Several years ago I had a painful conversation with a good friend. She was unhappy in her marriage and was considering divorce. She was a Christian, a mother of an adorable toddler, and a leader in the youth group where I also volunteered. I begged her to stay in her marriage. I used every Scripture verse I could think of to point out that God’s plan for her didn’t include divorce.
Her response? “I believe that God wants me to be happy, and I am just not happy in my marriage.”
Soon after that conversation she left her husband. She is no longer involved in the church where we used to minister to teenagers side-by-side. I can’t say if she is happier now or not, but I do know that her decision came at a tremendous cost.
I’ve heard the argument “God wants me to be happy” made often through the years. I’ve heard Christians defend all kinds of decisions based on the belief that God wants them to be happy. But the truth is I’m not sure that He does.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think that God delights in our misery. But I’m not sure that there’s any biblical evidence to back up the claim that He wants us to be happy. In fact the Bible seems to teach that He is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness.
I’ll dig into this further in tomorrow’s post, but in the meantime, I’d like to start a conversation about happiness and holiness. What is the difference between being happy and being holy? Does God desire for us to be happy? At what cost? What verses can you find to back up your point of view?
I can’t wait to hear your perspective on this. Be sure to hop back on the blog tomorrow as we take a look at what God’s Word says about our happiness.