“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
– Ephesians 5:31-32 NKJV
Every day, all around the world, people get married. In fact, it is estimated that over 5 million weddings happen every year in Africa alone. Suffice it to say that getting married is easy. However, staying married, and happily so, is an entirely different conversation. Making it work will require love, determination, and contentment. Our focus today is on the latter.
The Oxford Dictionary defines contentment as a feeling of being happy or satisfied. In this context of marriage, contentment means finding delight, satisfaction, and fulfilment in your spouse and in your marital life, regardless of the circumstances. It means that you see your husband or wife for who they are, and you love them all the same.
Contentment in marriage looks like “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” This is not a negative confession or a curse. It is a promise—a decision—to be satisfied in every situation, every single day throughout your marriage. Before marital life, the Christian life is where we are first taught contentment. It is where we practice abasing and abounding, and finding satisfaction in God. In fact, the Bible describes godliness with contentment as “great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
When you get married (or as a married person), this system continues and then extends to your wife or husband. You ought to constantly practice contentment in your spouse. This means that you should never compare your spouse to someone else, no matter how perfect you think that person is. This isn’t saying that you shouldn’t try to work on what needs to be worked on, but that you must always remember that the goal is to fix things with the person you chose, instead of wishing for a different person altogether.
Living contentedly in all circumstances isn’t generally an easy task. We live in a fickle world that encourages moving on from tough situations, especially in marriage. Without God, contentment is practically impossible. It is only He who can help us to stay content in the ‘better’ and in the ‘worse’. The Bible says He has enabled us with everything we need for a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). Lean into this help and strength from above.
CONFESSION: My marriage will not be controlled by the circumstances around me, but by the Holy Spirit within me. I am made strong by the Lord to go through the better and the worse. I am content in Christ, and also in the partner He has given me.
Bible Reading Plan: Genesis 35-37