When a conversation is taking place regarding marriage the question usually pops up, “are you happy?”How we answer the question will determine the direction the conversation flows. Being happy with our mate is important! I will readily admit I have only been married for 15 1/2 years. I even refer to myself as a novice when it comes to providing advice to others regarding marriage. However, I know enough to know we all have a limited number of sunsets. I want to live happily on earth with my spouse but more importantly, I want to live with her eternally. How can this be accomplished?
Happy marriages are built on trust. Trust demonstrates humbleness. Being selfish will not allow us to trust our mate. When I trust my mate, I show how much I esteem her and I am not in competition with her. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Trust measures the strength of commitment to our spouse.
Happy marriages are built on love. Love is an attitude,not an emotion! When we take the marriage vows we acknowledge the choice & commitment to love our spouse. We know in marriage, “two become one.” Ephesians 5:28-29 supports this idea, “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”
Happy marriages are built on forgiveness. We can look at the past but don’t stare at it! Husbands & wives will disappoint one another from time to time. Making mistakes occur as often as breathing it seems. When our spouse offends us or does something to hurt us we hope it doesn’t happen again but we shouldn’t hold them hostage either. We are reminded we ALL have been forgiven as long as we are in the right relationship with our Creator. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).”
Anything worth having requires work. Creating mature, strong, and growing marriages requires work! Creating a Godly marriage begins and must be sustained by a desire to improve, a willingness from both spouses to invest the time, and the husband and wife demonstrating effort! The direction we point is the destination we choose. Saying, “I do” also means, “I will.” Being happy is a choice! Happy marriages are a result of that choice. Are you happy?