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The recent Alabama-Auburn football game was amazing! When the contest began, I bet on Auburn with a friend in North Carolina. He and his family are fans of Alabama. He now owes me a beef-on-weck sandwich, a delightful meal available at a Wilmington restaurant.

College football players, unlike the overpaid prima-donnas of professional football, are in it for pride, for their school. They display team spirit, plus some personal ambition. They may have a career breakthrough and become a rich NFL pro player.

Sports Illustrated publishes well-written pieces. On Dec. 1 they had a story about LSU, my favorite. After all, they're "The Saints!" The article used the word "complete" to describe LSU's recent action in defeating Texas A&M. What does "complete" mean? Dictionary.com defines it as, "having all parts or elements; whole; missing nothing; entire, full." Let's discuss what being complete means.

I like the word "complete" because it has important applications for us as human beings. Human beings need to be whole or complete. This is true mentally, physically, and spiritually. You can be six feet tall, but incomplete, if you're emotionally stunted. You may be 21, but can you think logically?

The intent of the Lord is that we all become complete human beings, reliable and relatable. As people function together, being healthy, happy, and whole, we can represent Christ-likeness in this world. The concept of being whole or complete is a God-idea, a goal we grow into all of our lives. Thus, the slogan, "Be patient with me. God isn't finished with me yet!"

It's possible, by God's grace, for us to be complete (missing nothing) as an individual person, needing no one else. However, for most of us, we don't wish to be alone. In fact, statistically, married people live longer and are happier than unmarried people. That's true for me. I wasn't designed to be celibate or remain unmarried. My partner in life is a gracious gift to me. I believe God was our matchmaker. I am happily married and have been so for 50 years. I felt I became complete as a man when I married this woman, my lovely wife. She completed me. I am an unfinished human being without her in my life.

Adam and Eve were a matched set, a man and a woman. Despite modern transgender propaganda, humanity continues thriving and reproducing precisely because of male/female differences. Sexual distinction is meant to be celebrated, not blurred. The French phrase, "vive la difference," when appearing in English speech, applauds the happiness of two mutually complementary sexes. Two sexes intended by design to naturally fulfill each another. It's sad for anyone to miss this wonderful provision. Thank God for the gift of sanctified sex: sex that is delightful, made holy, and so very enjoyable when mutually shared within the confines of married love between a whole man and a whole woman.

Yes, you read that correctly. Marriage is for whole people. People with fractures can't handle the pressure. Marriage is not for immature, incomplete, insecure, damaged individuals trying to merge their broken parts and use each other in an effort to become whole. From my extensive experience and peculiar mix of skill, training, and grace, by pastoring and observing folks for 50 years, I've seen it occur too often to deny it. Broken people try marriage and fail. They attempt to join together in marriage only to hurt each other. Why? They weren't ready to bear the weight, the load, the strain, the rigors of handling the responsibility of real sacrificial love that marriage between two adults always requires.

--RON WOOD IS A WRITER AND MINISTER. CONTACT HIM AT WOOD.STONE.RON@GMAIL.COM OR VISIT WWW.TOUCHEDBYGRACE.ORG. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

Religion on 12/11/2019

Print Headline: Being Complete As God Intended

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