What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

After months of suffering from a writer’s block last night I found the right topic to write about.

A friend of mine sent me a book to read titled Scared Marriage by Gary Thomas. Do not ask me why I am reading on marriage but be glad I’m back.

Right on the cover of the book is the title What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

The first statement that came to mind was mwanangu mabvi ngashande, imba inoda hushingi. (This is a Shona statement most mothers or aunts use when advising a newlywed or someone that may be facing problems in her marriage to pray and be strong.)

It hit me right there. Growing up marriage has been centred on romanticism. The union has been portrayed as a happy institution and this is only before you actually get married.

Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. What if God s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy . . . but holy?

The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make you love your spouse more but it’s to equip you to love God more.

What they never not told us was that you’ll work harder than you ever imagined, you are going to pray more than you ever did.

We were never told you are going to change and your partner is going to change and it won’t be easy. Getting married doesn’t mean you’re done it just means you’ve advanced to graduate-level studies. That’s because every time you think you’ve mastered the material, he’ll change a bit. And so will you. As two people grow and evolve, the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process.

Thomas goes on to say “This is not to suggest that romance itself or the desire for more romance is necessarily bad, good marriages work hard to preserve a sense of romance. But the idea that a marriage can survive on romance alone, or that romantic feelings are more important than any other consideration when a choosing a spouse, has wrecked many a marital ship.”

Too often, people consider happiness the ultimate goal and even get married with the idea that this intense love will make them happy. Then life happens. Marriage challenges appear. Conflict occurs. “This isn’t what I signed up for! I’m not happy!” And sometimes spouses walk away from a marriage that could have lasted, if only they were willing to work toward mutual benefit rather than demand personal happiness.

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