By Scott Williams
My wife, Ellie, and I have been happily married for more than 30 years.
Well, I say “happily married” because we’re still married. Yet that doesn’t mean we’ve been happy for our entire marriage.
I can’t begin to count the times I have been a huge drag on our marriage. And there have been more than a few times when the love of my life has not been the least bit lovable. As we’ve trudged our way through those storms, we’ve learned to cling to God for strength and to each other for support … and that makes us happier.
I’m reminded of the Bible’s account of the night preceding the last day of Jesus’ life. His disciples were arguing about which of them was the greatest. (Or to put it in the context of a marriage, they were squabbling about who was the most right.)
Jesus had every reason to bail. Instead, He quietly and happily took on the role of a servant, washing the feet of each disciple—including the one who would betray Him to death.
After bathing the last set of feet, He said, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:15-17).
When we seek our own happiness in marriage, we claim we’re the most important. But God never designed marriage to be a competition for love and happiness.
When Ellie loves me in spite of my times of weak leadership, my bad attitude, and any number of other faults I’m so often guilty of, she’s choosing agape love—love that gives without considering what you’ll get in return.
Adapted from The Story of Us. Copyright ©2019 by FamilyLife Publishing. All rights reserved.
The Good Stuff: If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:17)
Action Points: Talk together about a time your spouse loved or served you when you didn’t deserve it. How did that increase happiness in your home?
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