“Marriage: For Happiness or Holiness?”
I was trying to decide on how to start this. When I got married for the first time I married for happiness. I married my husband because I thought he would save me, take away all the trouble in my life, make me a better person, help me live a happier life.
When I re-married the SAME man for our 10 year anniversary (we had a little private get together with close friends). I did it for holiness. We choose to stay married and we wanted to show others that we were committed to God, and his desire of holiness in our marriage. I can say with confidence I love him more today because of it. He is more handsome, and more loving than I can remember, and I am thrilled to be his wife.
You see happiness is insatiable. We couldn’t thrive on trying to be happy. We almost ended in divorce the first 8 years of marriage because we could fill the happiness void in our life. We craved so many things that were not of God. It took a long time for us to realize that we were going down the wrong road… and yet God still showed us that we could live differently. The difference in our marriage now is God.. not that God has changed, but we’ve surrendered to having a holy marriage with God involved fully and actively in our marriage.
Now, some people might say… what do you mean; there is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy. It took me a long time to understand the difference between happiness and being joyful.
Happiness – Good luck; good fortune; prosperity.
Joy – To rejoice; to be glad; to delight; to exult.
Okay, so the first thing I want to say is I don’t care about happiness anymore. It’s a worldly term in a lot of ways. We think “things” can make us happy. I want to be JOYFUL. I want my heart to rejoice and be glad and delight. I don’t want the emptiness of being happy as it is fleeting; it’s an unstable thing. It can be here for a moment (you got something — oh i’m happy!) as opposed to being joyful where it’s something within your heart. The terms are often switched, but they really are different things.
So, please don’t misunderstand; I don’t think happiness is a bad thing, – I like being happy! I just don’t want my marriage depending on one thing after another to satisfy my heart and needs.
Now onto holiness.
Holiness – The state or quality of being holy; perfect moral integrity or purity; freedom from sin; sanctity; innocence.
We need to keep our marriage holy before God. We need to keep it sacred before God. If we don’t, we will find it a struggle to say the least.
I thought about posting all the verses I could find that relate to marriage in the Bible, but honestly I believe if you read the Bible together and practice biblical living — together, you have a wonderful combination of a healthy and godly marriage!
If you look in the Bible, happy only appears 21 times, but joy appears 241, and even more so, holy appears 500 times. If God mentions holy so much, I’m guessing it’s a pretty important word, and something I need to learn more about.
Do I have it all figured out? No. I’m a work in progress.
You are the Creator of marriage. Your desire for us to have a holy and sacred marriage before is what I desire. Help me to remember this when I struggle with our life. I know you care for us. Thank-you for giving me my spouse.
(definitions from dictionary.com)