The authors of the American declaration of independence wrote that "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are "unalienable rights" guaranteed to all people. While that contentment or feelings of well-being certainly is a good thing, it seems that our society today has made the pursuit of happiness the ultimate goal in life. The Bible says to “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love…” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) and certainly, our Heavenly Father desires peace, joy, and happiness for our, His children. The writer of Ecclesiastes also wrote “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other” (7:14). We all like to be happy, but what happens when we experience the trouble that eventually comes in this broken, sin-filled world?
The commitment to marriage to often is based on whether or not a person is happy. One writer of a relationship book went as far to define commitment as the product of a person’s satisfaction in the relationship plus the investment they have in the relationship less the quality of alternatives available to them. This idea is prevalent in the Christian church today and it is diametrically opposed to God’s view of commitment! The 80% divorce rate for couples who experience long-term illness or lose a child proves this to be all too true. Many people today abandon their marriage if they aren’t happy and believe that they will find happiness with another person.
Happiness is a good thing—that well-being and contentment we feel when times are good is wonderful. We must remember that when times are bad, we can get through those times easier when we work together as husband and wife. Happiness is circumstantial, God is bigger than the circumstances. Rather than pursuing happiness, we are to pursue God and walk in obedience to His word. One researcher found that 80% of unhappy couples experiencing problems and remained together, found happiness together after they worked through the problems. Enjoy the good times and work through the problems and trouble you encounter. Make an effort to bring happiness to your spouse; it is likely that act will bring happiness in your own life.