Do you remember that catchy song from the 80s by Surface that goes “only you can make me happy”? It was one of my favourite songs at the time, and summed up my perspective on love, or better yet – romance. The claim is that you can’t be happy without this other person, who somehow completes you.
By now, everyone knows – or should know – that that’s a lie from the pit of hell! But we still love to listen to such songs and hope that that type of unique magical love which makes everything perfect will one day be ours.
When we become Christian, we accept the truth that no man or woman can make us happy, and that our completion is found only in God. We get it in theory. But somehow, the heart lags behind.
We can enter into marriage looking to God to help us work it out, and then when we are in the thick of it, (and it’s never as rosy as we imagined), we want to blame our partner for our lack of happiness or fulfilment. But it’s so wrong to look to our spouse for blame, when it was never their responsibility to make us happy.
Happiness, better still – JOY – and fulfillment go hand in hand. They are both tied to purpose, which is essentially between you and God. I made the difference between happiness and joy here because while happiness is fleeting, joy is enduring.
Often, we seek to tie joy with wealth, i.e. how much we have, but this is a false association. Anything that will minimize our dependency on God can never truly make us happy!!! However, in order to fulfill purpose, we MUST remain dependent on God. First for His direction, then His provision and protection.
I believe that could be the reason for many failed marriages… The great expectation that the other satisfy a need only God can. We can put that person in place of God so that we are no longer reliant on God. And when we are disappointed by their humanity, we become miserable. Unfortunately, many move from one idol to the next, never realising their error.
However, if we can guard jealously our DEPENDENCY on God, then we will never be devastated by a great expectation that isn’t met by our spouse. This is not to say we are independent of our spouse. We still need them very much to fulfil our purpose. That’s the reason God ordained marriage. However, we have to maintain the right perspective!
With him or her by your side as your partner, you can both look up to God for sustenance and joy. As a team, your success is dependent on realistic expectations, which accepts your diverse strengths and weaknesses. Your faith in God will help you in times of plenty and in want, as you hold to the belief that He is working all things out for your good.
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