Eventually, I didn't need to practice the three-day rule in order to exercise prudence in my daily interactions with Paul and others. 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. I really appreciate it! The goal of marriage, then, shouldn’t be happiness. 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. When we climbed mountains, he didn't need to go to the top—he was content with going halfway. Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter After all, if the purpose of marriage is holiness, these annoying situations provide us with ample opportunity to practice Christlikeness as we […]. There might be times we are unhappy with our marriage or our spouse. The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. It reminds us that the portrayal of marriage differently, as the world does, often leads to heartaches and heart-brakes. Grace is a wife, mother, and regular person with an irregular life. When he cleaned the house, he didn't always dust or mop or polish the leather couches. God desires the biggest romance ever with us. The writer of Hebrews also seems to point toward holiness in marriage. Americans say happiness is paramount; the Bible says that God’s glory is the reason for marriage. It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. I am utterly convinced God designed marriage to help us grow in holiness. I heard a fabulous sermon on the radio during a road trip, but I don’t know who to credit. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2017. or "How can our marriage make us each more like Christ?" 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. :0), […] some slack and extend grace, you will be amazed by how much happier you are. We understood—even then—that our marriage was ultimately more about our moral development than personal satisfaction and contentment. Here are a few small, specific ways God has used marriage to carve virtue into our character. Choosing holiness over happiness in marriage Written by Gary Thomas. It was a difficult transition, especially in the beginning. Marriage is not about your happiness; it is about God’s glory. For him, it wasn't so much about the destination as it was the journey along the way. 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!! She applied (and was hired) for jobs I thought she needed more experience for. This passage from Ephesians on marriage … 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. When you apply this statement to a married couple, things take a new light. Marriage Investing in us Faith and marriage Gratitude. You can pray all you want in an unhappy marriage; but prayer will be blocked solid if you’re in an unholy marriage. 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 holiness is the goal, the person sees trials as opportunity for growth instead of hindrances to their own happiness or worse yet a sign that their marriage isn’t working. Marriage, the researchers found, is not the key to happiness. Neither of us "needed" to get married. Every action we take has a consequence for our character. Change ). 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. 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. The bride and groom represent God and his church….whom he says is the Bride of Christ. So I pushed those feelings down. Courage. I was able to "see ahead" and discern what words would best build up the other person. I (Halee) can be candid to a fault. During this period, Paul taught me his "three-day rule." Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. 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. N either of us "needed" to get married. Beautiful message! How important it is to be Holy rather than happy, or should I say that holiness can bring happiness! The other half of this, what follows the “marriage is not about happiness” lie is God made marriage as a way to prefect us, grow us up, help us work things out, make us holy, or something like that. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 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. I was afraid, wondering how I would be able to provide for my family. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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?" | God's Way Actually Works, Foundational Attribute of a Strong Marriage: Forgiveness | God's Way Actually Works. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Thanks for your feedback. A few weeks ago a friend from India, Dr. Theodore Williams of Indian Evangelical Mission, spoke at Community Bible Chapel. Dr. Williams told me one of my friend’s daughters had just married a young man from Dallas. 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. Prudence. 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. ( Log Out /  Themes covered. Sign Up For Our Newsletter Our culture shapes our thinking and conduct regarding marriage to an incredible degree. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It was designed for companionship. 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! The Catholic church believes marriage is a sacrament because the relationship between husband and wife represents the union of Christ to his bride, believers. 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. Conversely, when I seek to harm my husband, that harm is inflicted upon me. Dr. Halee Gray Scott is an author, independent scholar, and researcher. Holiness within marriage is essential for us to maintain an active prayer life. Of course, our marriages are fallen. He writes, "This mutual molding of [spouses], this determined effort to perfect each other, can in a very real sense, as the Roman Catechism teaches, be said to be the chief reason and purpose of matrimony.". The Scotts live in Holland, Michigan, with their two daughters, Ellie and Viv. His thesis goes like this: “Marriage is not primarily about your happiness. Theo related that … CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles. I saw the impact my words had upon Paul, and I started to pay attention to how he communicated with me and with others. 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. 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). Mrs. K J Bell. Recommended Read more. rather than "What are we forging together?" ❤. Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. Don’t believe me? As Paul said, not getting married can be the best thing for someone’s relationship to God: Of course, our marriages are fallen. I'd been working for the company for 14 years, and I'd known God was calling me to leave the company for a long time, but I couldn't imagine leaving after all the years I'd put into the company. I dare you to do The Love Dare for 40 days and see what happens. 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. It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. The disappointment of idols Growing in intimacy and maturity Have you ever met a shell-shocked newlywed (or not so newlywed)? When we took the same course in graduate school, he was content with an A- (or even a B+!) In this 40-minute session from the 2015 Marriage Ministry Conference, Gary Thomas, author of "Sacred Marriage," and Ted Cunningham, well-known author and founding pastor of Woodland Hills Family Church, debate whether happiness or holiness is more important in marriage. (For that matter, the goal of your life shouldn’t be happiness either. Some believe that they are joined together for the betterment of each other. This doesn’t mean you are waning in love. What's inside this article. Marriage yokes us to an imperfect person who … let’s face it … is selfish, just as we, at our cores, are also selfish. Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. Temperance is the ability to practice moderation in action, thought, or feeling. Marriage is about your holiness.”. I would put so much pressure on myself to be this “perfect” wife because I had so many people looking up to us. People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I (Halee) have never been good at moderation; I always seem to operate in extremes, whether in work or play. He created marriage to be a picture of Him. 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. Even with regards to marriage and singleness. I know people don't like to hear this but it isn't. But when we married, I noticed that my honesty was more divisive than it was beneficial to our marriage. Thanks for sharing! ( Log Out /  The truth didn't always have to be painful. She went on to brave 16 hours of labor to bring our daughter into the world. Marriage provides a daily context for spiritual growth because it gives us opportunities to put away sinful tendencies and practice more virtuous behaviors. 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. The Roman lyric poet Horace wrote, "To flee vice is the beginning of virtue." C.S. So often I am dwelling on how my husband does not meet my needs. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. Holiness within marriage is essential for us to maintain an active prayer life. This is a … We can fail to experience happiness in marriage because we belong to our self-centeredness more than to our spouses. I was curious about how this came to pass since the families live so far apart. 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. Where Have All the Gray-Haired Ladies Gone. But, my happiness doesn’t come from him alone. Happiness is like the ebb and flow of a tide, always changing. And preceding any possibility of finding true happy-holiness is the profound reality that our sins must be permanently and forever removed before a holy God. She is currently writing a book to help Christian women leaders thrive in ministry. 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. ( Log Out /  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. But what do these opportunities look like in everyday life? The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. 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. :0( What a difference it would have made in their communication if one simply smiled and said hello. He was a diligent worker, but he didn't feel compelled to put in excessively long hours. When I was tempted to respond to someone quickly and brashly, I took three days to think it through and pray. Throughout our marriage, I (Paul) have seen Halee demonstrate courage over and over. Marriage is about HOLINESS, not Happiness, Grace’s Story: My “Love Dare” Experience | God's Way Actually Works, Did I Marry the Right Person? It wasn't adequate to pick up the clutter around the house when the floors needed to be mopped and the baseboards scrubbed. Even satan is a theologian (a faulty and wrong theologian). This one life decision invited God’s healing power into her life, transforming her from the inside out. 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. I rewatched Fireproof yesterday, and in the first half of movie, I saw so clearly how both characters were contributing to their marital problems. Our actions become habits and habits, like grooves on a well-worn path, become our character. 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. We are not to skip the first element. Just because something is used for our perfection does not mean it is why God created it! (2) Happiness is not the goal of marriage. He spoke thoughtfully, ensuring that his words contributed to the well-being of others. 4.0 out of 5 stars Good book to prep for marriage. 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. It wasn't enough to have one job while going to school when I had time enough for two (or three). 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 … 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. People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. And that day, we washed each other's feet in the surf to symbolize our commitment to serve each other to that end. 5 people found this helpful. This has opened my eyes to how I can change. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women. A few points that will hopefully give you an idea of where I am going with this. But eventually, I did quit and moved into the work that God had called me to. Lewis called courage "the form of every virtue at the testing point." The root of all problems is a theological problem. Linda: A good marriage is one of the life-factors most strongly associated and consistently associated with happiness. 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. Since I did the Love Dare to my husband, he took over unloading the dishwasher, despite my never asking him to do so. 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. "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. Once again, this points toward holiness, not happiness. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. Studies have repeatedly concluded that married people are happier than men and women who … while I sweated it out for an A+. 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. Prior to this role, he served in leadership for Every Man's Battle for 13 years. Happiness is NOT the primary reason to be married. A person saying this has either not stopped to think through the situation or is willfully disregarding the heart of the faithful spouse. (3) The goal of marriage is deeper. —These two years of marriage have broken down these ideas on what I thought marriage should look like. Then I realized that was a LIE! Holiness gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one another. Surely God wants us to be happy, but what if marriage is more about making us holy instead of just being happy. 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! This isn’t to say that my beloved doesn’t make me happy. [Graphic: Cover of Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Marriage.]. ( Log Out /  Marriage Is for Holiness, Not Just Happiness. 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