The Purpose of Marriage

Posted in Marriage Monday with 7 comments

The Purpose of Marriage

How’s married life been going lately? Are you happy with your spouse? Are they meeting your needs? On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the happiest, where would you rank your marriage?

Have you ever thought, though, that the point of your marriage may not be to make you happy?

I’ll be honest, I don’t always think this way. In fact, as the selfish sinner that I am, I often think (even if subconsciously) that Matt’s job is to make me happy. That marriage was designed for my own purposes rather than the Lord’s, and that if I’m not happy, something isn’t right. Please tell me I’m not alone here! It’s just so easy to look at our own desires than to look at what God wants for our lives.

So what is the purpose of marriage? Perhaps instead of making us happy, the point is to make us holy. Not to meet our own hopes, but to fulfill God’s hope and plan for us. And not to grant us someone that will serve us, but to give us someone who we can serve. The purpose of marriage isn’t for our own happiness, but for God’s glory and to selflessly love someone other than ourselves.

Ephesians 5:33 says “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Let this be our challenge. Not for our own good, but for the good of the one God paired us with. And not for happiness, but for holiness. In verse 32 of Ephesians 5, God likens marriage to His love and sacrifice for His church. What a beautiful picture of how we also can look at our own marriage and to strive to be more like Christ. It’s a lifelong journey to lay down your life for your spouse, but the eternal rewards are glorious.

How can you selflessly love your spouse this week? How can you put them first and think of serving the Lord rather than being served? When you are not feeling happy in your marriage, is there something you can do to put your focus on serving and becoming more holy rather than steaming and becoming more frustrated?

This is a short post with a big challenge. What is the purpose of YOUR marriage?


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  1. Lori

    Great challenge, Erin. I think our marriage purpose has changed over the years – and yet it’s remained the same.

    We share a desire to serve the Lord. That innate desire has led us to “do” different things that could be labelled with “purpose”. Bottom line: our marriage – our life – our purpose – to bring honor and glory to God wherever he puts us! (and the challenge is to forget about ego/self and keep our eyes on His purpose.)

  2. Rhiannon

    I think about this a lot actually. I agree 100%, the purpose of your marriage is not to make you happy.
    Whenever I look at my relationship as something that is supposed to fulfill my needs and make me happy I get into trouble. I feel that the purpose of my relationship is to grow and evolve into a more loving person by giving love regardless of conditions, any moment that I can. It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting, but that is the root of my suffering. When I want, I suffer and my relationship suffers, we aren’t close. When I remember that the relationship’s purpose is to train me to love unconditionally, our relationship becomes closer and more loving. It took me a while to understand this, but it has transformed my relationship and my life.

  3. Fawn @Happy Wives Club

    I don’t know that I’ll understand the purpose of marriage until I’m in heaven and perhaps ask the question (if that’s even on my mind at that time…probably not :)). What I will say is I don’t think happiness and holiness need to be seen as exclusive from each other. My marriage has made me the happiest person I know but we live out our marriage truly as God intended for our lives (everyone is different so I can only speak for the hubs and me). My faith and redemption has made me holy; my marriage adds to my happiness every day. Not to say I wasn’t happy before I said ‘I do,’ it’s just taken my happiness to levels I never knew possible and as my Father, I have to imagine He loves seeing his child smile (and I’m absolutely beaming!! :))

  4. AJ Collins

    This is a realization I came to earlier this year. I was deeply unhappy, seriously considering leaving my husband (I had been focused on me and my wants) and struggling… and realized in all of this that God doesn’t really care about making us “happy”. He wants us Holy and Joyful. But happiness doesn’t seem to be on His priority list. I don’t think He wants us to be UNhappy… just that holiness, righteousness, kindness and those other fruits of the spirit are more lasting and valuable. Great post. Great thoughts! Following on FB. Thanks for the follow!

  5. Scott

    I used to go back and forth on the whole happy/holy thing until I realized that one is an emotion (happiness) and the other is a state of being (holiness). Like Fawn said you can be both. And ultimately, I think God wants us to be both.

    The problem comes in when people make happiness their only priority and goal in marriage. What happens in that case is that when their marriage ceases to make them happy, they will tend to bail. The response to “I’m not happy” might divorce, emotional withdrawal, sexual refusal, or an affair. In any case, using unhappiness as an excuse for unholiness is where I think some people get messed up.