Finding JOY in your Marriage

Roland Martinez

What is Joy?

Joy as defined by Merriam Webster online, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: Delight.” What emotions are evoked in you when you think about your marriage?  If JOY isn’t an emotion that would describe how you feel, how do you go about finding JOY?  

I remember when Tammy and I went on our first date.  Everything leading up to that evening evoked feelings of excitement, joy, and a little nervousness. Dinner and great conversation expressing our mutual interest in one another was the focus of our date. We ended our evening sitting out on the pier in Naples, FL. I remember one of the times I sensed the most joy was when we walked off that pier holding hands.  

While there has been no shortage of challenging times over 30 years of marriage, I can honestly say that we both have a deep sense of joy that has only intensified since walking off that pier together.  

JOY has been one of many key ingredients that have helped us fuel the deep sense of delight we have for one another.

J- Jesus!

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.  I John 4:10-12  God in His great love made propitiation (satisfied the sin debt) for us in our most unlovable condition. We will be unable to ever genuinely love and forgive anyone until we have experienced God’s unconditional love and forgiveness for us.

When we have tasted of God’s (Psalm 34:8) goodness, we then have the capacity to love and forgive in the same fashion. Tammy and I have to frequently remind ourselves of God’s love and forgiveness so that by faith we can demonstrate that towards each other. Our relationship with Jesus is central to experiencing JOY in marriage.

O-Others

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3  This is just one of the many examples and exhortations in Scripture to consider others over ourselves. That is not natural in human relationships. How many times have we said, “I can’t handle…” or “I can’t live like this…” ? These statements highlight our human nature to put ourselves first.

Sadly, we’ll never experience fulfillment or peace because no human can ever measure up or have the capacity to fill a supernatural need in the natural.  When we experience our fulfillment in Christ and our ultimate treasure is Jesus, the progression of that transformation is to put others first. A few verses later in Romans 12 it says that we should outdo one another in showing honor. Try it today. By faith, consider others first, and begin with your spouse. Seek to show honor and respect. Let your actions be louder than your words.

Y-You

“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.  And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” Mark 6:30-32 Again, this is just one of many examples in Scripture that indicate that time to ourselves is important. We need to deepen our well by spending time with Jesus. Too often we experience frustration and burn out because we don’t take the time to recharge. Everyone’s capacity is different. Some people need more time than others. Time to pray, to be quiet in God’s presence, to listen to worship music, to read God’s Word should never be minimized or neglected.  

Our earnest prayer is that as you consider and apply JOY into your life that your relationship with your spouse would evoke feelings of delight, joy, and peace!

To learn more on the topic of JOY in your marriage, listen to our podcast on the same subject.

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/christianfamilylife/episodes/Finding-Joy-In-Your-Marriage-e2ka0tp

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