small__4355838191The path of true, lasting joy in a marriage is from the inside out. Naturally, external perks are appreciated and welcomed; such as: secure and abundant finances, good health, unity in family relationships, and a fun, restful vacation at least once a year. When all is running smoothly, almost anyone can maintain a level of joy.

Our need for joy is acutely felt in times of trial. We are exhorted to “count it all joy” when we are tested. (James 1:2) The deeper meaning here is that we are to “rule”, “have authority over”, “command” our souls in the battle. Herein is the formation and ongoing development of the inside out dimension.

What does a joyful marriage conjure up in your mind? Two smiley faces perhaps? A couple that is always looking on the bright side and are never depressed? We need some synonym help in this regard. Two of my favorites for joy are “fruition” (maturation) and “gratification” (fulfillment). This widens the road for me.

The Book of Philippians is known for its theme of joy. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (1:3-5) Consider your spouse in the context of this passage and you will see components of a joyful marriage!!

I am my wife’s chief intercessor and she is mine. We are journey-mates, partners in the gospel, whose vision transcends this present age. We are all about seeing the “good work” in one another continue. “We have a vital  role to play in intercession and daily interaction that will have great bearing on one another’s eternal rewards. The judgment seat of Christ will produce eternal rewards on our individual behalf, even though we worked as a team to compile them.”  ¹

It is said of Jesus that “for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Joy is the root system of endurance. Get rid of the weights, and the sin, and stop standing still. Run the race set before you, with endurance. Look to Jesus, the One who fuels our faith,our joy, and our marriage – from start to finish. 

Joy and endurance are meant for one another. They are a match made in heaven.

Longing for Eden: Embracing God’s vision in your marriage, pg.144
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