Lies Women Believe About Marriage
Day 1: Expectations in Marriage (Part 1 of 2)
Lie #21: “I have to have a husband to be happy.”
As we begin studying this chapter on marriage, I hope you’ll continue to see how each of the previous things we’ve studied have led us here. Lies build on each other — and so does truth. And as we begin to align ourselves to the Truth about God, it follows naturally that we begin to see the Truth of ourselves, and then of sin. Knowing these Truths, we then make a radical shift in our priorities – which then, in turn, will begin to affect our relationships. The next two chapters deal specifically with marriage and children, but even if you do not yet have a family, there are still some pretty serious Truths you need to know for when you do get married or have children.
Before we talk about the specifics of dangerous expectations in marriage, I want to start with another kind of expectation – the expectation that you cannot be okay with a guy in your life. That only a boyfriend or husband can truly bring you happiness or satisfaction.
What’s wrong with this, you ask? Well, though many see this as accurate, or maybe just not a big deal, and perhaps classify it as a “small sin,” it is the first and most devastating lie a woman can believe about relationships and herself.
Believing that a guy can make you happy, beginning with dating and escalating to marriage, and perhaps even further to an affair, is destructive because it is impossible. A guy cannot make you happy. Marriage cannot satisfy you. Because the purpose of marriage and of our relationships is not happiness.
Did you catch that? Let me say it again.
The purpose of marriage and the purpose of every relationship you have is not happiness.
The purpose of marriage is to glorify God. The purpose of your relationships? The same. Happiness can be a by-product, but it is not the purpose, and searching for it as the sole and primary purpose of marriage will kill your marriage before it even begins.
But what is our primary expectation in relationships? Our personal happiness. And it begins before we even get married – if we’re completely honest, it begins before we even began dating. And it goes a lot deeper than most of us realize.
We catch this lie from numerous places. Movies, TV, and popular music teach us that to have a guy is to have everything. That his job is to make you happy, and that without him, you can’t truly be a woman. Ironic, isn’t it? The same culture that attempts to promote independence and domination over men also leaves countless girls and women feeling insecure and powerless with a guy in their lives. They’re left believing something is wrong with them – and as a result, become desperate and make stupid decisions to chase after stupid men who use them and throw them away.
Here are just a few things that happen when you think you need a guy to be happy (and by extension, that it’s his job to MAKE you happy):
- Fear and insecurity. We feel incompetent, incomplete, and like a failure if we can’t manage to have a guy. What if we never manage to get a boyfriend, never get married? And the more we feel this way, the more insecure we act, and the more we compromise, and the the worse we feel…
- This cycle results in a pattern of abusive relationships. Desperate to be accepted and loved, we compromise and settle for whoever will give us attention, thinking that it will make us happy and content. It doesn’t.
- Discontentment. Focusing on what we don’t have, dreaming about what it would be like to have it… it’s the nature of temptation. Again, it leads to compromise. And compromise always leads to pain.
- Broken relationships. Because eventually the guy you have now will fail you. He’s human. It’s going to happen. What will you do? Look for another one, of course.
So what’s the solution? It starts with recognizing that this has little to do with the boyfriend or husband, and it has much to do with us and our God.
Anything that you search for peace, happiness, or satisfaction from apart from God is an idol.
So which God do you serve? Are you serving the god of yourself, searching for pleasure and happiness, regardless of the cost? Or are you serving the God who made you, loves you, and is fully able to satisfy you?
God perfect, and therefore is the only one who will never let us down. He is the one who made us, so He knows exactly what we need. He loves us, and wants to give us what will make us holy and happy. And because of His power, He is fully capable of doing it. If you’re not experiencing peace, happiness and satisfaction in your relationship with God, it’s not because of Him.
It’s time to make God your portion. To make Him enough. To learn to let Him satisfy us fully. And until you do that, there is not a single relationship in your life that will result in happiness. Your insecurity and need to take from those people will ruin any chance of it. Because the more you take, the less you get.
“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” – C. S. Lewis
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper
When you make God satisfy you, then your other relationships can become what they were meant to be – for the Glory of God. You can become a giver, not a taker, and then you can begin to experience joy as a byproduct of the relationship.
You’ll have confidence in your identity in Christ, knowing that God loves you and accepts you and you don’t need anyone in addition to Him.
You’ll have healthy relationships, because, since you don’t need a relationship, you won’t compromise for one.
Most of all, you’ll be thankful, because you’ll be focusing on what you do have, not what you don’t.
Key points to remember:
- Expecting a man to make you happy is idolatry.
- If you’re not satisfied now, you won’t be later.
- The purpose of marriage is to glorify God.
- True happiness is only found in Christ.
- Contentment comes from being grateful for what God has given you.
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.