What is the secret to a happy marriage? It is obvious that most people do not understand this since they jump from one marriage to another, searching for happiness. They fail to realize that marriage is a tough relationship that demands daily sacrifice. Everyone has their flaws and annoyances, and they are only magnified when residing with someone. But, if a couple will commit to one another, they will not only overcome these differences, they will find joy and completeness in having a spouse.
The key is in knowing we have to learn how to have a good marriage. It doesn’t just happen. The Bible tells older women to teach “the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands” (Titus 2:4-5). Men are told to “love your wives and do not be bitter toward them” (Col. 3:19). We will never have happiness in the home until we learn and apply these principles. The secret is in being grateful for each other and in serving one another daily. Instead of over-criticizing our mate, and seeing only their faults, let us show love that “suffers long and is kind…and does not behave rudely” (1 Cor. 13:4, 6). And instead of taking them for granted, let us remember that marriage is an earthly relationship. The day is coming when they will no longer be by our side. We only get one life to share with them, so if we are to enjoy life with them we must do it now. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).
Most marriages can be saved if people will apply themselves. I have seen couples overcome bitterness, hatred, and even adultery to have a meaningful relationship. But it takes genuine work and commitment—every day. Granted, some men will remain bitter and abusive despite a wife’s best effort to save the marriage. And some women will insist on seeing others despite a husband’s devotion. They will give account to God for their wickedness (“fornicators and adulterers God will judge,” Heb. 13:4). But if someone can remain in their household (without jeopardizing their life) and serve their mate, they are better for it, especially since Jesus condemns divorce (Matt. 19:1-9). In many cases the solution to the problems in marriage is not in finding another person as it is in being the right person.