Recently I overheard a Christian man make this appalling statement: “Why would anyone stay in an unhappy marriage? Life is short! Get a divorce and move on!”
How could a follower of Jesus say such a thing? I listened from a distance, but it started me thinking. Why? Why? I know why!
If we are truly Christ-followers who have been born again, then we do the right thing, that’s why! Yes, life is short! That’s why it’s important that we stay in our marriage. We work on it. We pray. We set an example for our children. We don’t run from our problems, but we trust God. We work on becoming a better wife or husband and we love more and more.
Marriage vows were made. Vows are not to be broken. Perhaps your spouse needs the Lord. Leaving will not lead him/her closer to God, but will even distance him/her further.
Life is a test. I want to pass this test. Happiness is a choice. Moreover, our goal in life is not to be happy, but to become holy. God never promised us happiness. What He did promise us in John 16:33 was trouble! Our purpose in life is to know God, to serve God and to love God.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ we receive the Holy Spirit and all the fruit of the Spirit. This includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). All Christians receive all the fruit of the Holy Spirit, not just some of it. We simply need to exercise that fruit.
Does the fruit of the Spirit guarantee us happiness? Happiness is a result of something that happens. The Spirit promises us joy. Joy is a quality that abides within and keeps us living above our circumstances. Joy is better.
- Wait! Are you being physically abused? In the USA call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY – for deaf, hard of hearing).
- Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
- When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. Numbers 30:2, Matthew 5:33
- For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14