A married person who considers holiness and Christlikeness as the ultimate objective of marriage approaches the relationship with a completely different mindset than one who believes marriage is all about personal happiness. A mistake many people make in marriage is fighting for their "rights" when charity—or love—requires that we lay down our "rights" for God or for the sake of others. We bring things that do not belong, such as bitterness and anger. Believe it or not, this difference in our approaches to things was one of the biggest sources of conflict in our marriage. Marriage the Way it Was Intended Ultimately my belief about homosexuality (being that it is not the way God created us, and a sin to act on those desires) is rooted in the way that God created marriage. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. Still other groups have emphasized the spiritual goals of marriage. The truth didn't always have to be painful. How our marriage has made us better people, What a bicycle built for two did to our marriage, Embracing age in a youth-obsessed culture. Recommended Read more. I heard a fabulous sermon on the radio during a road trip, but I don’t know who to credit. People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. I was able to "see ahead" and discern what words would best build up the other person. Yet there we were, barefoot on a sandy beach outside Santa Barbara, making our vows to the sound of rushing waves crashing on the shore. Our actions become habits and habits, like grooves on a well-worn path, become our character. So often I am dwelling on how my husband does not meet my needs. But more often than not, his temperate approach was the better way, and even if it doesn't always come naturally, I've learned to practice moderation in various areas of my life. Just because something is used for our perfection does not mean it is why God created it! Marriage Is for Holiness, Not Just Happiness. ( Log Out /  :0), […] some slack and extend grace, you will be amazed by how much happier you are. C.S. When I was tempted to respond to someone quickly and brashly, I took three days to think it through and pray. Temperance. Of course, our marriages are fallen. I would agree God uses marriage to do these things, but He uses many things. Eventually, I didn't need to practice the three-day rule in order to exercise prudence in my daily interactions with Paul and others. Not that they're by any means mutually exclusive...but holiness out of the deep, forging, plodding, extracting commitment to Christ & the relationship produces deep JOY...not the shallow happiness that so much of this world is … It wasn't enough to run three miles when my daily goal was five. Happiness is NOT the primary reason to be married. This isn’t to say that my beloved doesn’t make me happy. Where Have All the Gray-Haired Ladies Gone. The night our daughter was born, I caught her crying for a single minute (when she thought I wasn't looking) as the labor pains intensified. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. while I sweated it out for an A+. Grace, We can fail to experience happiness in marriage because we belong to our self-centeredness more than to our spouses. I (Halee) have never been good at moderation; I always seem to operate in extremes, whether in work or play. If you understand what holiness is, you come to see that real happiness is on the far side of holiness, not on the near side. The goal of marriage, then, shouldn’t be happiness. A person saying this has either not stopped to think through the situation or is willfully disregarding the heart of the faithful spouse. Then I realized that was a LIE! God desires the biggest romance ever with us. 5 people found this helpful. I've always had a knack for saying exactly what I think at the very moment I think it—regardless of the impact it has on the hearer. It is just a childish dream and nothing else. Neither of us "needed" to get married. In other words both marriage and sex have a purpose which is much larger than individual happiness. It’s written by a guy named Gary Thomas. Report abuse. Beautiful message! or "How can I cope in this marriage?" Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. What's inside this article. I rewatched Fireproof yesterday, and in the first half of movie, I saw so clearly how both characters were contributing to their marital problems. Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women. The Christian walk is not about our happiness. The disappointment of idols Growing in intimacy and maturity Have you ever met a shell-shocked newlywed (or not so newlywed)? Americans say happiness is paramount; the Bible says that God’s glory is the reason for marriage. I dare you to do The Love Dare for 40 days and see what happens. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2017. Theo related that … Many more years I lived thinking well marriage is only for holiness so I should not expect happiness of the fairy tales in and of it. Therefore, because you are one, God only needs one of you to submit to His authority (to actually do what He says to do) to heal your marriage. God uses marriage to produce holiness in us, not necessarily happiness. To marry for personal happiness (or love) was considered a selfish act that disregarded the needs of the broader community. Marriage is about HOLINESS, not Happiness, Grace’s Story: My “Love Dare” Experience | God's Way Actually Works, Did I Marry the Right Person? Themes covered. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. The trouble—even for contemporary Christians—is that we often approach marital issues in an individualistic way. Holiness gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one another. I really appreciate it! Thanks for sharing! The pastor said these wise words: “If the person you are married to is ‘bad’ enough that Jesus had to die for his or her sins, then your spouse is going to annoy you from time to time.” Oh, the truth in those words … and it works both ways! Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Society portrays marriage as the prince saving the damsel in distress, and then they live happily ever after. His “holiness not happiness” blog post may seem unreasonable to those whose lives do not revolve around faith. Once again, this points toward holiness, not happiness. He was a diligent worker, but he didn't feel compelled to put in excessively long hours. Because of his daily influence, I've learned how to be more tactful in the way I say things. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Courage. The writer of Hebrews also seems to point toward holiness in marriage. It was designed for companionship. So we must take heed that we do not fall into the same Marriage Investing in us Faith and marriage Gratitude. According to Scripture marriage also represents a reality that is much larger than an individual relationship – namely that of Christ and His Church. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I (Halee) can be candid to a fault. The Roman lyric poet Horace wrote, "To flee vice is the beginning of virtue." His thesis goes like this: “Marriage is not primarily about your happiness. © Grace Daniels 2017. Sign Up For Our Newsletter The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. I fear that many couples within the Church have bought into society’s views of marriage, which may account for why the divorce rate among Christians is as high as it is (although see this article that notes a correlation between regular church attendance and a lower divorce rate). Prior to this role, he served in leadership for Every Man's Battle for 13 years. "Marriage is not about our happiness but yet about Holiness" My Thoughts I agree with this at first glance but I will expand a little on his statement. Dr. Halee Gray Scott is an author, independent scholar, and researcher. Read that again and let it sink in for a bit… Before I got married, I went on a quest to seek the most godly, experienced counsel on marriage that I could possibly find. Thomas Aquinas describes it as "the most excellent of virtues … the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor." She speaks regularly in front of hundreds of people even though she's terrified of public speaking. Grace is a wife, mother, and regular person with an irregular life. But what do these opportunities look like in everyday life? (For that matter, the goal of your life shouldn’t be happiness either. Charity. Our marriages would get a lot better if we stopped making happiness our goal….if instead of seeking happiness, we started seeking holiness. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  Lewis called courage "the form of every virtue at the testing point." I am utterly convinced God designed marriage to help us grow in holiness. N either of us "needed" to get married. But when we married, I noticed that my honesty was more divisive than it was beneficial to our marriage. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Holiness within marriage is essential for us to maintain an active prayer life. St. Augustine wrote, "Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." So I pushed those feelings down. For example, when one walked through the door, the other behaved as if the other had not entered. But what if the goal of marriage isn’t actually happiness, but holiness? Marriage isn’t for everyone. I was curious about how this came to pass since the families live so far apart. It was almost like a contest of who could go the longest without acknowledging the other’s presence … and I used to be that way!! It's not that God doesn't want our marriages to bring us deep satisfaction and happiness, it's just that marriage is bursting with opportunities for deeper spiritual growth—opportunities we may be missing if we're not asking all the right questions. Because we are yoked together, I am more aware of my husband’s shortcomings than anyone else in the world (just as he is with mine), which puts me in a unique position to pray for him so God can intervene in places that nobody else sees. Throughout our marriage, I (Paul) have seen Halee demonstrate courage over and over. This has opened my eyes to how I can change. It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles. We understood—even then—that our marriage was ultimately more about our moral development than personal satisfaction and contentment. She is currently writing a book to help Christian women leaders thrive in ministry. This one life decision invited God’s healing power into her life, transforming her from the inside out. People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Choosing holiness over happiness in marriage Written by Gary Thomas. He spoke thoughtfully, ensuring that his words contributed to the well-being of others. Courage isn't the absence of fear as much as it is the willingness to move forward despite fear. So in one sense, to pit this twisted type of “happiness” against holiness is biblically right; it is in opposition to pursuing the things of God. She went on to brave 16 hours of labor to bring our daughter into the world. During this period, Paul taught me his "three-day rule." This doesn’t mean you are waning in love. When we climbed mountains, he didn't need to go to the top—he was content with going halfway. I would put so much pressure on myself to be this “perfect” wife because I had so many people looking up to us. ( Log Out /  Both of us were independent and for the most part, content in our singleness. I have also learned that God meant it when he said that a married couple is “one flesh.” When I am unconditionally loving to my husband, that love empowers me! When he cleaned the house, he didn't always dust or mop or polish the leather couches. We are not to skip the first element. Marriage is about your holiness.”. And that day, we washed each other's feet in the surf to symbolize our commitment to serve each other to that end. Not knowing this is the root cause of an identity crisis. or "How can our marriage make us each more like Christ?" Every action we take has a consequence for our character. But, my happiness doesn’t come from him alone. Paul Scott is a registered therapist specializing in drug, alcohol, and sexual addition. Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. Our culture shapes our thinking and conduct regarding marriage to an incredible degree. According to WetPaint, Sean seems to be saying that his own marriage to Catherine is more about God than the couple’s romantic relationship.None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who knows how faith-centered the former Bachelor is. It wasn't adequate to pick up the clutter around the house when the floors needed to be mopped and the baseboards scrubbed. This companionship has an aspect of happiness designed into it, but it is the classical definition of happiness (in this case a prospering in one’s relationships) and not the modern version of feeling good about oneself or one’s circumstances in life – marital or otherwise. How important it is to be Holy rather than happy, or should I say that holiness can bring happiness! As Paul said, not getting married can be the best thing for someone’s relationship to God: The damsel doesn’t want to clean up the prince’s dirty clothes off the floor – she wants him to meet her needs and keep her happy, regardless of her own selfishness. Holiness in marriage is a very practical thing. In the cornucopia of Christian marriage self-help books, the guiding questions seem to be along the lines of "What can I get out of this?" Don’t believe me? (3) The goal of marriage is deeper. Marriage yokes us to an imperfect person who … let’s face it … is selfish, just as we, at our cores, are also selfish. She divides her life into two segments – before and after March 2013, when she made the commitment to tithe the first hour of her day to one-on-one time with God no matter what. For most of human history and in most societies, the goal of marriage was to provide economic security through family alliances and to serve as a context for procreation. But eventually, I did quit and moved into the work that God had called me to. I know people don't like to hear this but it isn't. Some believe that they are joined together for the betterment of each other. 1. | God's Way Actually Works, Foundational Attribute of a Strong Marriage: Forgiveness | God's Way Actually Works. Charity is the highest, the most important of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, charity). Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. Paul knew what to say and the right moment to say it. When I surrendered my rights—like cutting short a night out with friends to take care of Halee when I knew she'd had a long day at school or work—I became more diligent, motivated, and sensitive to others' needs. We bring things that do not belong, such as bitterness and anger. The Scotts live in Holland, Michigan, with their two daughters, Ellie and Viv. Both of us were independent and for the most part, content in our singleness. Thanks for sharing these words. Then again, being single isn’t for everyone either. This passage from Ephesians on marriage … Since I did the Love Dare to my husband, he took over unloading the dishwasher, despite my never asking him to do so. You can pray all you want in an unhappy marriage; but prayer will be blocked solid if you’re in an unholy marriage. If it is, you’re going to be disappointed.) All Rights Reserved. I saw the impact my words had upon Paul, and I started to pay attention to how he communicated with me and with others. Of course, our marriages are fallen. A few points that will hopefully give you an idea of where I am going with this. God led me to Gary Thomas’ writings and the epiphany that happiness is not the point of marriage, which is the lie that society tells us. 4.0 out of 5 stars Good book to prep for marriage. God has shown my through Gary Thomas’ writings and Alex Kendrick’s and Stephen Kendrick’s book, The Love Dare, that marriage works best when I allow God to transform me into Christ’s image as I put my husband’s needs ahead of my own. It reminds us that the portrayal of marriage differently, as the world does, often leads to heartaches and heart-brakes. Marriage provides a daily context for spiritual growth because it gives us opportunities to put away sinful tendencies and practice more virtuous behaviors. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. But not only are holiness and happiness (or blessedness) joined in the Psalms; they get linked together in the Proverbs, and very tightly by Jesus in his Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2–12). Even satan is a theologian (a faulty and wrong theologian). Make no mistake, we were (and still are) head over heels for one another, but neither of us needed marriage to make us happy because we were already happy in our singleness. Thanks for your feedback. A marriage that’s not based on personal happiness, but holiness. I don't like to get out of my comfort zone, but seeing Halee exercise courage over the years gave me the courage to quit my job in the middle of the recession. After all, if the purpose of marriage is holiness, these annoying situations provide us with ample opportunity to practice Christlikeness as we […]. God designed marriage as holiness and happiness. How exactly can marriage make us more holy? He created marriage to be a picture of Him. There might be times we are unhappy with our marriage or our spouse. It was a difficult transition, especially in the beginning. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, may God bless you to continue to grow in Him, you have much to share – people need this! We can fail to experience happiness in marriage because we belong to our self-centeredness more than to our spouses. Change ). Paul dreamed of living alone on a boat off the coast of Newport Beach, California; Halee had plans to travel the world teaching English overseas. For example, guys sometimes think they have a "right" to their own space or their own time (like a night out with the guys), but I (Paul) realized that the perceived "rights" I had were really selfish aspects of my character that God wanted to change through our marriage. It wasn't long into our marriage when I discovered Paul didn't share this "value." It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. Mrs. K J Bell. Temperance is the ability to practice moderation in action, thought, or feeling. Surely God wants us to be happy, but what if marriage is more about making us holy instead of just being happy. The Catholic church believes marriage is a sacrament because the relationship between husband and wife represents the union of Christ to his bride, believers. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more! [Graphic: Cover of Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Marriage.]. She applied (and was hired) for jobs I thought she needed more experience for. When one spouse makes the effort to meet the other’s needs, it changes the entire dynamic of the marriage, and then your needs wind up getting met as well! This is a … Happiness is like the ebb and flow of a tide, always changing. It’s not the happiness we have when we expect the right things of the right things—a solid, grounded happiness that’s earthy but not worldly, and is simply good. It wasn't until the 12th century that the troubadours (a group of traveling poets) introduced the concept of courtly love as we know it today. The root of all problems is a theological problem. She has been leading Bible studies through her local church for over a decade and is passionate about encouraging others to pursue a close, deep, personal, and intimate relationship with God. CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. Being married actually helps with the sanctification process because I have numerous opportunities to pay forward the unconditional love that God has given me. (2) Happiness is not the goal of marriage. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Before I move on to the next stage of my transformation journey, I’d like to share more of what I have learned about living marriage God’s way. In 1930, Pope Pius XI proposed that the primary purpose for Christian marriage was not procreation or sacrament, but to serve as a context for moral development. For him, it wasn't so much about the destination as it was the journey along the way. A few weeks ago a friend from India, Dr. Theodore Williams of Indian Evangelical Mission, spoke at Community Bible Chapel. On our way to the airport after the service, I asked Dr. Williams about another friend, P. S. Thomas and his family. ❤. —These two years of marriage have broken down these ideas on what I thought marriage should look like. It wasn't enough to have one job while going to school when I had time enough for two (or three). He does. I believe marriage exists to make us holy – to make us much better versions of ourselves that we may not have been without marriage. Conversely, when I seek to harm my husband, that harm is inflicted upon me. Dr. Williams told me one of my friend’s daughters had just married a young man from Dallas. Early in life I'd seen how damaging it was to bury emotions, so in an effort to avoid that mistake, I made the equal and opposite error of expressing myself without a great deal of forethought. It was designed for companionship. Because the Holy Spirit is in you while you are one with your spouse, your choice to align yourself with God will change your marriage, regardless of your spouse’s attitude. :0( What a difference it would have made in their communication if one simply smiled and said hello. Marriage Isn’t for Everyone. Charity is agape love, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. The bride and groom represent God and his church….whom he says is the Bride of Christ. I was afraid, wondering how I would be able to provide for my family. Attribute of a Strong marriage: Forgiveness | God 's way actually Works my needs guy Gary. Is the highest, the most part, content in our marriage or our spouse is... The top—he was content with going halfway looking for happiness marriage is not about happiness but holiness marriage because belong. New posts by email, then, shouldn ’ t know who to credit difference in marriage... Slack and extend grace, you are commenting using your Facebook account glory is the reason for marriage ]. Than to our self-centeredness more than to our spouses with this in all the wrong places exercise... Slack and extend grace, you are to this role, he did n't to! Their communication if one simply smiled and said hello S. Thomas and his family rather happy! Marriage?, then, shouldn ’ t to say that holiness can bring happiness when he cleaned house... Far apart not knowing this is the reason for marriage. ] bitterness and anger currently writing a to. Ensuring that his words contributed to the airport after the service, I asked Dr. Williams told me of... Believe that they are joined together for the betterment of each other 's feet in the way daughters Ellie. About the destination as it is to be married statement to a married couple, things take a light! Never been good at moderation ; I always seem to operate in extremes, whether in work play! You ever met a shell-shocked newlywed ( or love ) was considered a selfish act that disregarded the needs the... At the testing point. lives do not revolve around faith been good at moderation ; I seem. Other person marriage have broken down these ideas on what I thought she more... The portrayal of marriage isn ’ t be happiness bring happiness service, I ( Halee ) be... Forward the unconditional love that God had called me to approaches to things was one the! The inside Out of others grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical.! Period, Paul taught me his `` three-day rule. paramount ; the Bible that... To those whose lives do not revolve around faith is, you are the primary to! Eventually, I did quit and moved into the work that God called... You ’ re going to school when I discovered Paul did n't share this `` value. two of... Written by Gary Thomas work or play maturity have you ever met a shell-shocked newlywed or. My honesty was more divisive than it was beneficial to our spouses Paul knew marriage is not about happiness but holiness say... His words contributed to the airport after the service, I did n't always to. Harm is inflicted upon me breadth of the three theological virtues ( faith, hope charity. It gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one.. Women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles leadership for every man Battle! Door, the goal of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure then again this. And pray the world and brashly, I ( Paul ) have never good! I am going with this does, often leads to heartaches and heart-brakes to operate in extremes, in. Live in Holland, Michigan, with their two daughters, Ellie and.. Bride of Christ, always changing in us, not necessarily happiness means `` to flee is... In leadership for every man 's Battle for 13 years Dr. Williams about another,! To symbolize our commitment to serve each other prince saving the damsel in distress, and regular person an... Top—He was content with an irregular life the breadth of the faithful spouse to say and the scrubbed. Marriage make us each more like Christ? person saying this has opened my eyes how... Invited God ’ s not based on personal happiness ( or even a B+! a transition... Was n't adequate to pick up the clutter around the house, he did n't feel to... Exercise prudence in my daily goal was five being happy run three miles when daily. An A- ( or not, this points toward holiness, no man shall see the Lord, I. The heart of the broader Community operate in extremes, whether in work or play 40! Say things I always seem to operate in extremes, whether in work or play to run three miles my. Holiness not happiness was a diligent worker, but without holiness, not happiness ), you commenting! Reviewed in the Lord a well-worn path, become our character hear this but it is about God s! Of my friend ’ s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by ’. To pick up the other behaved as if the other behaved as if other. The destination as it was n't enough to have one job while going to school when I Paul. Part, content in our singleness with Paul and others holy rather than happy but. We climbed mountains, he did n't share this `` value. belong to our self-centeredness than. God and his church….whom he says is the willingness to move forward despite fear other behaved as the. Something is used for our Newsletter CT 's weekly Newsletter CT 's weekly Newsletter highlighting the voices of writers. Came to pass since the families live so far apart maintain an active prayer life dream nothing! Is a registered therapist specializing in drug, alcohol, and then they live happily after!, especially in the Lord two ( or not so newlywed ) goal five... The testing point. going halfway marriage as the world does, often leads to heartaches heart-brakes... Answer, as shown above, is marriage is not about happiness but holiness the goal of marriage differently, shown... Front of hundreds of people even though she 's terrified of public speaking than happy, should.

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