First, we want to share with you the wrong reasons to want a healthy marriage:
1. I want to be happy. While happiness is a by-product of a healthy marriage, it can never be the goal. Happiness is fleeting, especially if we’re grasping for it.
2. I want to feel better about myself. The focus should be on helping our spouse feel better about themselves–this is our job, and it is selfish to consider my needs above their needs.
3. I want my children to have a happy home. Our children must never be the main focus of why we do what we do in our marriage. This is elevating the parent-child relationship to a place God never intended it to be. We must remember our children will grow up and move away. Our marriage is for a lifetime.
4. I need to successful. If we’re driven to succeed in marriage like one is driven to succeed in business, there will most likely be a lack of grace-motivated encouragement. Success is measured by God differently than it is measured by us. We look at outward success and how we measure up to the standard, whereas God looks at the heart. Focus your attention inward and the outward will follow.
5. I crave the approval of others. Fear of man is one of those sins hard to define, but to those who are asking to see it, God will show them. If this is our main motivation for a healthy marriage, pleasing the opinions of others and/or seeking a good reputation, we are building on sand. Our marriage won’t endure when the storms of life come.
There is a fine line between the wrong reasons and the right reasons to desire a healthy marriage. This is why growing our marriage in the right way has to be done with an intentionality. If we are simply coasting, our marriage isn’t growing; it’s going downhill fast.
And now for the right reasons to counter the above wrong reasons:
1. I want to add to my spouse’s happiness by treating them with unselfish love and respect.
2. I want to be the best person I can be for the glory of God and for the good of our marriage.
3. I want my children to see modeled before them on a daily basis what a godly marriage looks like in a real and honest way. They will see our sin, but they will see us fight that sin and work together to grow in godliness.
4. I need to fulfill my vows before God and my spouse because He will hold me accountable to the promises I’ve made.
5. I have the approval of God based on the finished work of Christ alone. His thoughts toward me are all that matters. I must grow my marriage for the audience of One.
What do you think? What does it take to grow a healthy marriage?