For many people, they believe that their personal happiness is what matters most in marriage. If they aren’t happy then it’s time to move on. Besides, God wants us to be happy, right? Actually, that’s not the goal of a Christ-centered marriage. There are four misguided expectations that generally feed into this lie.

The first is the romanticized anticipation that one’s marriage will be generally conflict free, selfishness free, pride free, and sin free. That there might be “bumps” along the way, but nothing that is chronic or systemic in the marriage.

The second expectation is that happiness should basically be constant in the marriage.

Third, our spouse should be the one who is making us happy. If they or the relationship isn’t making us happy, then the fourth expectation comes into play.

Fourth, happiness is a right from God. Since He wants me happy, I am free to end my marriage and seek happiness in a marriage with a different spouse.

The truth is, there has to be a re-set of expectations in marriage or you’ll be chasing happiness from relationship to relationship and never fulfill God’s purposes for you and for your marriage. Marriage is a covenant relationship. A covenant isn’t time-bound like a contract, but a life-long commitment. If you recall your vows as you established your covenant they included things like: “For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health….”

Happiness is a by-product of a healthy marriage. Our purpose at Build Your Marriage is “To help couples build a Christ-centered marriage.” When that happens the table is set for relational happiness. But remember, happiness is circumstantial. It isn’t the goal of marriage.

God’s plan for your life is to love Him, grow close to Him, and reflect that in your obedience to to Him. Part of that includes his desire for you to be committed to your spouse. You may or may not be “happy.” (We hope you are and can get there!) But he doesn’t free you to pursue your happiness elsewhere—you won’t find that anywhere in the pages of the Bible. Anywhere.

So hang in there, the best is yet to come as you build your marriage.