Day One - Happily Annoyed

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Philippians 2:4

Most of the stories we heard as a child ended with: “…and they lived happily ever after.” It’s the stuff fairytales are made of, and it’s also the hope of every couple on their wedding day. You think you are going to be nothing but happy, but sometime later you find yourself thinking, “This is not what I signed up for!” or “What happened? I used to be so happy!”

When two unique people come together as one, there’s bound to be clashes every once in a while—or once every day. It can leave us, well, unhappy. Happiness is an emotion that can come and go with a change of circumstance. When good things happen to us, we are happy, and when bad things happen, we are unhappy.

Although God did not put you with your spouse to be miserable, happiness should not be the primary goal of our marriage. Focusing on happiness can lead you on a rollercoaster ride of frustration and failure. Through the ups and downs of life, God’s love for us never changes, and we should have the same attitude in our marriages.

The harsh reality is that we’re all imperfect human beings. Everybody occasionally forgets to put the toothpaste cap back on or hogs the covers now and then. Oh, the little quirks that were once endearing, or at least easy to ignore, can become somewhat irritating, maddening and downright annoying. So, we try to change things—we work to “fix” our spouse. In all honesty, we are not going to “fix” them, and enjoying each other will get lost in all the efforts, and that can be so disillusioning.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he stresses that we need to not just focus on ourselves, on our happiness, but also to the interest of others. (Philippians 2:4) Having a happy marriage is more about being the right partner than having the right partner.
God designed relationships to be the birthplace of joy and happiness, not the reason for marriage. It’s up to us to build something that’s not just a legal arrangement, not just our signatures on a piece of paper. Together we can build a spiritual covenant before God. If we put God first, He will grant you the kind of marriage he wants you to have—a happy one.

For her: Is there something you need to work on that will make you be the right partner for you husband?

For him: What can you work on that will prevent your wife from wanting to “fix” you?

For us: What do you appreciate the most about your spouse? How can you make God first in your marriage?