Some Things Are Better Than a Happily Ever After

5. Marriage teaches us we can’t do everything on our own, drawing us into a closer relationship with God. 

Marriage doesn’t solve our problems, it exposes our problems and allows God to transform them into provisions – opportunities for us to grow to become more like Him.  It is when we hit rock bottom that we look up, admitting that we can’t do it on our own.  Trials in our marriage lead us to seek Him, know Him on a more personal level, and invite Him to work in us and through us.

When we fail to respond to His grace and try to do it all on our own we end up focusing on our problems instead of looking at them as opportunities for growth.  This causes us to dwell on the negative and breeds frustration, unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment, which not only affects us, but those around us.

“Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others.”
  Hebrews 12:15 Phillips

The antidote for our problems is the grace of God.  To receive God’s grace, we humble ourselves, admit we need His help, and accept His grace (2).   We trust that if God brought us to it, He will bring us through it.  As we lean on Him for strength and rely on His grace, we become able to persevere through challenges, learn from them, and be better because of them.

6. Marriage teaches us where true joy and fulfillment are found.  

Our spouse is not responsible for our happiness.  Happiness is a mindset – a choice we make regardless of our circumstances.  We search for happiness in our careers, possessions, and relationships with others, but true joy and fulfillment are found only through a relationship with God.  This begins by believing in Him, inviting Him into our life, and committing to following Him.  Once we recognize this we can stop looking to our spouse to meet our every need and blaming him when those needs aren’t met.  We can start to notice goodness and be thankful for what attracted us to our spouse, choosing to “fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable…things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT

When we accept these truths and put Christ at the center of our marriage, we build a rock-solid foundation that withstands the storms of life.

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”  Matthew 7:25

In every marriage, conflict is inevitable, but when we stay focused on Him and His Word instead of the storms we become able to view our relationship with a fresh perspective.  We see it as an opportunity for growth (conflict + commitment = change), to become more holy, and to learn how to love like Jesus.

There are only two things on this Earth that are eternal – God’s Word and people (3).  At the end of your life, it won’t matter if you had a successful career, lived in a big house, or went on extravagant vacations.  What will matter is if you chose to invest in these two things.  When we choose to invest in our relationships with others, we “store up treasures in heaven” (Matt 6:20).  

God promises to reward those who diligently seek Him and commit to following Him.  He promises to reward those who love like Jesus and invest in the things that matter.

His reward is infinitely better than any happily ever after.

Call to Action #1:  How can you allow God to transform the problems in your marriage into provisions?  How can you invest in your spouse and enable your marriage to help you learn to love like Jesus?

Call to Action #2:  Don’t give up!  God never promised our marriages (or life, for that matter) would be easy, but He did promise that in all things He works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV).  Hold on to that promise!  When you feel like quitting, read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG (see below) and pray the Prayer for a God-Shaped Marriage (found in the original blog post), either on your own or with your spouse.  

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”  2 Cor 4:16-18 MSG


1.  Moore, Beth. (1998). Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press.

2. Warren, Rick. (2016, March 16). Through God’s Grace, Your Pain Has a Purpose.  Daily Hope with Rick Warren.  Retrieved March 16, 2016 from

3. Warren, Rick.  (2016, February 27).  Happiness Habit: Investments in Eternity.  Daily Hope with Rick Warren.  Retrieved March 12, 2016 from

4. Thomas, Gary.  (2000). Sacred Marriage.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

This article originally appeared here.

Jen Roland
Jen Roland
Jen Roland is a Holistic Health & Fitness Coach, speaker, and writer.  Her blog, Fueled Fit Focused, was inspired by her passion for health, her faith, and her desire to help women move from frazzled to focused.  Jen helps moms find balance and freedom with food, fitness, and faith through family-friendly nutrition, simple fitness, and a deeper understanding of how God’s Word applies to their overall health and well-being.  She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.  To find out more about Jen’s coaching programs and additional tips to live a healthy, focused life, visit her blog

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