“I, Mike, take thee, Christine, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you.”
Christine replies, “I, Christine, take thee, Mike, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you”
While the above vows are being exchanged by Mike and Christine, what they actually imply is this …… from this day forward, for better, for worse (as long as you make me happy), for richer, for poorer (As long as you aren’t broke and can support the family financially), in sickness and health (Headaches and alleges, not signing up for a sick partner) to love and to cherish (as long as it is convenient) till death do us part.
Often times while happiness is not part of the marriage vows, it is implied and the expectation is that my spouse should make me happy. If for some reason this expectation is not met, then I must have married the wrong person or in other cases we are not compatible. This is a partial truth that needs to be exposed particularly to our millennials.
We live in a world that is driven based on self-fulfillment. A world that is driven by me, myself and I. This is what I want, this is how I feel, this is what makes me happy etc. Last year 24 billion selfie photos where uploaded through Googles servers according to the tech giant Google. Approximately 761 selfies per second. These photos where uploaded mostly by millennia generation. The intense focus on self is currently unprecedented and its effects is found in marriage as more and more couples are focusing on self. The ripple effect of this is less patience between couples and more couple feel trapped because they are not able to fulfill self within the confines of marriage.
Happiness is a function of happenings and event. For example you are happy when you get a promotion at work or when you purchase a home and so on. You are also happy when your spouse meets or exceeds your expectations based on actions or deeds. In other words you get excited or happy based on things going on in your marriage. This also means if the events that happen are not so pleasant your emotions change from happy to sad. This is the case when you lose a job or your spouse falls short of your expectations. Reality is that no meaningful relationship can be built solely on happiness because happiness is triggered by events and happening which are subject to change.
Joy is a function of what you know. For example Jason loses his job. However he is not worried because he saw his job as a source God used to bless him. Now the channel is closed and God will provide another avenue to bless him. Jason’s attitude is based on what he knows about a situation and not just based on events that happen. No wonder scripture expresses it this way “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”.
Key take away.
- Happiness alone is not a criteria for a successful marriage however happiness is a bye product of a healthy marriage.
- Your marriage vow didn’t include being happy as a condition to remain in the marriage. Or did it?
- If you are not happy by yourself, your spouse can do very little in sustaining you being happy.
- If I married the right person, then I would be happy all the time. This is an inaccurate statements because regardless of who you marry, there will be issues you have to walk through in your marriage.
- Happy is a function of events and happing while Joy is a function of what you know.
- If you want to be happy, ask God to do something for you. However if you want to be joyful, ask God to show up. His presence brings Joy.
The day you lose your desire to fight for your marriage is the day divorce starts knocking on your door. Invest in your marriage, develop your character and watch your marriage flourish. Reality is that only you can make you happy and contentment is a first step to being happy in your marriage.
As always, marriage is a journey and not a destination. The bible is the blue print while the Holy Spirit is your guide. It should get better over time if the governing principles are consistently applied.