I was praying for so many years that I will be happy through my marriage. Turns out, that prayer was wrong.
It’s common for women like me to seek happiness through marriage, to seek joy from the man whom media has taught to provide the “happily ever after” fantasy. And fantasy it is, for while I long to be happy, I was trying to get happiness from an incorrect source.
After almost 10 years of marriage and being through some of the deepest valleys a married life can offer, I realized three things about why it is wrong to seek happiness from my husband:
- No person can make me truly happy.
God gave me a loving and wonderful husband. I thank God for allowing us to grow in our youth and how He arranged things for us to meet at a youth camp and allowed us to grow in our friendship even while we were living from two separate provinces. Now, God blessed us with two charming kids. There’s so much to be “happy” about. But…
After all the good events, the great achievements, and the sweet moments, there’s plenty of other stuff to deal with in marriage. And, my husband and I are not perfect. We both have pains from our past, doubts and fears, and sins to overcome. We try our best to make each other happy, but the truth is, that is impossible to do.
There will always be unfulfilled expectations and disappointments which can easily rob away the happiness in marriage. NO PERSON CAN MAKE ANOTHER PERSON TRULY HAPPY. It’s a common misconception that that handsome and kind guy, or that pretty and smart girl can make you happy. That “happy” feeling at the beginning of all relationships is a fleeting emotion which life itself cannot sustain. It will fade. It might just be a result of my body’s biological responses to a stimulus, an over-production of certain hormones which will vanish in the process of time and when life’s reality sets in.
In fact, I cannot even make myself happy, how would I expect another person to make me happy? Isn’t it unfair to expect something from somebody when you yourself cannot provide? Isn’t it unfair to expect happiness from someone, when it is not their responsibility?
- The goal of my marriage is not to make me happy.
One of the common reasons of getting into marriage is to become happy. There’s a certain lie to it, unfortunately. Media has shaped our minds into thinking that after saying “I do”, everything will be beds of roses and life will be a cloud nine. I believe I am not the only one who could say that getting married to be happy is a wrong motive.
Getting happiness for myself through marriage is pure selfishness. It means I expect the other person, my husband, to do everything that I want, just to make me happy. It means I have to always be the number one and his life must revolve around me.
When God designed marriage in the garden of Eden, it was not for Adam or Eve to be happy. It was, is, and will forever be for God’s glory. God must be the number one in marriage. Life should revolve around Him. THE GOAL OF MARRIAGE IS FOR TWO PERSONS TO REFLECT CHRIST IN THEIR LIVES SO THAT GOD GETS THE GLORY.
Here’ s the challenge: To make marriage less of me, less of my husband, and more of Christ. I have to let go of my selfish expectations for the happiness of my Lover, the Lord Himself.
Will this mean that I have to always live in misery when I don’t seek for my own happiness through my marriage? This is where faith is exercised. When I desire and do God’s will in my life – especially in my marriage – first, there is always the grace to bless. It’s not only material, physical, or emotional blessings that can give me happiness. More of God’s presence and more of His joy and peace are far greater blessings compared to all other fleeting ones.
I have experienced how God’s hand is present and His Spirit and His Word providing comfort and joy when I choose to desire, decide, and do for His happiness more than for my own. And the joy that He brings exceeds all human happiness.
- Only Jesus can give me real happiness and lasting joy.
The Person Who endured the most pain knows the kind of happiness that I need. He is the only One Who can provide that happiness that goes beyond every pain, doubt, confusion, or sin that happens in my life. The joy that He gives goes beyond this earth. It exceeds every dimension and all the worlds.
When I give my marriage to Him and let Him guide, there is assurance that whatever happens here, He is watching. He is observing from heaven above and His Word is always ready to provide the answers and His Spirit is ready to comfort.
It gives a sense of liberty knowing that my happiness and my husband’s happiness do not depend on each one of us. It depends on our relationship with the Lord.
As we celebrate our 10th year in our marriage journey, we can look back and say that there were many times we failed. We failed in our conquest for happiness from each other. But now, as we start anew and hopefully reaching farther in our journey ahead, we have this renewed hope – OUR MARRIAGE IS NOT FOR OUR OWN, BUT FOR THE LORD.
He began this work in us; He placed us into this commitment; He will keep us through… and He will provide more grace along the way as we keep holding each other’s hands for His glory.
God heard my prayer to make me happy through my marriage – not through my children, not through my husband, not through me, but through Him. Thankful for a DECADE OF HIS GRACE!!!