[Guest Post by Arlene Pellicane – I just love the question she asks because so many women ask it before getting married. Now that I AM married, I can honestly say she speaks the truth! Don’t be afraid to wrestling with this question yourself, and be encouraged today!]
Have you ever met someone who thought her happiness was dependent on getting married?
I remember being in my twenties, dateless, without a speck of hope when it came to romance. But I always believed that a happy me preceded a happy wife.
In other words, if I couldn’t be happy alone, I couldn’t be happy with someone either. I love the story John Maxwell shares in his book Make Today Count. He and his wife Margaret had been married for a few years. He was speaking at a pastor’s conference and she was presenting a session for the spouses. He writes:
During the Q and A time, a woman stood up and asked, “Does John make you happy?” I have to say, I was really looking forward to hearing Margaret’s answer. I’m an attentive husband, and I love Margaret dearly. What kind of praise would she lavish on me?
“Does John make me happy?” she considered. “No, he doesn’t.” I looked to see where the closest exit was. “The first two or three years we were married,” she continued, “I thought it was John’s job to make me happy. But he didn’t. He wasn’t mean to me or anything. He’s a good husband. But nobody can make another person happy. That was my job.”
A happy you has to exist before there can be a happy wife.
Happiness begins with a choice you make. When you wake up in the morning, you don’t only decide what you are going to eat for breakfast. You decide whether you’re going to be irritable or even keeled, cheerful or melancholy. An attitude isn’t thrust upon you. You have the great honor of choosing how you will respond on any given day – whether married or not.
Happiness in marriage can be found in some counter-intuitive places. Through serving your spouse instead of waiting for him to serve you. Through seeking God instead of seeking your own good. Through make wise choices instead of waiting for great circumstances.
It’s not up to your husband, your address, or your circumstances to make you happy.
You are the one who ultimately makes the decision to choose joy. When you place your hope in your marriage to make you happy, you will be disappointed. But when you put your hope in God, you will find enough joy in Him to last you a lifetime.
As you look around, you see a lot of people singing the blues about marriage. Becoming a happy wife seems impossible on many days. Yet this desperation is where hope can really shine.
Is it really possible to have joy on a regular basis in your marriage?
Can you really be happy in your current situation?
If you are married to a decent man who is not abusive, I am here to tell you that happiness can indeed start with you. But you must begin by placing your hope in God.
Question: Who are you counting on to bring you joy? What unrealistic expectations might you have for what your husband will do for you?
*Today’s blog is an excerpt from 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife (Harvest House, 2014).
Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. You can visit her website at www.ArlenePellicane.com Arlene lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children.