The Declaration of Independence Lied to You

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence lied to you.

Happiness isn’t something you pursue. It’s something you create.

I’ve tried to pursue happiness most of my life

In my twenties, I changed jobs every six months. I moved apartments constantly. I was always looking for the next hobby / project / activity to throw myself into. I have spent the majority of my adulthood chasing happiness in one form or another.

It took years before I stopped chasing happiness, but not before I made the biggest mistake in my life. Discontentment in my marriage led me to pursue happiness in the arms of another woman. That happiness was fleeting and the fallout devastated my marriage, my family, and my relationship with God.

I finally realized happiness isn’t something you pursue.

I was unhappy in my marriage. I tried to find an easy way out by hitting the eject button on my marriage. But sin only satisfies for a moment. Satan had carefully constructed a web of lies and I bought into them hook, line, and sinker. The truth is that lasting happiness can’t be “found”, it can only be created.

A friend once told me that the grass isn’t “greener on the other side”, it’s “greener where you water it.” Likewise, happiness isn’t something you pursue, it’s something you create.

Choose to create happiness in your marriage

Sooner or later you are going to experience some level of discontentment in your relationship. When that happens, you have a choice. You can either try to “chase” happiness by making dramatic changes (new job, new hobby, new relationship, etc.), or you can roll up your sleeves and work to CREATE happiness in your life.

1) First, recognize that happiness is temporary, but JOY is found through a genuine relationship with God is ever-lasting (James 1:3-4, Philippians 4).
2) Second, open and honest communication that deals with hurts and frustrations are essential to remove the barriers to contentment in your relationship (Matthew 18:15-16).
3) Place your hope in God’s vision for your marriage (Jeremiah 29:11).
4) Submit yourselves daily to the task of loving God and loving each other fully (I Corinthians 13).

Time to Celebrate

On July 4th, we celebrate the birth of our nation. Let this be the year that you and your spouse celebrate the birth of your renewed marriage. Commit to loving God first and loving each other selflessly.

Kyle Gabhart is a devoted husband and father of 6. He is also a blogger, public speaker, entrepreneur, and author of the up-coming book The Phoenix Marriage. He and his wife Tammy, founded Equip Your Marriage, a faith-based ministry dedicated to empowering, equipping, and restoring marriages. Kyle is an avid soccer player and board game enthusiast, but he prides himself on being a constant embarrassment to his children.

Photo Credit: Jason A. Samfield via Compfight cc

About Stu Gray

Stu is Husband to Lisa and a Dad to the coolest kiddo around. He’s a book lover, writer, Batman Fan, and a speaker into microphones and rooms full of people.
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2 comments

  1. Your article is great except for the premise! The framers of the Declaration were using the term “Happiness” the way that it was defined in the 1700s not the new definition given that word in the early 1900s. Throughout history until the early 1900s the term ‘happiness’ meant being the best most productive citizen/person you could possibly be, In our modern vernacular. In their book “The Lost Virtue of Happiness: Discovering The Disciplines of the Good Life” J.P. Moreland and Klaus Issler discuss this issue saying that “happiness as “pleasurable satisfaction” has failed to offer a vision and means for a fulfilled, flourishing life for human beings.” Dr. Moreland discusses this idea in the following video:

  2. How right you are! Happiness is something we create. When there is no satisfaction in marriage relationship there is bound to be frustration and disappointment. When couples discover that they have to work and contribute for the success of their marriage, I am sure there can be lot more successful marriages.

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