I want to talk about one reason I believe so many marriages don’t last – they get married for the wrong reason. So when the reason they get married doesn’t work out they separate.
I believe many people marry for happiness. This expectation will set you up for a crisis in your marriage. Happiness is not a foundation you can create a long-lasting relationship on. Happiness goes and comes based on how you feel at the moment. Happiness goes and comes based on circumstances. Happiness can go and come by the minute.
Happiness is also self-centered because it is expecting your partner to make you happy. This wrong foundation is common in America because our society emphasizes being happy is everything and our businesses cater to us. This creates people who are very self-focused.
What happens when 2 people who think this same way get together? Yep, they quickly fight over limited resources then blame the other for the reason they are not happy.
Happiness cannot be the foundation of a relationship.
So Why Should We Get Married?
Giving and receiving unconditional love is the first priority of marriage. Marriage is a little model of what Jesus does for us. As we unconditionally love someone else we grow as a person and we model an unselfishness that Jesus has for us. This unconditional love drives true progress in the world. Read Ephesians 5:25-33 for Jesus’ example of love for us and how He compares it to marriage.
God gives unconditional love to the entire race, we then give it to our spouse, and then our offspring.
Our wedding vows talk about this unconditional love. We are born with the capacity to give unconditional love because we are made in the image of God. Sin and separation from God devastated our ability to give this. But we still cry out to be loved unconditionally. We cannot truly do this without Him flowing through us. We walk around with a need for this love but no one to give it unless they learn how by walking with God.
Marriage is about doing what is right not what feels good. It’s unrealistic to think we can always do what feels good. This is a deception. Commitment always produces rewards over time.
Companionship Through the Good and the Bad
Out of unconditional love comes the 2nd purpose for marriage – companionship. God said in Genesis it is not good for man to be alone. We all need companionship. Companionship is only as deep as the understanding that the other person will not leave you when things don’t go our way. This is unconditional love! The key is to walk through life together in whatever it brings not expecting the other person to make us happy. The ‘stuff’ of life is going to happen whether single or married. It’s better to walk through this with someone else who is a friend than doing it alone.
Marriage is about Stability
Every sociologist or historian that is honest will tell you when a society moves away from marriage and the family unit as the basis of society it always ends in chaos. No other system works. Period. They may work for a time but not very long.
Marriage is About Happiness
Marriage should not be based on happiness but it can produce more happiness than any other type of relationship. As two people allow God to change them into more mature people, marriage beats whatever is in second place!