August 08, 2013
“Blessed (happy, to be envied…) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant).” Mt 5:3 AMP
When the rosy glow diminishes and reality sets in, what makes some marriages happy while others slide into misery? Luck? Good genes? Hanging tough? Hardly! Marital happiness that transcends changing circumstances is built on the qualities Jesus taught. Let’s look at them: (1) Happy are the humble. “Blessed (happy…) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant).” Pride that’s self-promoting and always demanding its rights brings misery, while humility, self-denial and considering your mate’s needs brings happiness. (2) Happy are the meek: the gentle, patient and kind. Handling your spouse’s struggles with kindness, sensitivity and long-suffering is an expression of love that brings healing into the painful chapters of life and marriage. (3) Happy are the merciful. Sooner or later we’ll inflict injury on one another. Hurt, disappointment and anger will rise up, followed by a desire to make them pay. But just as revenge begets revenge, mercy begets mercy. Mercy isn’t “letting them get away with it.” Treating your spouse mercifully is reciprocal. It creates an atmosphere, where, when you fail, you “shall obtain mercy.” Mercy ends disputes when nothing else works! (4) Happy are the peacemakers. The need to be “right” and “win” only intensifies conflict. In marriage, when one “wins,” both lose! Giving up personal victory to be a peacemaker is ultimate victory. You’d be eternally lost if Jesus hadn’t willingly surrendered His rights for your wrongs. The ring is not the sole symbol of Christian marriage, but the cross superimposed on the ring. Christlike surrender of our uncrucified self promotes marital happiness!