There is a common line among married people in today's world, "Doesn't God want me to be happy?" Happiness has become the new principle by which people monitor their marriage. When I have met with couple it is often said after I describe the wonders of marriage and how God ordained. "Yeah, but God wants me to be happy, right?"
The American answer is, Absolutely. You should be happy all the time and if you are not happy, then it is your spouses fault and you should get out and live a happy life. It sounds wonderful and as I write this it gives me a warm feeling as an American. However, what about the other person? Are you making them happy by this action? Are you making your kids happy? Are you making your neighbors happy? Where does individualism end and the effect on others begin? Or is it really just about me?
The answer from God is twofold, Yes God does want us happy. He wants us to live a happy, grace-filled life of forgiveness, worship, and sacrifice. However, if the definition of happy is to leave ones spouse, cheat, lie, curse, or live an immoral life then NO! God does not want us to be happy. It is like a parent telling their kids it is o.k. to beat up their brother because it makes them happy. Wait, does that make it right?
As we all look to happiness may we first realize our worldview on how happiness is defined. Then we need to realize what is right and wrong. It is not until then that we are able to effectively determine true happiness as Christians living in America.
More to come on this later.