“Is that your other half?” he asks (referring to the married man with 3 kids sitting beside me.)
“No.” I reply introducing them to each other anyway.
“So, how come I haven’t ever met your other half?”
“Perhaps because I don’t have one.”
“Oh…That’s… a good reason.” He responds as we all laugh.
The phrase gets tossed around casually all the time. I’m sure I’ve used it before, probably many times. Even tonight as the funny conversation above took place, I didn’t think twice about its use.
But as I recalled that conversation just now, I realized that the phrase “other half” really frustrates me.
I do agree that there is something to be said about a man and a wife becoming ONE in marriage and perhaps, could be an acceptable reason for using the phrase. However, it seems a subtle (but strong) message given is that a person cannot be whole without “another half” or that one’s worth is based on who their “other half” is.
I look around my world, especially in ministry with high school and young adults, and everywhere we turn we get offers of things that will “make us whole… complete…satisfied.” Money, possessions, a new haircut, a new outfit, alcohol, and one of the most common: another person. This is why you see girls giving sex to get love and guys giving “love” to get sex. This is where teenage girls make pacts with each other to get pregnant so they can have a child, because “at least that child will love them.”
Now, do I think talking about one’s “other half” has caused these things… probably not. Nor do I think that removing it from our vocabulary could change it. But these subtle messages get sent all over the place. So, how about we start talking more about what IS true… that no other person can make us whole. Not a boyfriend or girlfriend. Not a child. Not even a husband or a wife.
Christ alone makes us whole.
Christ alone makes me whole. And I can’t even say that HE is “my better half”, because truly, He is my EVERYTHING.
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 (NASB)