Why Depending on Your Spouse (Or Future Spouse) to Make You Happy Never Works - Kris Vallotton

April 30, 2018

Fairytales and movies are teaching people that once they find their Prince (or Princess) Charming, all will be right in the world. They tell tales of finding “the one” who will make you the happiest person on earth. The resolution of all of life’s challenges, the deep need to be known and seen, and all the sadness in your heart will disappear once you’re married, the stories say. What a load of crap! These stories are unrealistic, and if you believe them they will set you up to sabotage the very thing you’ve been waiting for.

Finding joy in marriage is much different than putting the weight of your happiness in it. If you’re reading this and you’re married you probably know that all too well. As amazing as finding a spouse is, they don’t fill the hole that only joy can fit in.

If you’re reading this as a single person I want to save you and your future husband or wife a load of pressure and anxiety… and you can start practicing this lesson now. And if you’re already married then I hope this truth will bring some freedom to your relationship. The truth is that nobody can make you happy—not your spouse, not your friends, not your job, and not your parents. Having people in your life can bring joy, but that alone is not sustaining. You have to be in charge of your own happiness. Check out this week’s Monday Motivation video for more on how to own your happiness and find true joy in Jesus:

In a nutshell:

  • I used to think that everybody was looking for something to die for, but I’d rather have someone to die for that something to die for.
  • One of the bests way to ruin a perfectly good marriage is to make it your spouse’s job to make you happy.
  • The truth is, until you find someone to die for, you don’t really live.
  • Of course I don’t want to be with someone who makes you sad… but the truth is that happiness is something that you cultivate internally.
  • No person can make you happy except for Jesus Christ who lives inside of you.
  • Do you know the difference between cohabiting and a marriage? Cohabiting says I’m in this relationship for what I can get, but marriage covenant says I’m in this relationship so that I can give.
  • It’s a whole lot easier to live just for yourself, but the problem with living for yourself is you never really find life until you give it away.
  • We have exchanged joy for pleasure, and therefore many marry for pleasure, not for joy. Pleasure and joy aren’t the same thing. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…” it doesn’t say consider it all pleasure. So, in the midst of pain you can still have joy.
  • Marrying someone you’ve “fallen in love with” is an accident. If you’ve fallen once, you can fall again. A great marriage is never an accident. It’s a covenantal choice that two people make for life.
  • If you do fall in love you’d better make a covenant to grow in love, because what was started by accident needs to be done on purpose.
  • What would it be like if all of us, everyday, laid down our lives so that someone else could have life? What if we stopped chasing pleasure and started chasing joy?
  • Joy has a name, and His name is Jesus.
  • One of my greatest joys is watching Kathy do something she loves that I got to help her get to (riding horses).
  • Prayer: I pray against selfishness and self-centeredness in your life. God, give us grace to be able to lay down our lives for other people. I pray that you would find the joy in laying down your life for someone else, and that in doing so you would find your life.

Activation for The Week

So today I want to encourage you to find your source of life in your relationship with Jesus. He is the Giver of all good things. Stop and ask God if you’re putting someone else in the spot that He should be in. Are you expecting your spouse, boyfriend, or future husband or wife to be your source of joy? If so, repent from that today and ask the Lord to take His rightful place in your heart and in your life.

Beyond that, put away your selfishness and set your focus on giving to the people you love. How can you give up living for pleasure and start living for joy? I promise that even if the trade of pleasure for joy can sometimes be challenging, you’ll find life at the end of the exchange. I want to challenge you to do one thing this week to love someone without selfish ambition, and I bet you’ll be blessed in the process! If you’re married then I’d start with your spouse. If you’re single, then take a look at your relationships with your closest friends and family. No matter where you’re at in life, joy lies in loving others.

Have you seen the rewards of laying down your life? Maybe for your spouse? I’d love to hear your testimonies of losing your life to find it in the comments! I’d also love to hear what you think about this topic, and

Topics: All TopicsCurrent EventsMarriageMorality


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