage. The notion here is that you are two pieces of a puzzle that come together to make one whole. And you do in a sense, become one, but completeness comes through Jesus Christ.

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 11:36

Scripture tells us that two shall become one. He said it’s not good that man should be alone; He created a help meet for man. Marriage is good in so many ways, but that unity isn’t truly complete unless Jesus Christ is at the center of it.

Women bring a lot more to their marriage when they lack nothing but a desire for more of God, which reminds me of the quote by Max Lucado, “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” But of course as long as we’re in the flesh we will never reach that place of complete perfection. We’ll slip and we’ll fall and we’ll miss the mark from time to time, but it’s certainly something we should press toward as we’re learning to lean on God.

The testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:3-4, NIV

The minute that we take our eyes off of God and put them onto this world we begin to lust after things that rust, and break, and fade away rather looking to God as our source of contentment. That’s when we say ridiculous things like:

  • You complete me
  • I have to have it
  • I’ll die without it
  • If it feels good, do it!
  • Follow your heart.

Love this quote from John Piper, “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God. She doesn’t put her hope in her husband or in getting one, and she doesn’t put her hope in her looks.”

As a child I put my hope in my father. He was an amazing Dad who supplied everything his wife and six daughters needed. There was never a day I went hungry and there was rarely a day he didn’t make me smile. He was everything to me.

I loved that man so much and always will. But in 1976 Mom and Dad led our family toward something better than they could ever supply on their own–faith in God through His Son, Jesus Christ. There isn’t a gift under the sun that is greater than that, in fact it’s that gift that carried me through his sickness and death as I sang, “What a day that will be…”

I love my dad with all my heart, but the bottom line is that Jesus completes me, all else is grace. (Dad would love to hear me say that, and would add a big, “Amen!”)

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht

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  • Rebecca

    Thank you for this reminder, Darlene. As a woman who has been divorced for 10 years, it is easy to get caught up in the “I need a man” crowd. Lord, help me to focus my time and attention on you.

  • Susan in NC

    Darlene – I recently found your blog and I have been inspired by the topics and your insights. I am blessed to be married 24 years. I find precious nuggets of wisdom in your postings that I can apply to my marriage and share with my friends. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

  • SimplyDarlene

    Yes, ma’am – movie lines like that are ridiculous at best. What’s scary about ’em though is the believability when brought to us via the big screen. I was married for 10 years before my husband and I both met the Lord – needless to say, I have a lot of junk like this that still flitters about in the crannies of my heart and mind. Thank heavens God is big enough to fill up the cracks though!


  • Cynthia Eppley

    As a Christian counselor, the notion of ‘You complete me” may seem romantic
    but is so far from the truth. Rather like the “half-truth” that was espoused in Genesis.
    And women have been following that neediness for so long, without realizing that
    “In Christ alone, my hope is found.”

  • jojolola fasuyi

    I absolutely love this. my first time here. I have never read a more inspiring writing on marriage. I am so blessed by this post. God bless you.

  • Danielle

    Saying “follow your heart ” is silly I am coming to find is actually quite false. If we are desiring and pursuing Him with all we have, our heart is after Him, so following it is actually a good idea. When our heart begins to beat as His, then yes, we must follow it.

    • Darlene Schacht

      “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

      Even a heart that is focused on Christ can be drawn away by temptation, lust, and deceit if we’re not ready and armed with the truth.

  • Amy

    Thank you Darlene!

    This is so very true and resonates deeply with what my husband and I have learned over the years: we are both broken cisterns. When we try to fill our cisterns with rancid water from another broken cistern there is nothing to be gained (See Jeremiah 2:13). Only Christ can repair us and fill us with Living Water that we can then pour out for one another. We have counseled numerous married couples and this is one of the first things we tell them. Our spouse is neither our enemy nor our savior.

  • Sharon

    You obviously have been married for a long time, and have no idea what it means to be single for over 40 years, constantly asking God for a husband. If Jesus alone fulfilled me, I wouldn’t be asking for a husband. If Adam was fufilled alone in God’s presence and the animals he would not be feeling lonely. Even God said it is not right for man to be alone. And it is not right for people to not fellowship with one another. If you think you will be complete without your husband without your loved ones then stop pray for them. I don’t think you will because you love them and feel complete with them just like you feel complete having two feet, both your hands etc. I am saying this in love sister. It is romantic and sweet to say you complete me recognizing that the person is not your source of life only a gift from God, and God did say two flesh becomes one in marriage and that sounds like completness to me.

    • Darlene Schacht

      I’m sorry that you are going through this, and can’t imagine how lonely days can be.

      People are definitely necessary to our lives. And relationship is vital to growing in the Spirit. Jesus prayed in the garden, I pray that they all may be one even as we are one. A good companion can be a source of strength when fighting a spiritual battle. And the term Ezer Kenegdo “help meet” as found in Genesisis often synonymous with God coming to the rescue of His people.

      But to be complete however, means to have everything you need, to be made perfect, and lacking nothing. While a husband is a beautiful gift from God He doesn’t satisfy us the way that God can.

      Whether married, unmarried, or widowed I believe that we must find our contentment in God first and foremost. Everything else is a gift, but only He which is eternal can be the root of our joy and completeness.

  • Tricia

    I am sorry but I disagree, the man in the movie says you complete me and in truth that is why God created woman to be a helper to man so he can be complete.

    Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

    • Darlene Schacht

      Adam and Eve were created sinless, and perhaps they were considered “complete” but they transgressed. Once sin entered the world, they were in need of a Savior.

      To be complete means to have everything you need, to be made perfect, and lacking nothing. While a husband is a beautiful gift from God He doesn’t satisfy us the way that God can.

      The term suitable helper or “helpmeet” is Ezer Kenegdo. In scripture it’s often used to describe someone who comes to the rescue of another. A wife can be a great asset to her husband when she rides beside him in battle as we face many trials in this world.

      To be someone’s helper is much different than completing them spiritually. Without Christ we are incomplete, but in and through Him we made perfect.

      The quote is cute, and like I said, I like romantic chick flicks as much as the next person, but the purpose of the article is to encourage readers to dig a bit deeper.

  • Darlene

    I disagree, also. If Adam was complete, he did not need Eve. God saw that he was alone and that he needed companionship. He made Eve to be his help meet, not a rescuer. If she were a rescuer, she would be considered co-dependent! I don’t think this quote means that the other completes him spiritually…………just that this is the person with whom to go through life’s journey. I have been married and have never been “complete” with that person. I am divorced and would still love to have someone to travel life with. It gets lonely night after night, day after day. Others have families to do things with so it difficult as a single person to have people to do things with. A spouse, a special someone does help complete life. God is awesome and wonderful, but it sure is great sometimes to have a real person to talk to! A real person to touch and hold, to touch and hold you. A real person for companionship, just like God created Eve for Adam.

  • Rebecca C

    Nice post. I agree with you, there is a difference between “completeness” (which only comes from Jesus), and “companionship” (which we often get from a spouse). I love my husband to death, but he certainly doesn’t complete me. Only God can do that. I also don’t believe that we can be “complete” on this Earth. When we reach the end of the race and are standing before God– that is when we will be complete.

    On a funnier note, this article just proves my nerdiness. When I read the title, I didn’t think of the scene with Jerry Maguire, I thought of the one with Worf from Star Trek, saying the same line. 😉

  • Sarah Case

    I do believe that men and women have needs that they find in each other as husband and wife. Maybe you could express that by saying, “You complete me”. However, every marriage is made up of two sinners who are incomplete without Christ, and will sin against each other. Some have to live daily with unfulfilled longings. Our modern romantic notion of personal fulfillment in a person sets up may Christians for disappointment. What if their spouse struggles with depression? What if they have a traumatic brain injury and it changes their personality? Is that the end of it because the other person has changed, and become the needy one? We reflect the image of Christ more clearly when we find fulfillment in Him, and bring that completeness to our marriage.
    This passage is in the context of a discussion on difficult relationships, including marriage, and illustrates that point: 1Pe 3:8-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (9) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

  • LisaDiane

    I don’t think that scene and women’s feelings about it were about HER being completed by HIM…..I think women want the men they love to feel completed by them, too.
    To me, the power of that scene for women was that HE said it to her — filling a woman’s basic need in a relationship with a man, to be NEEDED and recognized as integral for his happiness. Women nowadays don’t like to admit that we are designed to want to ATTRACT and BE EVERYTHING to the man we love — it’s IN OUR MAKEUP!! But this is contrary to what loud-mouthed feminists proclaim, so many women try to deny it. The positive response this movie ending got from women shows that that NEED is still in there!

    It makes sense because women were created FOR men, like the Bible verse you quoted shows. They need us for inspiration, desire, comfort, and gentle direction (ALOT!!), and when a man looks at the woman who loves him and says “You complete me”, it’s validation that her presence in his life is everything to him (like it is to her).

    With my husband and children, and my constant praying and receiving God’s guidance, I am COMPLETE — complete in my purpose for my life — but I’m not stagnant! I still need God to help me stay complete!! 🙂

  • Faith Lohr

    Wonderful post! So very true!! I have a very close relation with my “Daddy” too and one of the greatest gifts he ever gave me was leading me to Jesus at a young age and establishing a firm foundation of faith for me to stand on in times of trouble. Christ HAS to be the center of marriage for it to flourish as God intended. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Darlene!

  • Katie Hamilton

    This was SUPER GOOD! At first, as I read the very beginning, I was thinking, “what’s wrong with him saying that?” but was hit with this awesome “WHOA/WOW” when I read you say that um, yeah. those two ‘puzzle pieces’ need to be put together with the glue of Jesus. only He can complete ANYBODY. Wow. 🙂 That was good! Thanx!