Marriage Has to Be About More Than Happiness
Marriage has to be about more than happiness—it has to be about holiness. If marriage is just based on happiness (s/he makes me happy/money is good/what a hottie), it’s easily threatened. At some point, you’ll be unhappy with your spouse, because people change. Sometimes it’s short term—stress or the like—and sometimes it’s long term, like spiritual growth.
One thing’s for sure, if you pick Mr. Right, it’s very possible that if you’re just looking for happiness, you can meet Mr. Righter. Cheating happens pretty easily these days, too. It’s easy to get some affection from guys or girls on Facebook, or from someone at the office. It’s easy to say, “Wow, this person is so much more attractive in this way…I may have settled too soon.” (We’ve all seen that story play out with someone in our lives.)
Your marriage will surely be tested, and in ways that you might never expect. C.S. Lewis called courage “the form of every virtue at the testing point.” When you’re unhappy with your spouse and Satan sends you, “Option B for your bed, who’s a little nicer right now,” it’s critical to have a marriage with a mission. What’s that mission? Being holy. As Ephesians 5:22-32 says, marriage is to make us more like Christ. It’s to be courageous. It’s a commitment sustained through discipline.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.Ephesians
Marriage is designed to show the relationship between Christ and His bride, which is the church. It is meant to show endless love and incredible respect. ” So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies…and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
That’s so much easier to do when you have a goal and mission built around Christ.