God Wants Your Marriage to Make You HAPPY!

May 8, 2013

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I’ve posted beforemore 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.

Happy Couple  © photostock | freedigitalphotos.net

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!

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My wife and I recently finished memorizing Psalm 103 in our fellowship class. (Great psalm to hide away in the heart, by the way!)  Verse 5 seems to apply here, where it says of the Lord and the way he treats His children:  "who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's". Wow!  Our desires - not just our needs.  And He wants to renew our youth. (Now in my fifties, I really needed to hear that.)  Best of all, it was my precious wife who said to me the other day, about this same verse, "I think that is why God gave us our marriage relationship."  No prompting on my part - I promise. It made my day.


I am one of those who has used the Holy not Happy, not because I don't want folks to enjoy life, but I think that God has much more than mere happiness in mind for us.

Happy appears about 30 times in scripture, while joy or rejoice appears over 10 times as often.

To me, happiness implies a temporal, worldly experience, while joy implies much more and an eternal state.

Happiness is temporal and depends on circumstance, while joy is eternal and is due to the satisfaction found in God.

That's my take on it.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@thotful1 Great thoughts! Somehow much of the church is stuck in the unbiblical thought that God is angry with us and wants to punish us. He disciplines us like a good parent, not a vengeful or cruel parent. He always loves us, always wants the best for us, and e\delights in our happiness! 

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@TonyB I agree God wants more than just happiness, but the Bible is pretty clear He would like us to have that as well.

The bigger issue to me is that the Bible never says marriage is to prefect us, but does make it clear we should enjoy it a great deal. So saying it is for holiness not happiness is the opposite of what the Bible actually says.


@TheGenerousHusband @TonyB

Not sure I can buy all that.  After all, if we look at the example of the Bride of Christ and Christ, I think one of the primary goals of that relationship is not about happiness, it's about sanctification.  Or making us more holy.

If marriage on Earth is to be a means to help humanity understand the nature of our relationship with Christ as a member of His Church, then isn't the goal more about Holiness than Happiness?

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@TonyB @TheGenerousHusband  I agree, but the sanctification is so we can be His bride. We are currently engaged,not married. The whole thing is to get us to heaven where we will be beyond happy. 

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