Does God want you to be happy?

smiley faceSeveral 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.

About Author

Erin Davis
Erin Davis

Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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  • Serve The Lord

    There is no scripture where divorce is allowed in the eyes of God. It is only because if the hardness of your hearts that is was allowed but from the beginning it was not so. God hates divorce just the same as any other sin. God does not bless those that put their spouse away and break covenants. Please read your Bible and follow God’s will and not your own!

  • Serve The Lord

    What would happen if Jesus did not do the will of God. He didn’t want to be crucified. Paul didn’t want to go to prison and then beheaded. Put aside your earthly desires and suit to the will if God and the. He will give you your heart’s desires.

  • AnonE.Mouse

    “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,

    “If you want to enjoy life
    and see many happy days,
    keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
    11 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
    12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
    and his ears are open to their prayers.
    But the Lord turns his face
    against those who do evil.”

    13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

    18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” -1 Peter 3:8-18