“Highly happy couples tend to have God at the center of their marriage and focus on Him, rather than on their marriage or spouse for fulfillment and happiness”
The author makes this claim based upon research with couples. The research looks at the attributes of happy couples. What can we learn from them? Can other couples do them also? Happy marriages bring faith into the middle of their relationship and have common goals, interest and guidance from their faith.
Bringing faith, God and a community of faith into your marriage will bring happiness. Scripture and research confirm that. Here are some of the things that happy couples do to bring faith into their marriage:
- They Worship Together – This is not passive attendance a couple times a month. This is active attendance and involvement. Your goal is to contribute to the life of the community.
- They are plugged into a faith community – A faith community creates active friendships. You can plug into positive supportive people and a community that encourages your marriage. You need a place for help and friends to share life with.
- They share key values – Your faith will guide you to adhere to a higher standard and value. You will have conflict but you will be guided by the same values and principles. It becomes easier to find boundaries and common solutions when your values are the place you start and end.
- They focus on serving their spouses, rather than being served – Marriage is not each spouse gives 50% and the two together equals 100%. The best marriages understand that it is each giving 100%. You don’t meet in the middle. You serve them first. Can you out serve your spouse?
- They look to God for that power to be selfless because it doesn’t come naturally – Marriage showed me a long time ago that I am selfish. I want my own way. I have tried to change on my own, but I found the only person that really has the power to change my selfish heart is God.
- Ultimately, they trust God for the outcome – I am not in control, God is.
I think we all need to know that there is something larger than ourselves. Couples that focus on God first and spouse second are happier. Most couples struggle with learning the truth that a relationship with God makes you happy. You then share what you own with your spouse. If you are unhappy, you will share that with them. If you are happy you will share that with them. You have to own happiness from God and share that, not make your spouse the source of your happiness. If you believe your spouse is designed to make you happy the moment you become unhappy it is now your spouses fault not yours. We have to let go of the conscious or unconscious belief that your spouse is the source of your happiness. The core of your happiness comes from something larger than your spouse. Your spouse brings enjoyment to your life not happiness.
This is the attitude that will bring happiness:
“You are asking your spouse for the privilege of serving them for the rest of their life, not for getting your needs met for the rest of your life” – Shaunti Feldhahn
The ultimate source or truth is scripture what does it say about inviting God into choosing your mate and marriage. Here a couple of scriptures:
Look these over, ponder and meditate on the wisdom calling out to you.
Do other groups confirm that faith does affect marital fulfillment? Is this the only research that says this….No. Here are some links to other research:
I want to add two extra thoughts
- This is mutual serving. This is not one spouse serving while the stands around and enjoys it, and does nothing. The goal is to be the biggest servant in your house (Matthew 23:11-12).
- I want to recognize that some marriages suffer from domestic violence and abuse. Trust God but, God may lead you to separation and safety instead of serving their needs. This information may not apply until the abusive spouse has accountability from someone outside the marriage and gets the help they need.