The question was asked and my ears were attentive. I wanted to know the answer to this question, too! I love hearing the wisdom that comes with years of marriage. Everyone had a turn. Responses ranged from having a good sense of humor and forgiving quickly to the typical ‘don’t go to bed angry’ (not always the best advice in every circumstance – but I’ll get to that in a later post) and don’t try and change him. And then we got to the good old cliché I had been expecting…Happy Wife, Happy Life! That can’t possibly be the whole truth, can it? Or as easy as that? There has to be more. The life of my husband and my family cannot be so reliant on my ‘happiness’. That just doesn’t sound right to me. So, I contemplated this notion for a while and here is The Astounding Truth About Happy Wife, Happy Life.
I suppose the intention behind saying this cliché is what would determine if it is good advice or just a bad opinion. If a husband is fighting for his wife, therefore bringing joy to her, then, yes, it is good counsel. However, if it results in a marriage that revolves around the wife’s happiness and comfort, then we have some serious problems. Below are some truths to bear in mind as we come across cliché pieces of advice such as Happy Wife, Happy Life.
Who Is Responsible?
Often, when we are unhappy about our life situation, placing blame and responsibility on others is much easier than owning up to our responsibility. If I want ‘happiness’ or joy, which is way better, then I need to be active in pursuing the joy of the Lord. It isn’t my husband’s responsibility to make me ‘happy’. It is my job to seek the JOY of the Lord, which is different than happiness. Happiness is based upon my situation and experiences. Joy is much more profound and can be had in every season of life. Joy comes from our Heavenly Father.
Much pressure is taken off my husband when I take responsibility for my own emotions instead of demanding that he maintains my happiness throughout all seasons and situations. Besides, he much prefers a joy-filled wife than a ‘happy’ one.
It’s Not All About Me
My marriage shouldn’t revolve around my happiness. It’s not all about me. My marriage is supposed to represent the union between Jesus and His Bride, the Church. If the focus is on me and what makes me happy, then I am going to miss out on some wonderful blessings. And I will miss out on the freedom in my marriage that comes with switching the focus from me to Jesus.
What’s The Purpose?
My happiness isn’t the main goal in my marriage. At least it shouldn’t be. That would be quite a shallow relationship, wouldn’t you agree? What about something deeper than that? I need oneness with my husband (Genesis 2:24). I need a companion to live this life out with –
even especially through the ‘unhappy’ times. Ultimately, I need someone who will challenge me to live a holy, Godly life. I think that is one of the main purposes of marriage – to help each other live holy, Godly lives. And, I think we all know quite well that that kind of life isn’t always unicorns and lollipops. Right?
What Is Best?
My happiness isn’t what is best. There are many times where Marcus’ decisions did not make me happy. In fact, they downright made me angry. But they were for the best. These are times where the idea of my happiness – what I thought would make me happy – would have brought more heartache, more disappointment, more stress into our family. But I was not happy at the moment! Here are a couple of posts that discuss some of these moments:
I don’t want my husband to do everything in his power to make me happy. I want him to do what he needs to do to help me be holy and blameless in the sight of God. Even it costs me happiness.
This doesn’t mean that how a husband treats his wife has no bearing on her emotional well-being. Quite the contrary. If my husband is doing his job as he should, loving me as Christ loves the church, then I will be a joy-filled, ‘happy’ wife. Maybe not all the time, or in every circumstance, but when I am confident that he has my best interest at heart, then, yes, I will be a happy wife.
What is my husband’s responsibility?
He is to protect me, guard me, cherish, and nourish me.
He is to provide for my needs (not necessarily wants – and certainly not my demands).
And he is to love me as Jesus loves the church. Take note here, if my husband did not love me this way, he would not be entitled to say he is head of our home. Loving me as Christ loves the Church is a requirement of headship because it models the relationship between Jesus and the Church. This is a leadership of love. And, yes, this kind of leadership makes a huge difference of the tone in the family. I’ll get more into what this love is next week.
My joy, my happiness, if you will, is ultimately my responsibility. As a Godly wife, I need to seek the Lord for my joy. Not my husband. However, my husband can make this easy for me to do, or very difficult, in how he loves and cares for me.
Some other topics I’ll be digging into over the next few weeks are:
- What does it mean for a husband to love his wife?
- The difference between worldly leadership and Godly leadership.
- Why I do go to bed angry (sometimes).
- What does it mean to wash me of water by the word?
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If you have enjoyed this post, you will love my Bible study on marriage coming up in the fall! I will be leading a study through Proverbs 31. Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on the promotional price of this study.