God’s Secret To Having A Happy Marriage

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The secret to having a happy marriage is to realize that marriage alone cannot make you happy. Take a look at this excerpt from chapter one of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, to learn how to truly have a happy marriage.

 

Chasing a Mirage?

 

Marriage has the best sales yet the worst advertising of any product on the market.  As a result, it still amazes me how many singles look to a relationship with the opposite gender or marriage itself as a major source for happiness.

​Though marriage is a marvelous institution, it must be noted that happy singles make happy married people.  If a person is unhappy or unfulfilled before marriage, unless something changes within, they will fall short of enjoying a happy marriage.

 

What is a Great Marriage?

 

Here is one of the many ways that I describe what makes a great marriage:

A great marriage is when two full grown adults wake up with their cup of happiness and fulfillment full to overflowing.  What spills out of that cup is what should land on the other person.

Do you wake up happy despite the behavior of your spouse? Or, has it been your custom to go through the day thinking that if your spouse would make the right changes, then you could see yourself enjoying a happy marriage? A spouse’s answers to these questions can sometimes be the dividing line between an unhappy or a happy marriage.

If you are waiting for your spouse to change before feeling happy and content, then you are chasing a mirage.  Quite simply, you are investing in a stock that will always yield few returns in that your spouse is too small to be your sole source of emotional and spiritual sustenance. In fact, I often teach that looking to your spouse for happiness and fulfillment can be likened to trying to fill a 55 gallon barrel with a thimble full of water. Your spouse is simply too small in comparison with God.

 

The Promises of God

 

The promises of God concerning your own happiness and contentment never hinge upon your spouse’s obedience or disobedience to God.  In fact, the promises of God concerning happiness and joy only rely upon your faith in the faithfulness of God.  Any other approach will cause your emotional state to be like a yo-yo on the string of your spouse’s inconsistencies, and you will be prone to be up one day and down the next.

​When couples enter into marriage looking for happiness, they end up, as Patrick Morely states, becoming “two tics with no dog” (2.).  That is, they suck the life right out of one another, and, it is not too long before they are looking elsewhere for fulfillment.

 ​

Fullness of Joy

 

Psalm 16:11 tells us that in God’s presence there is “fullness of joy”.   The usage of the word fullness teaches us that there is no room for improvement upon the joy that God supplies.

Marriage, on the other hand, is the exact opposite in that, after the wedding day, we quickly see areas in ourselves, the other person, and the relationship that are often lacking.

​Notwithstanding, lest some feel that I have some type of monastic or stoic attitude toward marriage, I would like to point out that I believe that God desires for us to have a happy marriage. This is clearly evident from Proverbs 5.

 

The Proverbs 5:19 Principle

 

Proverbs 5:19 tells us that the husband is to always be ravished with the love of his wife.  According to Webster’s dictionary from 1828, the word ravished means to delight to ecstasy.  The word ecstasy means to be carried away with extreme delight or joy.  Therefore, we can conclude that marriage is to be a an emotionally fulfilling relationship, but only after Christ has become what your spouse can never be, your all in all (Ephesians 1:23).

​I deem marriage to be the icing on top of the cake.  That is, matrimony is a fringe benefit to what the Lord has already done in our lives.  Unfortunately, some men and women have little or no cake upon which that icing can rest. In cases as such, their mates often grow weary in their attempts at blessing them as, deep down, I believe they know they can never take the place of God in their lives.

 

Ordering Our Marriage Book

 

Our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, has been designed for individual as well as small group study use. It also makes a great couples devotional with thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter. Order our marriage book at our online resource center, or you may also check out our Kindle Version for immediate download.

Order our Christian Marriage Book
How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another

 

  • Learn our 2-step Process to Solving Marriage Issues
  • Use for your next Bible study
  • A Biblical Yet Refreshing Approach

 

 

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18 comments on “God’s Secret To Having A Happy Marriage
  1. Lauren Van Winkle says:

    So my husband is an alcoholic. Two years ago he got a DUI. Last year he left and went to a party, and was beaten unconscious. He missed over a month of work. While he was out of work, he began texting one of his female customers. There were long phone calls, frequent visits to her office and very explicit text messages sent between one another. I found a picture of him, a very inappropriate picture in his deleted file in his phone. When I approached him, he literally tried to make me think I was crazy for over a week before he finally got really drunk and admitted that him and this girl had been sending photos back and forth. He said ” it was completely innocent, nothing ever happened”. But to me it did, he opened his heart and his lust for another woman, regardless of if there was actually sexual acts done in person. To me, that is still adultery. Now, his drinking has gone from bad to worse. Every bit of our debt is in my name because at 38 he does not have any credit. I am a godly woman and have prayed and prayed so many prayers. I finally put my foot down and told him this weekend that I was not going to tolerate his behavior anymore. He promised he understood, blah blah blah. Yesterday he called me, and asked me what I meant by not getting drunk anymore. He wanted to know if he was still allowed to drink. He was more concerned with if he could still drink, moreso than the fact that his marriage is falling apart. I don’t know whT to do, but we are not speaking to one another now, and he tells me if I leave him it will be the worst mistake of my life. He has slandered me to everyone we know telling them how crazy and unstable I am. I may be, but it’s because of he constant torment that I go through with him. I have sought counseling, seen doctors. They all tell me the same thing. To get out of the relationship. Please help me to understand all of this from a godly standpoint.

    • Ruth says:

      I am going through a very similar situation. I am trying so hard to keep my marriage together but I am so tired of this emotional roller coaster ride. I have kids and I worry about what they are seeing and learning from their father with his constant emotional and verbal abuse toward me. He was involved in a very serious accident after excessive drinking. I am so scared of making a mistake by leaving. I have ask him to leave but he wont. He just tells me I am a terrible wife. I read the Bible and keep trusting God for guidance but I am so tired.

    • Susan says:

      Im going through the exact same thing except my husband for 4 yrs now refused to give me money or go out with our 5 kids and myself….i just recently closed the doors on him giving him cometely to God …God always provides just know that your are only crazy for putting up with him….we put more time looking through there things because we know there actions say a different thing then they are saying. IT HURTS BUT IT HURTS MORE TO STAY LIVING LIKE THAT. TRUST IN THE LORD ONLY GOD WILL DIRECT YOU IF YOU FEEL IT’S NOT RIGHT AND HE DISTURBS YOUR PATH TO THE LORD….GIVE HIM TO GOD .I WISH YOU THE BEST GOD BLESS BY THE WAY I KNOW EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT FINE OPEN UP YOUR SPIRITUal ears

    • Claudia says:

      I think reading “Love Must be Tough” will help you wiyh the answers to those questions. Blessing to you two.

  2. Lauren Van Winkle says:

    So my husband is an alcoholic. Two years ago he got a DUI. Last year he left and went to a party, and was beaten unconscious. He missed over a month of work. While he was out of work, he began texting one of his female customers. There were long phone calls, frequent visits to her office and very explicit text messages sent between one another. I found a picture of him, a very inappropriate picture in his deleted file in his phone. When I approached him, he literally tried to make me think I was crazy for over a week before he finally got really drunk and admitted that him and this girl had been sending photos back and forth. He said ” it was completely innocent, nothing ever happened”. But to me it did, he opened his heart and his lust for another woman, regardless of if there was actually sexual acts done in person. To me, that is still adultery. Now, his drinking has gone from bad to worse. Every bit of our debt is in my name because at 38 he does not have any credit. I am a godly woman and have prayed and prayed so many prayers. I finally put my foot down and told him this weekend that I was not going to tolerate his behavior anymore. He promised he understood, blah blah blah. Yesterday he called me, and asked me what I meant by not getting drunk anymore. He wanted to know if he was still allowed to drink. He was more concerned with if he could still drink, moreso than the fact that his marriage is falling apart. I don’t know whT to do, but we are not speaking to one another now, and he tells me if I leave him it will be the worst mistake of my life. He has slandered me to everyone we know telling them how crazy and unstable I am. I may be, but it’s because of he constant torment that I go through with him. I have sought counseling, seen doctors. They all tell me the same thing. To get out of the relationship. Please help me to understand all of this from a godly standpoint.

  3. Heartbroken newlywed says:

    I have been filled with joy and contentment with the Holy Spirit for many years. However I always desired and hoped to marry, so finally at 47 I found a man who I believed was equally yoked with me as a believer and a first timer. I am still filled with joy and purpose in my relationship with Christ, but the first year of marriage, starting from our first week together, was filled with confusion and bewilderment and hurt for me. I am very gentle in my words, as I hate conflict, so I believe I’m not disrespectful to him. My husband is Not ravished by my love, has not expressed any pleasure or enjoyment to have a wife. I have asked for more connection and love, but I have had to accept that Christ is truly my only Source, and He is faithful. My husband blames me for anything hurtful he says to me. He seems to view me as an appliance in the home and the bed, and a buddy to hang out with. I don’t measure up to the impure images he viewed before marriage, and I feel deeply rejected, and confused by how Angry he is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m in the process of going through a divorce. I don’t want it, my wife does. This will be my 1st and her 2nd. I’m familiar with the stats regarding marriage and remarriage. I had a on/off affair over 4 years. My wife was made aware of it by the other woman. I feel terrible already for what I did, but it kills me to see and feel the hurt, pain confusion and anger that my wife is burdened with. And I hate that I’m the cause of it.
    Our marriage wasn’t necessarily a bed of roses to begin with. There were MAJOR blended family issues, along with mother in law issues that caused problems and resulted in a lack of intimacy.
    I was told I was a terrible father to my step daughter, yet I was regularly expected to conduct my self in a fatherly way. It was a constant and daily reminder to me,through actions and words,that my stepdaughter and mother in law were top priority to my wife. I dont make excuses for what I did. Ifully own it. The blame is on me alone. No one forced me to do it. I regret it eveyday. I wish I could take back what Idid. It is a constant prayer that God will send his spirit upon my wife,and she will forgive me. And hopefully will have a change of heart. But what can I do to show her how genuine and sincere I am? We live in seperate places,but I make myself available to her as much as possible. I’ve had flowers sent to her several times, along with edible arrangements. Helped her around her house. Yet she tells me to move on and shes done, and no matter what I do wont change her mind. Im at a loss. I fast and pray and believe that God is more than able to fix and restore any relationship, and I take comfort in that. But what else can I do? or am I doing too much, or too little?

    • Emily says:

      The fact that you listed a bunch of issues in your marriage shows that you blame the marriage. Marital issues don’t lead to infidelity. Complete selfishness leads to infidelity. Maybe it’s not your wife’s lack of forgiveness that’s the issue here. Could it be you haven’t fully repented and asked for forgiveness from the heart? A woman knows when they are truly loved and their spouse is remorseful. Have you thought about digging deep within yourself and checking your motives and your heart condition. Biblically, adultery resulted in stoning and left the faithful spouse free to move on in life. Your spouse is free to leave the marriage guilt free. Adultery is murder of the heart. You killed her heart and sinned against God. Forgiveness will come in her own time. Unforgiveness didn’t end your marriage. The moment you had sex with another woman outside of your marriage ended your marriage. Often people who cheat want Grace and forgiveness, but didn’t give Grace and forgiveness to their spouse as they were defining the marriage bed. All marriages have issues, but not all marriages have cheaters. Cheaters are selfish, manipulative, controlling liars. That’s the bottom line. Cheating is not a marital issue, it’s a sexually immoral sin that comes from a wicked heart.Its lack of following the Holy Spirit. There wasn’t a flaw in the marital relationship, it was a flaw in the person who cheated and their own lack of closeness to God.

      • Tracey says:

        Emily, you couldn’t have described adultery and what a cheater is any better. It is nothing more than a selfish and prideful person trying to justify their actions by blaming their spouse and/or marriage. I just divorced my husband who cheated for the third time- I know…how could I stay with someone who would do this- and do it more than once? This time around he tore me down to build himself up and emotionally abused me with the blame shifting, projection, manipulation, lying, pretending, etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen. Thank you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    My husband had an affair. I found out 2 wks into it. He told me how sorry he was and I wanted to make our marriage work. After that, he was more angry and distant. I find out 3 months later that he was still seeing her and even had her in our home multiple times. He had intercourse w her in my bed. he says again how sorry he is and focused on God and that he was in a bad place spiritually. .after catching him the first time, he would tell me that anytime I was upset to come to him and we would pray..we did that. Only for me to find out that he was still sleeping w her and telling her he loved her. I now do not believe anything he says. How can he be praying for me and our marriage and still be having the affair? I have caught him in a couple lies about just where he is going w his friends. He says he didn’t want to upset me.. But this just makes me not trust him more… I don’t know whether I should stay or go. Or how I get over what he has done. I can’t get over the fact that she was a stripper he met in the strip club. She has sent me the sexual texts he sent to her as well. How can i want to be intimate w him when i know positions and all that they did?Please help me.

    • Suzette says:

      You’re husband is bound by a seducing spirit. The bible talks about the strange woman in proverbs. Pray for him to be free from it, demonstrate Gods love to him. However God loves you. You belong to him. You were made in his image. Take refuge in him. If your husband cannot get free from the bondage he is in pray continue to pray for him but do not support his immorality. Stand for righteousness and get out of the relationship. Let God be your husband in this season. Find healing and strength in him to look forward and be the light he called you to be. Keep praying for your spouse deliverance however look to God and walk in his will for life.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m a Christian and am struggling with an emotional affair my husband engaged in. It is a struggle and praying for God to free my mind & heal my heart. However if I was in your situation I would not be able to stay. I have too much respect for myself to stand by that & I struggle with that attitude. I don’t think God wants that for any woman. I think that stress would make my body sick. I will keep you in my prayers. God bless

    • AJ says:

      Leave him. You don’t need him. You only need God. And it sounds like your husband is on s nonstop track of hurting you and lying to you, endangering your physical and mental health, and disrespecting you. REPEATED cheating is a form of spousal abuse. It is mental cruelty, among other things. You are not required to stay with him, with abuse.

  6. Brenda says:

    Please explain what it means when the cup of happiness may be empty in the heart of the wife. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your question.

      We explain this in further detail in chapter one of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another.

      By the cup of happiness, I am referring to the inward state of an individual. In other words, it is simply a figure of speech to help us to better understand that two happy individuals make up a happy marriage.

      In fact, I often say that my wife and I do not have a great marriage because we have one another. We have a great marriage because we are happy before we even see one another. There is a distinct difference.

      Getting back to the original question, however, it simply means that if the husband or the wife wakes up expecting the other person to fulfill their dreams and make them happy, they will be looking for a long time. In fact, I did not marry to find happiness, but rather to add to the happiness that Christ had already given me.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

  7. Thank you Jonathan. I am in agreement with you.

    Dr. Force

  8. Jonathan says:

    Always said so true as the time honored commitment to keeping Jesus as the pinnacle of love. However, once grounded in that and honoring your love towards him, then can we feel ravished by love. We can only give and receive all the love we can by learning what true and unconditional love first.

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  • A Biblical Yet Refreshing Approach

 

 

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