I’ve posted before, more than once, about the claim by some that God intended marriage not to make us happy, but to make us holy. I bring this up again today as a follow-up to yesterday’s post about why there are so many poor marriages. I suggested people are not being willing to do what it takes, or think they don’t have the time, energy, or money to do what it takes, as major reasons so many have poor marriages.
How do these two things relate? I think the whole “marriage is not meant to make you happy” thing is a horrible lie that results in people being less willing to work on their marriages! I’m not saying it’s a good plan to work on your marriage just for selfish reasons – in fact, I doubt that would work well. However, knowing working on your marriage will result in greater happiness certainly sounds like it would increase willingness to work on marriage. We’re all motivated by self-gain, and I see no reason not to use that to encourage couples to work on their marriage. This is especially valid since the truth is working on your marriage will make it better and you will be happier!
Frankly, a great marriage is one of the best things we can have in this life! In both the Old and New Testaments God used marriage to explain the LOVE relationship He wants to have with us. That relationship is not a hard, demanding thing designed just to make us holy; it is described as wonderful and loving.
- For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. [Is 62:5 ESV]
- Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. [Pr 5:18&19 ESV]
- He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. [Pr 18:22 ESV]
God loves us, and He gives us good things! [Mt 7:11] Sure, He wants us to grow, and He does things to help us on that path, but He loves us and He wants good for us. He created marriage to be a blessing! Of course He uses marriage to prefect us, He uses everything to prefect us. My marriage has done more to prefect me than anything else in my life, but it has also brought me more joy and happiness than any other human relationship I’ve ever had.
The Big Point: I want everyone to know it’s God’s intention marriage be a huge blessing. God wants our marriage to be a source of happiness and fulfilment. That is His will, and if it’s not what you’re experiencing, something is wrong.
Does that mean if your marriage is not making you happy you can/should/are allowed to leave? Absolutely not! Thing is, studies have found that when unhappy couples stick it out, they are almost always are happier a few years later. On the other hand, very, very few people are happier after a divorce. If all you care about is being happy, the odds are far better if you stay married and keep working on it.
The Bottom Line: Working on your marriage is the right thing to do, and it’s also the wise thing to do if you want to be happy. What a deal!