Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Happiness in Marriage

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Happiness in Marriage

Article excerpt

Maybe no other relationship has so many expectations surrounding it as marriage. Most marriage partners hope and expect to be happy. How to be happy is the question. Happiness isn't an automatic guarantee attached to the marriage license. In fact, looking at the rate of divorce, you may wonder whether marriage has all that much to do with happiness.

Despite such statistics, however, most people who are married - and even many of those who are now divorced - would agree that working together in marriage can be a rich and wonderful experience. It can be a blessing to a family, and to society as well. But happiness, if it is to grow and flourish, has to be built on a solid basis.

The strongest basis for happiness is a spiritual foundation. More than any human relationship, our unbreakable unity with God is the foundation of lasting joy. This joy that we have as a result of our spiritual relationship to God doesn't depend on whether we are married. It isn't even dependent on what we may consider our personality, because it is an immortal fact about our true spiritual identity. The real nature of man as God's likeness is to express God's own goodness and wholeness. And marriage is an especially good arena where Christly love can be practiced.

If personalities clash and we feel unhappy with ourselves or our spouse, the Love that is God is present to redeem our behavior and feelings. The message of the Bible about love is summed up in I John: "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (4:16). An intuition that both we and our spouse are loved by God can break through the feeling that we just aren't capable of love. Knowing that God is Love - and that our true identity must express divine Love - brings out resources of patience and unselfish caring that we might not otherwise expect to be capable of. …

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