“Not that God has anything against happiness, or that happiness and holiness are by nature mutually exclusive.”
This was important to me, simply because I think this is a common misconception. I think there’s this idea that to be holy is to deprive yourself of happiness, and I quite frankly don’t believe that to be true. I love that the author was clear on this point.
“I guess what I’m after is a quieter fulfillment, a deeper sense of meaning, a fuller understandings of the purpose behind this intense, one-on-one, lifelong relationship.”
Amen. I know of marriages that sit in silent misery, so overcome by their hurts and the failings of their spouse but determined to “see it through”. Or the marriages that coexist, neither knowing the other intimately. This is not what I want out of my marriage. I want a full, deep, and thriving marriage!
“Yes, without a doubt there should be moments of happiness, meaning, and a general sense of fulfillment. But my wife can’t be God and I was created with a spirit that craves God. Anything less than God, and I’ll feel an ache.”
I think this quote sums up the book, and the purpose of marriage, nicely. We’re created to be in an intimate relationship with our Creator, and so often, I turn to Jon and expect him to fill the voids that only God can fill. So when Jon fails in meeting my expectations and my needs (which he will because only God can fill those), I start to criticize and be disappointed in him and our marriage. I know where I need to keep my focus, but I fail so often…
I’m really looking forward to the insights that Gary Thomas will offer in the coming chapters. I pray that his words will penetrate my heart and soul in a way that convicts me in the areas I need to work on and emboldens me to continue seeking the only One who can fulfill me.
Please visit the other ladies embarking on this journey; I’m sure we all took different things away from this chapter and I look forward to reading their thoughts.