Articles Banner

Q: Are You Satisfied?

We all want to be satisfied in life and marriage, but by looking at the statistics too many people do not experience a satisfied and full family life and marriage. Here is a little encouragement for those feeling unsatisfied.

 

|

 

by Greg Brezina

 

Several weeks ago I hired a young man to make some repairs on my house. When he showed up, he had a young lady with him. After greeting him, I asked, “Who is the lovely lady?”

 

Jokingly he said, “She’s my boss.”

 

This began a lighthearted conversation that ended with an open and honest one. He was living with the lady without any plan for marriage. He commented that his parents went through a hellish divorce. Marriage didn’t satisfy his parents, and marriage wouldn’t satisfy him.

 

Non-Christians aren’t the only ones having a difficult time finding marital satisfaction. In 2004, the *Barna Research Group reported that Christians are divorcing at the same rate as non-Christians. Their survey also revealed that roughly ninety-seven percent of the Christian’s divorces occurred after their conversion. These figures are surprising since Christians own the secret to experiencing satisfaction.

 

Marital dissatisfaction is nothing new. Two thousand years ago, Jesus met a woman at a well and asked her for a drink. His request led to an open and honest conversation. It turned out that she had been married five times, had given up on marriage, was co-habiting with a man, and still was not satisfied.

 

Knowing that her marital dissatisfaction was a symptom of her primary problem, Jesus focused on her soul’s discontentment by saying, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

 

In this statement, Jesus shared with her why people are dissatisfied, how they can be satisfied, and what happens when they are satisfied. Jesus explains why people are dissatisfied in the first part of His metaphor when He says, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again”.

 

“Drinks” refers to man’s ability to choose.

 

“Water” refers to that which only relieves physical thirst, or the way a thirsty soul tries to satisfy his or her needs apart from God.

 

“Thirst again” refers to the fact that physical thirst or a soul’s thirst is never completely satisfied apart from God.

 

Dissatisfaction comes from unmet needs. Needs go unmet because of unbelief. Non-Christians are often dissatisfied because they look to human relationships for unconditional love and acceptance instead of receiving them from God. They achieve and accomplish; yet there is always a sense that they could have done better or should have done more. They accumulate money for security and power, but there is never enough money to make them completely secure or enough power to keep them in control. Some are religious, but their dissatisfaction is seen in their legalistic or permissive lifestyles. Frustrated, they medicate their discontent with religious activities, amusements and/or addictions.

 

In 1965, the Rolling Stones sang about this dissatisfaction in their hit song entitled Satisfaction ( I Can’t Get No…). Here are some of the lyrics:

 

I can’t get no… satisfaction

‘Cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try.

 

When I’m drivin’ in my car

And that man comes on the radio

And he’s tellin’ me more and more

About some useless information

Supposed to fire my imagination.

 

When I’m ridin’ round the world

And I’m doin’ this and I’m singing that

And I’m tryin’ to make some girl

Who tells me baby better come back next week

‘Cause you see I’m on a losing streak.

 

Their lament ends with “I can’t get no satisfaction…”, as their voices fade into a silent hopelessness.

 

Jesus does not leave the woman hopeless. He continues, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst….”

 

“Drinks” again refers to man’s ability to choose.

 

“Water” refers to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and/or God’s life

 

“that I shall Give” refers to God’s gift of satisfaction.

 

“Never thirst” refers to being satisfied once, for all, forever.

 

Satisfaction is a gift from God, and Jesus is that gift. (John 3:16) When we believe in Jesus as He says, the Holy Spirit is given to us; we are placed in Christ, and are satisfied. The apostle Paul verifies our satisfaction in Philippians 4:19 where he says that God “supplies ALL our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” When are all our needs met? The moment we become Christians! (see II Corinthians 9:8; II Peter 1:3-4)

 

If all of our needs are provided for, then why do Christians still experience dissatisfaction? In his 1767 Notes on the Old and New Testaments John Wesley states that those who drink of Jesus “will never be miserable, dissatisfied, or without refreshment. If ever that thirst returns, it will be the choice of the man.”

 

Christians experience dissatisfaction because of unbelief. Jesus says, “…let it be done to you as you have believed.” If we do not choose to believe by faith that all of our needs are met in Christ, we will not experience all of our needs being met by Christ.

 

For twenty years as a Christian, I was very familiar with Philippians 4:19. However, I did not believe Jesus could meet all my needs this side of physical death. I prayed He would, because I did not realize that He already had met my needs. That prayer was like asking Jesus to help me enter a room that I was already in. So I experienced a frustrating roller coaster Christian life in my emotions. I felt God’s love and acceptance one day and then felt rejected by Him the next. Getting off the roller coaster began when I realized that all my needs are met in Christ by grace through faith.

 

The last part of Jesus’ metaphor portrays the experience of a satisfied soul. He says, “…but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

 

“Water” again refers to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and/or God’s life.

 

“That I shall give” refers to God’s gift.

 

“Well of water” refers to God’s infinite supply.

 

“Springing up” refers to the believer’s natural imaging of Christ.

 

“Eternal life” refers to the believer’s new life in Christ.

 

When a believer’s soul is satisfied, his/her life in Christ cannot be contained. Jesus says, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.”

 

We have received His Spirit! Therefore if we live by faith through the Holy Spirit, rivers of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control will continually flow from us because of God’s infinite supply.

 

Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Abiding in Christ is not something we do for God, it is who we are in Him (See I John 4:13). This abiding produces satisfaction in every area of life including marriage. When a husband and wife are both satisfied in Christ, they will experience marital satisfaction.

 

Psalm 145:16 says, “You open Your hand, and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Father has opened His hand, and we have received His Gift and are satisfied!

 

If you would like to explore more about what it means to live out of the abundance we have been given, consider attending the Grow in Grace Seminar. This seminar focuses on recognizing what prevents us from experiencing satisfaction as Christians and how to live victoriously out of the abundance we have been given.