“What? Marriage isn’t supposed to make me happy?”
No. Not really. Shocking thought, I know! Why else would anyone ever get married?
A happy marriage is a wonderful byproduct, and will often result when marriage is doing its intended purpose. But happiness is much too shallow a reason to go through the difficult learning curve marriage presents, or to stick around “in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.” If we think marriage is designed primarily to make us happy, the first time we’re unhappy we will feel we have made a mistake, or decide we have a reason to leave. And that’s just not the case.
Here are some of those deeper reasons for marriage:
- Reflect God’s unconditional love and intimacy. No human being knows you better than your spouse, and yet they love you anyway! (Doesn’t that surprise you sometimes?) That is a small measure of the care, closeness, understanding, and security God offers in His relationship with us.
- Be sandpaper. Ouch! You can’t get that close to anyone without revealing your rough edges. Rubbing against each other, learning to give and accept forgiveness, and making the necessary adjustments helps shape our character. That’s a good thing.
- Accomplish something bigger. There’s something bigger God wants to accomplish through your union together. Do you know what it is? Beyond the purpose He has for each of you individually, there is something He wants to do with your marriage together. It may be something specific in ministry, but don’t limit Him there. He may use your marriage to extend His reach into areas where He is not known. Ask Him to show you what He wants to do with you together.
I pray your marriage is a happy one. But regardless of how happy you feel in your marriage right now, look beyond your happiness and see God’s purpose for this thing we call marriage. Understanding that will help you through some of the rocky times all marriages face, and bring a deeper measure of fulfillment over time.
Your turn: What do you see as the purpose of your marriage? How have you come to understand that? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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