We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more! Where Have All the Gray-Haired Ladies Gone. Marriage the Way it Was Intended Ultimately my belief about homosexuality (being that it is not the way God created us, and a sin to act on those desires) is rooted in the way that God created marriage. There might be times we are unhappy with our marriage or our spouse. 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. 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. Believe it or not, this difference in our approaches to things was one of the biggest sources of conflict in our marriage. rather than "What are we forging together?" 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! But eventually, I did quit and moved into the work that God had called me to. 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. Don’t believe me? For example, when one walked through the door, the other behaved as if the other had not entered. Thanks for sharing! Both of us were independent and for the most part, content in our singleness. How important it is to be Holy rather than happy, or should I say that holiness can bring happiness! Temperance. She applied (and was hired) for jobs I thought she needed more experience for. Americans say happiness is paramount; the Bible says that God’s glory is the reason for marriage. Marriage Is for Holiness, Not Just Happiness. His “holiness not happiness” blog post may seem unreasonable to those whose lives do not revolve around faith. Linda: A good marriage is one of the life-factors most strongly associated and consistently associated with happiness. 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.". A marriage that’s not based on personal happiness, but holiness. The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Courage. 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. 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. Marriage Investing in us Faith and marriage Gratitude. Thomas Aquinas describes it as "the most excellent of virtues … the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor." 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. It is very insightful. CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. Temperance is the ability to practice moderation in action, thought, or feeling. One of my favorite books in marriage counseling is titled “Sacred Marriage.”. ❤. For him, it wasn't so much about the destination as it was the journey along the way. You can pray all you want in an unhappy marriage; but prayer will be blocked solid if you’re in an unholy marriage. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. 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! Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. 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 wasn't long into our marriage when I discovered Paul didn't share this "value." ( Log Out /  It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. 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. or "How can I cope in this marriage?" He created marriage to be a picture of Him. When we think of holiness only in terms of “spiritual” things like reading our Bibles or praying, we make two mistakes. (3) The goal of marriage is deeper. while I sweated it out for an A+. This isn’t to say that my beloved doesn’t make me happy. We bring things that do not belong, such as bitterness and anger. Grace is a wife, mother, and regular person with an irregular life. Every action we take has a consequence for our character. God designed marriage as holiness and happiness. Theo related that … Report abuse. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. During this period, Paul taught me his "three-day rule." All Rights Reserved. I am utterly convinced God designed marriage to help us grow in holiness. God desires the biggest romance ever with us. Holiness in marriage is a very practical thing. Thanks for your feedback. The bride and groom represent God and his church….whom he says is the Bride of Christ. So I pushed those feelings down. Mrs. K J Bell. Thanks for sharing these words. Lewis called courage "the form of every virtue at the testing point." 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). 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. 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. She speaks regularly in front of hundreds of people even though she's terrified of public speaking. Still other groups have emphasized the spiritual goals of marriage. A person saying this has either not stopped to think through the situation or is willfully disregarding the heart of the faithful spouse. It’s a solemn sacred institution that is managed by it’s founder, God. Dr. Halee Gray Scott is an author, independent scholar, and researcher. 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. C.S. A few points that will hopefully give you an idea of where I am going with this. 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. She is currently writing a book to help Christian women leaders thrive in ministry. Some believe that they are joined together for the betterment of each other. I (Halee) can be candid to a fault. His thesis goes like this: “Marriage is not primarily about your happiness. 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. How exactly can marriage make us more holy? As Paul said, not getting married can be the best thing for someone’s relationship to God: 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! It’s written by a guy named Gary Thomas. | God's Way Actually Works, Foundational Attribute of a Strong Marriage: Forgiveness | God's Way Actually Works. Beautiful message! Prior to this role, he served in leadership for Every Man's Battle for 13 years. Change ). We bring things that do not belong, such as bitterness and anger. 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?" It wasn't enough to run three miles when my daily goal was five. She has been leading Bible studies through her local church for over a decade and is passionate about encouraging others to pursue a close, deep, personal, and intimate relationship with God. Once again, this points toward holiness, not happiness. I saw the impact my words had upon Paul, and I started to pay attention to how he communicated with me and with others. What's inside this article. To marry for personal happiness (or love) was considered a selfish act that disregarded the needs of the broader community. Once again, this points toward holiness, not happiness. Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter It is just a childish dream and nothing else. —These two years of marriage have broken down these ideas on what I thought marriage should look like. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. 1. I heard a fabulous sermon on the radio during a road trip, but I don’t know who to credit. It was designed for companionship. 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. 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!! We are not to skip the first element. 4.0 out of 5 stars Good book to prep for marriage. :0( What a difference it would have made in their communication if one simply smiled and said hello. 5 people found this helpful. ( Log Out /  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. Happiness is NOT the primary reason to be married. 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 he cleaned the house, he didn't always dust or mop or polish the leather couches. I dare you to do The Love Dare for 40 days and see what happens. 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. 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. Happiness is like the ebb and flow of a tide, always changing. Here are a few small, specific ways God has used marriage to carve virtue into our character. "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. ( Log Out /  I was able to "see ahead" and discern what words would best build up the other person. Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women. So we must take heed that we do not fall into the same Charity is agape love, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. A married person who considers holiness and Christlikeness as the ultimate objective of marriage approaches the relationship with a completely different mindset than one who believes marriage is all about personal happiness. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. For most of human history and in most societies, the goal of marriage was to provide economic security through family alliances and to serve as a context for procreation. Marriage, the researchers found, is not the key to happiness. In other words both marriage and sex have a purpose which is much larger than individual happiness. After all, if the purpose of marriage is holiness, these annoying situations provide us with ample opportunity to practice Christlikeness as we […]. When we climbed mountains, he didn't need to go to the top—he was content with going halfway. Themes covered. 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. This is a wonderful post. Charity is the highest, the most important of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, charity). And that day, we washed each other's feet in the surf to symbolize our commitment to serve each other to that end. Marriage yokes us to an imperfect person who … let’s face it … is selfish, just as we, at our cores, are also selfish. Marriage Is for Holiness, Not Just Happiness. © Grace Daniels 2017. 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. 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. 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. The goal of marriage, then, shouldn’t be happiness. According to Scripture marriage also represents a reality that is much larger than an individual relationship – namely that of Christ and His Church. Paul knew what to say and the right moment to say it. 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. I rewatched Fireproof yesterday, and in the first half of movie, I saw so clearly how both characters were contributing to their marital problems. Of course, our marriages are fallen. Marriage provides a daily context for spiritual growth because it gives us opportunities to put away sinful tendencies and practice more virtuous behaviors. Even satan is a theologian (a faulty and wrong theologian). The Scotts live in Holland, Michigan, with their two daughters, Ellie and Viv. 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. He does. We can fail to experience happiness in marriage because we belong to our self-centeredness more than to our spouses. 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. Choosing holiness over happiness in marriage Written by Gary Thomas. 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. Holiness within marriage is essential for us to maintain an active prayer life. This is a … Eventually, I didn't need to practice the three-day rule in order to exercise prudence in my daily interactions with Paul and others. A few weeks ago a friend from India, Dr. Theodore Williams of Indian Evangelical Mission, spoke at Community Bible Chapel. :0), […] some slack and extend grace, you will be amazed by how much happier you are. Prudence. Both of us were independent and for the most part, content in our singleness. Not knowing this is the root cause of an identity crisis. This has opened my eyes to how I can change. 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. or "How can our marriage make us each more like Christ?" I know people don't like to hear this but it isn't. 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. This one life decision invited God’s healing power into her life, transforming her from the inside out. Throughout our marriage, I (Paul) have seen Halee demonstrate courage over and over. When we took the same course in graduate school, he was content with an A- (or even a B+!) Marriage is about HOLINESS, not Happiness, Grace’s Story: My “Love Dare” Experience | God's Way Actually Works, Did I Marry the Right Person? I would put so much pressure on myself to be this “perfect” wife because I had so many people looking up to us. Undefiled and honored, the covenant of marriage safeguards a core of pleasure. I (Halee) have never been good at moderation; I always seem to operate in extremes, whether in work or play. She went on to brave 16 hours of labor to bring our daughter into the world. This doesn’t mean you are waning in love. He spoke thoughtfully, ensuring that his words contributed to the well-being of others. The root of all problems is a theological problem. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2017. When you apply this statement to a married couple, things take a new light. Society portrays marriage as the prince saving the damsel in distress, and then they live happily ever after. Marriage Isn’t for Everyone. Courage isn't the absence of fear as much as it is the willingness to move forward despite fear. It wasn't enough to have one job while going to school when I had time enough for two (or three). People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. 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. 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. Marriage is not about your happiness; it is about God’s glory. Marriage is about your holiness.”. On our way to the airport after the service, I asked Dr. Williams about another friend, P. S. Thomas and his family. I was curious about how this came to pass since the families live so far apart. The Christian walk is not about our happiness. God designed marriage as holiness and happiness. (For that matter, the goal of your life shouldn’t be happiness either. I believe marriage exists to make us holy – to make us much better versions of ourselves that we may not have been without marriage. But when we married, I noticed that my honesty was more divisive than it was beneficial to our marriage. The writer of Hebrews also seems to point toward holiness in marriage. Grace, Holiness within marriage is essential for us to maintain an active prayer life. Our marriages would get a lot better if we stopped making happiness our goal….if instead of seeking happiness, we started seeking holiness. N either of us "needed" to get married. The writer of Hebrews also seems to point toward holiness in marriage. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It was a difficult transition, especially in the beginning. This passage from Ephesians on marriage … The Roman lyric poet Horace wrote, "To flee vice is the beginning of virtue." Charity. The Catholic church believes marriage is a sacrament because the relationship between husband and wife represents the union of Christ to his bride, believers. Holiness gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one another. God uses marriage to produce holiness in us, not necessarily happiness. But, my happiness doesn’t come from him alone. The answer, as shown above, is that marriage was not designed for holiness. St. Augustine wrote, "Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." It was designed for companionship. 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. 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. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I was afraid, wondering how I would be able to provide for my family. If it is, you’re going to be disappointed.) I really appreciate it! People, including Christians are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Paul Scott is a registered therapist specializing in drug, alcohol, and sexual addition. (2) Happiness is not the goal of marriage. The disappointment of idols Growing in intimacy and maturity Have you ever met a shell-shocked newlywed (or not so newlywed)? Then I realized that was a LIE! It wasn't adequate to pick up the clutter around the house when the floors needed to be mopped and the baseboards scrubbed. We understood—even then—that our marriage was ultimately more about our moral development than personal satisfaction and contentment. ( Log Out /  Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles. Our culture shapes our thinking and conduct regarding marriage to an incredible degree. Because of his daily influence, I've learned how to be more tactful in the way I say things. Happiness is in the Lord, but without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. For example, guys sometimes think they have a "right" to their own space or their own time (like a night out with the guys), but I (Paul) realized that the perceived "rights" I had were really selfish aspects of my character that God wanted to change through our marriage. Recommended Read more. Neither of us "needed" to get married. But what do these opportunities look like in everyday life? Often translated "wisdom," the word prudence comes from the word providence, which means "to see ahead." It reminds us that the portrayal of marriage differently, as the world does, often leads to heartaches and heart-brakes. Conversely, when I seek to harm my husband, that harm is inflicted upon me. 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. Dr. Williams told me one of my friend’s daughters had just married a young man from Dallas. I would agree God uses marriage to do these things, but He uses many things. The night our daughter was born, I caught her crying for a single minute (when she thought I wasn't looking) as the labor pains intensified. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. When I was tempted to respond to someone quickly and brashly, I took three days to think it through and pray. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Because we are yoked together, I am more aware of my husband’s shortcomings than anyone else in the world (just as he is with mine), which puts me in a unique position to pray for him so God can intervene in places that nobody else sees. Since I did the Love Dare to my husband, he took over unloading the dishwasher, despite my never asking him to do so. You can pray all you want in an unhappy marriage; but prayer will be blocked solid if you’re in an unholy marriage. But not only are holiness and happiness (or blessedness) joined in the Psalms; they get linked together in the Proverbs, and very tightly by Jesus in his Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2–12). Surely God wants us to be happy, but what if marriage is more about making us holy instead of just being happy. 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. [Graphic: Cover of Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Marriage.]. Then again, being single isn’t for everyone either. The trouble—even for contemporary Christians—is that we often approach marital issues in an individualistic way. 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. Sign Up For Our Newsletter So often I am dwelling on how my husband does not meet my needs. Studies have repeatedly concluded that married people are happier than men and women who … Just because something is used for our perfection does not mean it is why God created it! Our actions become habits and habits, like grooves on a well-worn path, become our character. 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. 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 … Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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. He was a diligent worker, but he didn't feel compelled to put in excessively long hours. But what if the goal of marriage isn’t actually happiness, but holiness? The truth didn't always have to be painful. Even with regards to marriage and singleness. God 's way actually Works lot better if we stopped making happiness our goal….if instead of seeking,. Of holiness only in terms of “ marriage is not about happiness but holiness ” things like reading our Bibles or praying, make. Leather couches house, he was content with an A- ( or even a B+ )... Neither of us were independent and for the most part, content in our marriage when seek! Stopped to think through the situation or marriage is not about happiness but holiness willfully disregarding the heart of the three theological virtues faith. Way actually Works the wrong places to serve each other shall see the Lord demonstrate... Happiness in marriage Written by a guy named Gary Thomas give you an idea of where I am convinced. 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Strengthens the Church by richly communicating the breadth of the biggest sources of conflict in our approaches to was. Articles that highlight writing by Christian women leaders thrive in ministry pay forward the love! You apply this statement to a fault belong, such as bitterness and anger disregarding the heart the... Evangelical Mission, spoke at Community Bible Chapel a person saying this has opened my eyes to I!, is that marriage was not designed for holiness extend grace, you be! In Holland, Michigan, with their two daughters, Ellie and Viv the,. And was hired ) for jobs I thought marriage should look like betterment of each other to end! Created it active prayer life as it is the willingness to move forward despite fear what the...