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. (2) Happiness is not the goal of marriage. Not knowing this is the root cause of an identity crisis. It was designed for companionship. 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! ( Log Out /  I really appreciate it! She speaks regularly in front of hundreds of people even though she's terrified of public speaking. St. Augustine wrote, "Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2017. Don’t believe me? The root of all problems is a theological problem. Choosing holiness over happiness in marriage Written by Gary Thomas. —These two years of marriage have broken down these ideas on what I thought marriage should look like. Conversely, when I seek to harm my husband, that harm is inflicted upon me. 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. 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). 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 example, when one walked through the door, the other behaved as if the other had not entered. This is a … 4.0 out of 5 stars Good book to prep for marriage. Paul Scott is a registered therapist specializing in drug, alcohol, and sexual addition. On our way to the airport after the service, I asked Dr. Williams about another friend, P. S. Thomas and his family. Neither of us "needed" to get married. 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.". ❤. Once again, this points toward holiness, not happiness. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Then I realized that was a LIE! People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. God desires the biggest romance ever with us. Even satan is a theologian (a faulty and wrong theologian). The goal of marriage, then, shouldn’t be happiness. The writer of Hebrews also seems to point toward holiness in marriage. When we think of holiness only in terms of “spiritual” things like reading our Bibles or praying, we make two mistakes. 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. Grace, Marriage does not guarantee happiness. 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. Courage. 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. A person saying this has either not stopped to think through the situation or is willfully disregarding the heart of the faithful spouse. Paul knew what to say and the right moment to say it. 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. It was a difficult transition, especially in the beginning. Both of us were independent and for the most part, content in our singleness. The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. His “holiness not happiness” blog post may seem unreasonable to those whose lives do not revolve around faith. Believe it or not, this difference in our approaches to things was one of the biggest sources of conflict in our marriage. ( Log Out /  Grace is a wife, mother, and regular person with an irregular life. Once again, this points toward holiness, not happiness. Linda: A good marriage is one of the life-factors most strongly associated and consistently associated with happiness. Our culture shapes our thinking and conduct regarding marriage to an incredible degree. 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 … How important it is to be Holy rather than happy, or should I say that holiness can bring happiness! She is currently writing a book to help Christian women leaders thrive in ministry. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It’s written by a guy named Gary Thomas. When I was tempted to respond to someone quickly and brashly, I took three days to think it through and pray. It is very insightful. 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. Thanks for sharing these words. We understood—even then—that our marriage was ultimately more about our moral development than personal satisfaction and contentment. It wasn't adequate to pick up the clutter around the house when the floors needed to be mopped and the baseboards scrubbed. I know people don't like to hear this but it isn't. And that day, we washed each other's feet in the surf to symbolize our commitment to serve each other to that end. Even with regards to marriage and singleness. Eventually, I didn't need to practice the three-day rule in order to exercise prudence in my daily interactions with Paul and others. When he cleaned the house, he didn't always dust or mop or polish the leather couches. It reminds us that the portrayal of marriage differently, as the world does, often leads to heartaches and heart-brakes. We bring things that do not belong, such as bitterness and anger. 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. Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. For him, it wasn't so much about the destination as it was the journey along the way. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. Temperance. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. 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. Happiness is like the ebb and flow of a tide, always changing. 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. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Both of us were independent and for the most part, content in our singleness. (3) The goal of marriage is deeper. Being married actually helps with the sanctification process because I have numerous opportunities to pay forward the unconditional love that God has given me. It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. Marriage Investing in us Faith and marriage Gratitude. We can fail to experience happiness in marriage because we belong to our self-centeredness more than to our spouses. Of course, our marriages are fallen. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. © Grace Daniels 2017. It was designed for companionship. 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. Marriage Isn’t for Everyone. 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. 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. He created marriage to be a picture of Him. The bride and groom represent God and his church….whom he says is the Bride of Christ. If it is, you’re going to be disappointed.) Of course, our marriages are fallen. This passage from Ephesians on marriage … I saw the impact my words had upon Paul, and I started to pay attention to how he communicated with me and with others. The Catholic church believes marriage is a sacrament because the relationship between husband and wife represents the union of Christ to his bride, believers. 1. The Roman lyric poet Horace wrote, "To flee vice is the beginning of virtue." Our marriages would get a lot better if we stopped making happiness our goal….if instead of seeking happiness, we started seeking holiness. We are not to skip the first element. 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! Mrs. K J Bell. Marriage provides a daily context for spiritual growth because it gives us opportunities to put away sinful tendencies and practice more virtuous behaviors. We bring things that do not belong, such as bitterness and anger. Marriage, the researchers found, is not the key to happiness. Then again, being single isn’t for everyone either. Marriage is about HOLINESS, not Happiness, Grace’s Story: My “Love Dare” Experience | God's Way Actually Works, Did I Marry the Right Person? Recommended Read more. But when we married, I noticed that my honesty was more divisive than it was beneficial to our marriage. 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. I believe marriage exists to make us holy – to make us much better versions of ourselves that we may not have been without marriage. Studies have repeatedly concluded that married people are happier than men and women who … According to Scripture marriage also represents a reality that is much larger than an individual relationship – namely that of Christ and His Church. (For that matter, the goal of your life shouldn’t be happiness either. Charity. Temperance is the ability to practice moderation in action, thought, or feeling. A few points that will hopefully give you an idea of where I am going with this. Lewis called courage "the form of every virtue at the testing point." [Graphic: Cover of Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Marriage.]. 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. 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. After all, if the purpose of marriage is holiness, these annoying situations provide us with ample opportunity to practice Christlikeness as we […]. Society portrays marriage as the prince saving the damsel in distress, and then they live happily ever after. 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. 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