Why Marriage isn't about Happiness
Today I am going to be real and honest. I want to give hope to the weary wife without sugar coating the truth.
Many young girls today have a false sense of what marriage really is. The fairy tales show the prince whisking the princess off into the sunset. They think marriage is about being happy.
This post is for the wife who's marriage is in the midst of hardship. And the first thing I want to tell you is that you are not alone. Your marriage isn't the only marriage that is suffering. Even though you may feel like yours is the only one, many many marriages go through what you are going through on a daily basis. Struggles, heartache, pain, and even betrayal. I have gone through it too. And trust me when I say God will and can bring you through it. He can mend your broken heart and restore your marriage.
The thing that helped me most was the truth. I have people in my life who did not sugar coat things and coddle me in the midst of trials. They laid it out (even if it was harsh) and then told me what I must do. Yes, God is our refuge, but He will not enable us. He wants us to stand firm and stand up for what is right.
Before I go on, I advise you to never take advice from someone who does not support your marriage. Even if it is your mother. If they only support your side, stop going to them now. It will not help you or your marriage.
Joy vs Happiness
First we need to learn the difference between joy and happiness.
See people think that marriage is all about happiness. Finding the person you are meant to be with, to live a happy life together. But I believe God has designed it to be something much greater than that. I don't believe it is Gods will for us to always be happy. Happiness is a temporary feeling that is based on OUR emotions. It is often an emotion we feel when we get what we want. We most certainly will not always get what we want in life and in our marriage.
God has called us to be joyful. He wants us to have the peace in our hearts that joy brings no matter what our circumstances are. He wants us to have joy in the midst of a dark storm. He wants us to find joy in the pain, in the hurt, and in the hardships. And the only way we will find this joy, is by seeking the Lord because joy comes from the Lord himself.
...for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
True joy requires a relationship with our Heavenly Father. It requires trust in Him and belief that He will work all things out for our good.
My REAL marriage
My husband and I have gone through a lot. And our marriage has gone through a lot in a short amount of time.I have endured pain, heartache, and disappointment.
Marriage without God
The first year was a painful year. It made it even harder that I didn't have a relationship with the Lord. Yes, I may have gone to church here and there, but in the midst of pain I didn't know where to turn to. I didn't know that I needed to turn to HIM.
In my frantic states and the addition of not seeking the Lord, I would turn to my husband for answers. I would pick at issues that would turn into fights, always leaving me feeling more broken every time.
Marriage with God
The second year was very difficult as well, but instead I started seeking the Lord. The first month my prayers consisted of confessing to the Lord where I was wrong. Asking Him to show me the righteous way and to humble me.
The first year was spent fighting with words and the second year was spent fighting on my knees in prayer. I read books, I read my bible daily every morning, and I journaled my prayers. I faithfully prayed scripture over my husbands life every day.
There were times when I asked God if I had to stay through it and the answer was always yes. There were times I asked God to let me leave to "give my husband a lesson" and the answer was always no. Many nights I would drive the kids around to try and get them to sleep and as I drove I would cry and pray.
Gods will for marriages
God spoke to me on December 24, 2015 at the Christmas eve service. This was one of my most broken nights in my marriage. I was distressed and weary and I just wanted to know why. I wanted to know if I had to stay and I wanted to know how I could change my husband. Very clearly I heard "yes" and "you can't"
I had to stay and I couldn't change my husband. Here's why
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:17-18
Suffer now, take the blows to the heart if it means bringing your husband to God. The way Jesus did for us. Then God will change and renew him.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1-2
So the point I am trying to make, is that if we want to see real change in our marriage it is going to start with us, the wives. Scripture lays everything out for us. It tells us everything we must do. That is why it is so important to be in Gods word ladies.
The reason why God allows hardships and struggles in our marriage is because it will make us stronger, but only if we lean on Him and trust in Him. It will develop great character in us and it will allow us to praise God when our marriage is doing well.
Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
If you want to see God work miracles in your marriage then you must humble yourself. Allow God to point out and correct your wrongdoings. Sometimes He may point out a sin that you weren't even aware of.
We must set aside our pride, stop complaining, and allow God to change our hearts so that He can get to our husbands through us.
Marriage has a much greater purpose than the sole purpose of our happiness.Marriage is about God molding and shaping us.
And if you are anything like me, the purpose of your marriage may be to bring YOU to God.
*Disclaimer: God does not tolerate abuse. If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship, seek help and safety. In no way is this post telling you to stay in an abusive relationship. If you are a victim of domestic abuse my heart goes out to you. Have hope because God will restore and mend your heart. Turn to Him and He will strengthen you.