It’s a known fact that God wants us to be happy. Most couples in couples therapy are on the brink of divorce, not because of infidelity or abuse, but because the relationship doesn’t make them happy anymore. The curiosity, excitement, and fun they felt at the start of their relationship isn’t there anymore. Wedding vows might say, “Till death do us part,” but those words have lost their meaning for some.
In reality, culture has changed, and our beliefs surrounding marriage often reflect those changes. Today, the truth is seen as relative, feelings drive our experience, and a consumer-driven attitude creates more transactional attitudes toward relationships. Instead of trying to understand God’s purpose for marriage, we see marriage as seeing what the other person can give us, what they can do for us, and how they make us feel about ourselves.
Why did God create marriage?
We must acknowledge God’s design for us as people to know why He created marriage. Many believers have an artificial idea of God as a genie in a bottle whose job is to satisfy us. However, the Bible clearly states that God created marriage for His children to be holy and conformed in His image, not happy. Marriage is one of our best teachers because, at its core, marriage shows the reality of what we expect, who we are, and how we interact with others.
No other relationship is as potentially transformative and revealing as the relationship with the person we’ve committed to permanently and intimately sharing our lives. In a Huffington Post article, author and speaker Tyler Ward said that marriage is about personal restoration, saying that marriage is designed to help us grow, pulling dysfunction to the surface of our lives. The job of marriage is to improve our dysfunction and throw us into progressive wholeness.
The less you see your spouse as your liberator and more as your companion on this life journey, the more likely you’ll pursue your growth and healing. Ultimately, this will lead to developing a more realistic outlook for your marriage, bringing more peace, happiness and stability.
The Bible’s words on unhappy marriages.
Knowing the difference between a destructive or toxic marriage and an unhappy one is essential. In most unhappy marriages, the issues are finances, communication, and unmet expectations. Adultery, abuse, or abandonment is not acceptable in God’s design for marriage as couples grow in their relationship with Him. Malachi 2:15-16 says that we belong to God in spirit and body, and God wants Godly children. A man who divorces his wife is violent to the person he should protect. So husbands should be on their guard and stay faithful.
The Bible says that spouses don’t have the right to break up an unhappy marriage because God wants marriage to last for a lifetime. In Ephesians 5, marriage is described as a metaphor for our relationship with God. He isn’t fickle in His love for us, and His love doesn’t depend on favorable circumstances. His relationship with us is based on His agreement with us. God desires us to stay faithful to our vows because He understands that broken marriages, hearts and homes can be redeemed for His glory.
Still, this doesn’t mean God wants us to stay in unhappy marriages. He wants us to use our sorrow, pain and disappointment as an invitation to seek His healing. He wants us to know what a healthy marriage looks like, with healthy communication, expectations, conflict resolution, and boundaries. Then, we can experience evolution where we are instead of waiting to find it in a new relationship. An unhappy marriage should indicate that there are things God wants to focus on in our lives and marriages so that we can seek wholeness and healing in every aspect of our lives. God wants us to acknowledge the issues in our marriages as they come up, be willing to recognize them and work as a team toward relational and personal growth. If we do, we’ll continue to grow as a couple and allow us to foster more significant connections, intimacy, and strength in marriage.
Does God want us to be in an unhappy marriage?
God doesn’t want anyone to remain in an environment where they feel unsafe, emotionally or physically. However, too many couples who feel unhappy or dissatisfied in their marriage often miss God’s blessing for them and their family by not getting the necessary help or leaving too quickly to resolve their issues adequately.
How to reclaim your marriage.
There are several ways that you can reclaim your marriage. First, you must stop blaming your spouse for your unhappiness. You’re the only person that’s responsible for your happiness. If you find yourself suffering from a lack of personal fulfillment, satisfaction, or joy in your marriage, take time to assess the most significant areas of unhappiness and the causes.
Another way to reclaim your marriage is to pray, asking God to show you the areas of your heart that need His restoration. Ask Him to reveal to you what you should take responsibility for, and ask Him to clearly show how He wants you to grow and what He wants you to learn to become more in His image. You could also find specific ways to pursue God’s healing. Reach out to a professional Christian therapist who can assist with healing your areas of brokenness and creating new patterns.
This therapist can also help you think of ways to cultivate new skills and behaviors that can change you and your marriage. Another helpful way to reclaim your marriage is to stop seeing your spouse as the villain in your life and start to see them as your friend. You see should them as honest but broken. Show them compassion while they’re on their healing journey. Pray for them and make a list of behaviors or qualities that you admire in them. When you finish that list, focus on them, reminding yourself of these characteristics throughout the day.
Finally, pray over your spouse and marriage daily. Pray for your respective journeys and protection from the enemy. Pray for vulnerability, safety and skill to work through the problems that will arise in your connection. Pray for humility and wisdom to seek counseling to help you grow and heal together.