Monday, April 7, 2008

Marriage: For Happiness or Holiness?

A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away. The undertaker told the husband, "You can have her shipped home for $5000, or you can bury her here in the Holy Land, for $150.

"The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home. The undertaker asked, "Why would you spend $5000 to ship your wife home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here and you would only spend $150?"

The man replied, "Long ago a man died here, was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead."

"I just can't take that chance."

Marriage is for Happiness Too

We laugh at jokes like this because there's an element of truth to the story. Sometimes we wonder if couples really can stay in love for a lifetime.

This article is addressed to Christian wives who already understand that "iron sharpens iron" (Prov 27:17). Let’s assume you believe in commitment and the "holiness" side of the equation in marriage. However, from time-to-time you seriously question the "happiness" side. Today, I want to encourage you by offering:

A. Hope
B. Practical Tools
C. A Reminder—Joy That Lasts

A. There’s Hope for Your Happiness

Happiness and emotional closeness really are possible!
Perhaps you’re familiar with the Christian classic,
A Severe Mercy
by C.S. Lewis’ friend, Sheldon Vanauken. Listen to Sheldon as he talks about the love he shared with his wife Davy:
What emerged from our talk was nothing less, we believed, than the central "secret" of enduring love: sharing. "Look" we said, "what is it that draws two people into closeness and love?

Of course there’s the mystery of physical attraction, but beyond that it's the things they share. We both love strawberries and ships and collies and poems and all beauty, and all those things bind us together. Those sharings just happened to be; but what we must do now is share everything.

Everything! If one of us like anything, there must be something to like in it—and the other one must find it… That way we shall create a thousand strands, great and small, that will link us together… And our trust in each other will not only be based on love and loyalty but on the fact of a thousand sharings—a thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable."

(Visit A Severe Mercy, The Movie

B. Seven Tools for Creating Loving Feelings

The following links from Christian counselor, Willard F. Harley Jr. Ph.D will help you create and sustain happiness in your marriage. Dr. Harley's research reveals that couples that fall in love and stay in love never divorce.

1. Your Love Bank
2. Your Most Important Emotional Needs
3. Love Busters
4. Emotional Honesty
5. Three States of Mind in Marriage
6. How One Spouse Can Lead the Other Back to Intimacy
7. A Summary of Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts

C. A Reminder: Joy That Lasts

What would you give to have joy in your marriage? Not just happiness, but enduring, deep-rooted joy that weathers every storm? It's yours to have—provided you go to the right source. Here's a hint: It's not your spouse.

Like virtually every husband and wife, each of you entered your marriage with expectations of how your mate would meet your needs. Maybe you've discovered that the reality is a little different. Neither of you is capable of re-charging the other person's joy battery.

Only one power source is strong enough to provide an unfailing flow of the things you're really looking for—and that's God. A rich, vital relationship with Jesus Christ will spill over into every other relationship in your life, especially your marriage. Joy That Lasts
can help you make this a powerful, daily reality.—Gary Smalley

Welcome to Marriage Monday

The Marriage Monday meme meets here at Chrysalis the first Monday of every month. Similar to a group writing project or blog Carnival, contributors post their thoughts on a topic, and then link up here. Afterward, contributors enjoy visiting as many other linkers as they have time for.

By majority vote, our topic today is, "Marriage: For Happiness or Holiness?" Sisters, this is not a trick question. It’s an opportunity to share your wisdom, experience, Scripture verses, quotes, and other insights on the purpose of marriage. All points of view are welcome and encouraged.

Feel free to add your link to Mister Linky (below) any time between April 7 - April 9, 2008.

May & June

Next month, please share your courtship story with us. May’s topic will be, "The Crazy Way We Met." Then in June, you'll have the opportunity to share your memories of one of the happiest days of your life: your wedding day!

FREE Coffee for All Commenters

In the comment box is a link to ONE FREE POUND of Seattle’s Best Coffee. Go there now, but please leave me a friendly comment first. Then register to receive SBC’s generous offer. Thank you for taking the time to stop by Chrysalis today.

Bonnet Tip to Freebies 4 Mom

Photos: Laura Mary, zoic, DeathWing (Flickr)

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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Lynn said...

Hi E-mom,

Fantastic post. I am a testament that lasting joy in marriage is not found in my spouse but through the life of Jesus first.

Hey, are you going to post Mr. Linky to this post?

Thanks e-Mom for hosting Marriage Monday.

Linnet's Nest said...

Neither of you is capable of re-charging the other person's joy battery.

Only one power source is strong enough to provide an unfailing flow of the things you're really looking for—and that's God. A rich, vital relationship with Jesus Christ will spill over into every other relationship in your life, especially your marriage.

Amen to that!

My post is up but I can't find the Mr Linky.

My post is HERE.

~ Hugs and blessings

e-Mom said...

Your FREE Gift!

Click here to register for a complimentary lb. of Seattle's Best Coffee. Please enjoy.


Robyn said...

Great post e-mom!! We were thinking along the same lines when we both said joy is a better long term goal than just happiness. And, that it is not our spouse's responsibility to create that in our lives.

I also really liked the encouragement that you gave all of your readers that a happy and joy-filled marriage is possible. You also gave some great tools. I will have to check those out!!

Great thoughts!! Have a wonderful Marriage Monday!!

Tami Boesiger said...

I sense you want others to experience the joy and satisfaction you have found in your own marriage, e-Mom. Thanks for the valuable links to inspire us all and your commitment to Marriage Monday.

Lori said...

I can't join you today but I'll be sure to come join you next month. I'm trying to spend all of my time with my boy. He will be heading back to the Navy April 18th. I'll visit again soon!



The Small Scribbler said...

I read Willard Harley as a young bride. The concepts you've listed have been so beneficial in shaping my mindset and my marriage. Thanks for sharing them with us.


Roo said...

LOVE THIS POST emom. and all the fun pictures you posted along with it.

you're a total blessing to the blogger world.

the160acrewoods said...

what an interesting post... i like the fact you mentioned happiness and joy.. b/c i want to live with joy in my heart for my husband!

Susan said...

Good Monday Morning E-mom,

As always, your posts are such a great source of info, and you make every subject interesting and enjoyable!

This was awesome.

Loved the passage you shared from C.S. Lewis' Severe Mercy, oh that was an incredible book, and movie as well.

I've read Harley's book and recommended it many times. Thanks for those links.

And finally, I don't think anyone could sum things up any better then when Gary Smalley said:

"Only one power source is strong enough to provide an unfailing flow of the things you're really looking for—and that's God."


Blessings to you♥

MiPa said...

What an awesome post! This topic has had my mental wheels turning. So many thoughts I could have followed. Thank you, as always, for leading us to think with some great resources.

Jana said...

Absolutely wonderful post - I loved the quotes you shared. Thanks for being a blessing!

jennifer in OR said...

Very nice!! I'll have my post up soon...

Vaughanville said...

Severe Mercy...I'd not heard of this, but will look it up. Thanks again for hosting.


Halfmoon Girl said...

Great stuff here. Thanks for the encouragement!

Donetta said...

:) I'm up.
Coffee would be nice :)

Heather at Freebies 4 Mom said...

Thanks for the link! I hope everyone enjoys their free coffee!

Faith said...

Your post is awesome!
Mine is up but...not one of my better ones. I was just too busy to devote much time to it this month. Hopefully May's will be easier for me!

Sheila said...

e-mom, I just got home (our house is being bombed today for fleas YUCK!!! you don't know how i detest bugs, especially ones you can't see well, and how my husband loves animals, hence the fleas) and won't have time to post for Marriage Monday today- maybe tomorrow. I really do feel that I'm going to have to let go of a lot of the blogging i've been doing to pursue the footsteps Jesus leads me in at this season of my life. But I do plan to monthly post for Marriage Monday if the Lord wills.

Anyhow, thanks for this post! I say AMEN even though at times like today and in this seemingly endless spiritual battle to stand in prayer for my marriage it's easy for me to loose sight of the happiness God designed me to enjoy in my marriage! I need to be reminded.

Anywho, thank you a million! You bless my life!!!


Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Well, I am late plugging in but I loved this article e-mom! Great one. I look forward to reading all the participants. Thanks again for hosting and the next couple of months look great.
Much love,

Andrea said...

Great topic! It really gave me something to think about. Can't wait for next month:)

Karla said...

Such a great idea for a blog "carnival"... Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

This was a really, really great post! I hope that I will be able to join in sometime tomorrow or the next day! I have my own carnival post to make tomorrow (Tuesday) before I can write any others ~ I hope you'll check it out, too!

Jessie said...

Oh what a great laugh! I had to call my best friend and share the joke with her.

I hope to get mine up this week, but at this point I am not sure if I will be able to.


Faith Hope Love Mama said...

I've never read this meme before but apparently God thought I needed to read it today. I am struggling today and am reminded to go to my heavenly father. Thank you for this! Blessings to you and this ministry.

A Stone Gatherer said...

What a great post! My love for my husband has changed, but only for the better! Sometimes life gets in the way, but then every once in awhile we look at each other smile and I remember that first feeling all over again! God is Good!

e-Mom said...

I want to thank each one of you amazing sisters your comments and your awesome, intelligent posts. I look forward to meeting you and your spouse in heaven some day.

I'll be posting a special little suprise for all Marriage Monday contributors on Friday. When you have a minute, please check back then...

In the meantime, be sure you get your name in for your FREE coffee beans.

I love you all. You bless me to bits.
(She blows a kiss*)

HUGE Hugs, e-Mom :~D

e-Mom said...

Amanda: Please add your name and especially your permalink to Mister Linky again.

If you're not sure what to do, leave me a comment here, with a way to contact you. I'll walk you through the steps, OK?

Blessings, e-Mom

Kysha said...

I just realized that I didn't comment on your wonderful post! Excellent! You are such a blessing!

Toia said...

Marriage Monday has been a blessing to me. It's giving me an opportunity to dig and examine areas in how I can improve my marriage. Great Post.

e-Mom said...

Kysha and Toia: Thanks so much for dropping by to comment... and for your excellent contributions!

Jessie said...

Had to keep it short and sweet due to my time limitations, that is probably a good thing ...I tend to be long winded...*grin*

e-Mom said...

Jessie: Thanks for joining us! Short is just fine. :~D

Peculiar said...

I am totally refreshed today. Your blog and one other I found is going into my favorites. Let me tell you, not many are there, on purpose. I'm new to blogging and the blosphere, and like I do other things in life, I look for meaning, quality, usefulness, sweet spirits, and some other things, but I especially love to see ones whose blogs just express the character of Jesus. This was a delight to come across. I love the idea of a permanent segment on your blog dedicated to marriage. I would love to add your button to my blog, and I so look forward to joining in the 1st Mondays. I can't wait to read thoughts of others also. Thank you so much for this.

e-Mom said...

Peculiar: Welcome to the blogosphere! I think you'll really like it here. And thanks for your very kind remarks. I'm so glad you were refreshed today. We'd love to have you join us for Marriage Monday--coming soon!

Many blessings, e-Mom :~D

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