A Happy and Content Life!
Hey everybody, I’m taking a new direction for this single blog. Feeling inspired.
During the 40 years of my marriage I have watched many couples begin this wonderful journey called marriage with joy and determination only to fall prey to the ravages of misplaced sufficiency. You know what I mean, that place within each of us which shouts, “This is that thing, place, person, job or blah, blah, blah which is supposed to make me whole, happy and content as a human-being”?
Even with a great life, we know there is an ebb and flow to everyone’s daily existence with periods of happy, sad, busy, bored, etcetera.
For this discussion we are going to look at why so many marriages thrive during those early weeks, months or even years and then come crashing down with great sorrow and pain? For now, hold onto your muskrats until we get to an answer for that most sad of questions, what killed our love and marriage?
ON that note, care to place a wager as to how many couples’ marriages end in failure? Would you be surprised to learn that in most instances people’s marriages fail for the exact same reason we are about to discuss? Oh yes, the circumstances will differ, but the failed marriages are generally caused by the same glitch. Again, in a moment we will tackle the answer.
By the way, I’ve yet to see one marriage, ever, that does not have its ups and downs, good and bad elements. After all, marriage is the joining of two disparate individuals with unequaled skills in problem solving and social management; and therefore, marriages have difficulty even when both individuals actually love, honor and respect one another.
While we’re on this point, let me tell you about this big problem between my wife and me during our twenty-first year of marriage when my wife… Better stop there, oops, better get off that train wreck. You know, my wife was sure I was the problem that year, and of course I know it was her! 😁
The primary problem with 90 percent of all marital problems is the individual beliefs that they only need to be married to the right person so they can one day or in some way achieve a whole and happy life.
Such cannot be the case!
You see, we (humanity) were created to fully marry and commit our lives to our Savior, Jesus Christ, THE bridegroom. We are each uniquely designed like a great and complex puzzle. However, each puzzle, by design, is missing one key component. That component or piece to the puzzle is represented as our heart and soul and thus potential our connection with God. If it isn’t obvious yet, God intentionally made humans to need a relationship with Him, their Creator, because He -God- wants a dynamic relationship with His Children. By the way, that means YOU!
For by him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16 KJV)
We were created for Christ to be “The Bride of Christ.” Even though Jesus will share us with others, He will not however take second-place to anyone or anything, period. Jesus demands our love and that we place Him first and foremost above all else in our world. After that, Jesus, our Creator, is happy to share and even wants us to have full and joyous lives; just not where He is below first priority. He is a jealous Creator!
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:1-2 NIV)
This is the place where most if not all failed marriages go wrong! One or both individuals in the marriage try to make life work properly without that missing puzzle piece. Christ number one and everyone else number two.
Here is the answer to the equation or question: why do so many marriages thrive during those first weeks, months or even years and then come crashing down with great sorrow and pain?
Well, most marriages thrive at first because both people in the marriage are generally placing the happiness and wellbeing of their new spouse above all else.
A happy and complete marriage is best achieved when the husband and the wife both serve one another placing their spouse and their marriage in that number-two position (Number two because Jesus requires that number one position). For this reason their marriage thrives.
Any couple who prioritizes their lives and marriage in such a fashion should not fail; leastwise, as long as they maintain the proper priorities; first number one and then number two, and only in that order.
Too often people are deceived by swindling themselves into thinking their happiness is better off in their own human hands and when entrusted to their human wisdom, or obviously the severe lack thereof.
You see Paul the Apostle learned the secret to contentment and true satisfaction in life when he discovered how to place Jesus first in all things (Philippians 4:11). When God is number one in our lives He makes straight our path and causes those roads that are crooked to produce beneficial outcomes as though they were straight and prosperous.
5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall make your paths straight.
7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8) It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
So how can we be truly content through Jesus?
By placing your relationship with Jesus first in priority and then the good of the Bride also called the Body of Christ, which would of course include you and your spouse next. I know it may seem controversial but the kids should rank third place following your spouse. A man or woman truly in a good and balanced relationship with Jesus is unlikely to neglect his spouse or children. If you think you have a great relationship with Jesus but are abusing your spouse or children then something is out of balance.
Of course, life does happen and sometimes over a short period of time stress and difficulties can cause us to lose our perspective or way. If this sounds like your life then it is time to get back into prayer and seek the Lord’s counsel so you can put things back in order. God does not give us families to abuse.
Now, back to the same station and channel:
So, ask yourself, are you taking care of your relationship with Christ first? Remember, God knows your every need and desires your wellbeing because He loves you. Are you spending time with the Lord and the effort necessary to really get to know your Savior?
Next, are you placing the wellbeing of your spouse and yourself second and your family third?
Alright then, now let us not forget work and play? Bills need to be paid and couples and families need playtime together and apart. But listen guys, Christ, spouse, your health, your children and relatives and then the other stuff like church and work. You should have at least as much or more family time than you have “Me” time.
On with the show…
Everything after these priorities will get done when they get done. Responsible people take care of the needs.
Remember what Jesus said about worldly issues when the Pharisees attempted to trap Him:
When his disciples showed Jesus the coin He asked, “Whose image and inscription is on this coin?” “Caesar’s,” the disciples replied.” Then Jesus said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:19-21 NIV paraphrased)
Don’t be conformed to the morality and ways of the world; rather, be transformed by the renewing of your mind through the Word of God. Then will you be able to test and approve what God’s will is—God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for your life and the world around you. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV paraphrased)
Remember, God will make a way. If you are having trouble in this area of your life you may not be listening to God’s voice or way. Peel those things out of your life and focus on your walk with God and then your walk with your spouse and family. Think about it. If you are not healthy in your relationship with your spouse how can you represent a godly example of Christian living for your children?
Last note: Selfishness is almost always the reason for a broken marriage; your selfishness, theirs and likely both of you on some level. Submit to God’s will. 😬
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for HER.
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
I place the verses a little out of order so you might note the thought better…
We are to submit to one another out of reverence to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Ooooh, this one was a little preachy. Oh well, I had to eat it to write it, live it to learn it and submit to Jesus to believe it. May the Lord guide your heart!
And may you truly find a great relationship with Jesus, your spouse and your family – etc.