Is It True? “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”

Happy Wife, Happy Life.
Happy Wife, Happy Life.

Of course there is some truth to this common phrase! When a husband seeks to please his wife, he can single handedly change the atmosphere in his marriage. There are great benefits for both a husband and wife to seek each other’s happiness in their relationship. However, I would like to share with you a recent experience I encountered that challenged this way of thinking in my own heart.

Again, there is nothing wrong with seeking happiness in your marriage. In fact, my friend started a whole club dedicated to happy wives. It’s a beautiful thing:

The other day my husband and I frustrated each other. In the midst of a conversation I said something that hurt my husband. I didn’t mean to hurt him with my words, but when he told me he was hurt, I got defensive.

We argued for quite some time, trying to convince each other of our own points and perspectives. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to reconcile quickly. My husband had a scheduled conference call and I… I was being too stubborn to humble my heart. I left angry.

I jumped into the car with my baby boy. I wasn’t sure where I was headed, I just drove. I turned the radio up to try and tune out my emotions of frustration. A radio host on a Christian channel came on, coincidentally chatting about marriage. He asked listeners to chime in about lessons learned in marriage. A husband came on to share that he has been married for over 23 years and the greatest thing he learned is, “Happy wife, Happy life.” He went on to say that most times he just needs to shut up and let her be right. There was another radio host, a woman,  who laughed in agreement adding how massages and chocolates go a long way.

At first, in the heat of my anger from fighting with my husband, I wanted to agree with them. What they were saying gave me validation for how I was feeling and it made me even more mad to think that my husband just needs to learn this. I could feel my pride swelling up inside me.

Then, through all of the noise, I heard God. It seemed as if He gently whispered these words,

No my daughter, the purpose of marriage is not just happiness, but more than that it is for holiness. If your husband lived by that advice you just heard, you would never be challenged in your thinking. If you are never challenged, you will never need a reason to change. Conflict in marriage can be a good thing. It may hurt for a little while, but it is during those times of intensity that you become refined.

Then it dawned on me how our culture is constantly telling us “Happy wife, happy life” whether through the radio or written on a piece of decorative wall art, giving justification to wives in their behavior and serving as a reminder to husbands. Shut up and let her be right.

But this is wrong.

There are times that I am wrong and I need to be told I am wrong. Not just so my husband can bask in the glory of being right, but because when I am wrong, I need to change. My husband is a gift to me in that God uses him to refine me. My husband and I encounter conflict, frustrations, and fights because we are two imperfect people. If we can humble ourselves and acknowledge that we might be wrong at times, then we can be open to change… change that leads us through a refining process where we become better and better people.

Believing in “Happy wife, happy life” can be dangerous.

If my husband believed in this way of thinking, he would not be effective in helping me become a better woman.

Please question the things you hear or see in our culture. Please listen to God’s voice and let His words speak greater volume than the noise of our generation. Do not be quick in agreeing with others for your own validation, but rather seek your validation in God alone. Than your heart will be comforted and what frustrated you so much… you will be able to truly let go and love on.

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