They All Lived Happily Ever AfterBy Stacey Weeks
October 15, 2020
Weddings in 2020 look radically different than they did in prior years. Intimate backyard celebrations replace lavish feasts with hundreds of guests in 5-star venues. Some couples bemoan this change while others embrace it with creative out-of-the-box thinking. Regardless of whether the big day holds many or few people, the wedding day remains one scene of a new and exciting story. New brides often enjoy reliving a wedding that was—in many ways—all about their happiness. But marriage is not about the wife’s happiness any more than it is about the husband’s happiness. Every chapter of marriage isn’t as easy or as wonderful as that day at the altar. Marriage involves a husband and wife equally working together. Marriage will test their vows, and both parties will need the Lord’s strength to keep choosing faithfulness while God works in their marriages to make them more like Christ.
My husband delights me. He really is my best friend, and we share a wonderful life. But if he is my primary source for joy in life, I am setting him up for failure and myself up for disappointment. Ultimately, my contentedness cannot rest in his ability to provide the life that I desire because contentment isn’t about external things coming together in a pleasing way. Contentment is about my heart being right with God because joy is found in Him. As the years pile up behind us and as the ones stretching ahead grow fewer, as our circumstances change as we change, I find security in the truth that the Lord never changes. This brings me the greatest joy even amid uncertainty. It is my responsibility to seek joy and contentment in the Lord, which then frees my spouse to become the man God has called him to be, focused primarily on pleasing God and not my every whim.
Glorifying God in a Decision to Love
My love for my husband has grown and changed over our twenty-plus years together. I’ve learned that my ability to love him well doesn’t hinge on him perfectly reciprocating my gestures of love. It is entirely up to me whether I will act lovingly toward my husband. When I serve my spouse instead of complaining about him, when I acknowledge and praise the things he is doing to provide for our family, when I pray for him and with him, when I work on becoming the woman God has called me to become, I am showing the world that love is a choice. I didn’t just say, “I will” one glorious day many years ago. I say, “I will” over and over and over again. I say,
“Today, I will choose love.”
“Today, I will fight for my marriage.”
“Today, I will love my spouse more than I love getting my way.”
I choose to never give up on my marriage because Christ will never give up on me. Christ decided to love me even when I am most unlovable, enabling me to make a daily decision to love. Marriage is about working together with the end goal of a union that brings God great glory.
Becoming More Like Christ
God uses my marriage to make me more like Christ. Being one half of one flesh is a sanctifying journey that requires an imperfect person to love another imperfect person with endless grace and patience. So, marriage isn’t primarily about my happiness, although it may bring me much. It’s about moving beyond those crazy, fuzzy early days when love is easy and transitioning into intentional and committed love. It’s about realizing only Jesus Christ can meet all your needs perfectly. At some point, a husband and wife will disappoint each other. And when we hurt each other in our brokenness, we can find rest in the One who will never fail to love and understand us precisely as we require. We can find rest in the One who loves us with the kind of love we have been searching for our entire lives. Look to Jesus to meet your deepest needs, and He will write a love story that surpasses your wildest dreams.
Also by Stacey Weeks, Press On, Sweet Sister