Last week, my son once again asked me why he has to learn math. He’s going to be a Youtuber, baseball player, drummer. He’s convinced he doesn’t need to know how to find the volume of random odd shapes. It’s always easier to stick with something when you have a compelling reason to do it. The same is true with marriage. It is easier to push through the challenges you face together when you have a compelling reason. We all do better when we know why we’re doing it in the first place.
When people call Jen because they want to get a divorce, they have reasons to end the marriage. They have, in their minds, a compelling why for divorce. Invariably, their why for divorce outweighs their why to stay married. Usually, that’s because they have the wrong why when it comes to marriage.
For most people today, the purpose of marriage is to make them happy. When their marriage ceases to bring them the happiness they want ,marriage ceases to fulfill its purpose. If marriage is no longer fulfilling its purpose the only reasonable thing to do is end the marriage.
Marriages that thrive have a compelling why. Those couples know why they are married and know that staying married is worth any struggle they face in the moment. They also know that living into that purpose will be more fulfilling and bring a greater lasting sense of joy and peace. This, of course, presumes that the marriage has not been broken by abuse or adultery. That is a completely different issue and if you are facing that now please get help. Most marriages, however, will thrive when they have the right why. In the book we spend four chapters talking about the theology of and God’s purpose for marriage. While we can’t get into everything here, we’ll share possibly the most important point:
God didn’t create marriage to make you happy. God created marriage to make you holy.
Why are you married? Are you married so that your spouse will make you happy or are you married so that through your spouse God will make you holy?