Your Happiness Is Not the Purpose of Marriage Guest post by Connie Smith Jakab

I love the concept of "culture rebel."  I think that is what Jesus intended for His followers.  So it has been a joy to get to know Connie Smith Jakab, who writes about and lives out being a Culture Rebel.   I am pleased to have her as a guest blogger today.I met my husband in my last year of Bible College.  Our bands were both playing a gig for a youth group. I remember watching him play his guitar thinking “Wow, what a guy!” and apparently he felt the same. After much nudging from his friends, he finally asked me on a date.Two years later we married on.  It was a beautiful day that we will always remember.  And after a wonderful honeymoon we came back to our home to start our happily ever after.What a mess….I’m surprised we survived our first year of marriage.  Wow, was he ever hard to live with.  I was fine, of course, but wow, he was so picky!  I found out my new hubby was not the easy- go-lucky guy I thought he was. He was a perfectionist in disguise!  I had MARRIED MY MOTHER!

Perfectionist and Pessimist

Perfectionists and I don’t get along very well because I “feel” my way through everything.  I drive anyone who does things “exact” nuts.  One day he critiqued my cooking.  That did it.  Thirteen years later, I still barely cook.I also found out my husband is a realist (a.k.a. pessimist) and I’m a visionary with the glass ½ full.  I could never figure out what his problem was….. until I’d find myself in a heap of trouble and realize he was right again.It seemed for the first seven years (and I’m not exaggerating), we both wondered what on earth we had gotten ourselves into.  Two very stubborn people who were intense in our own ways living under one roof.  I wondered if I had married the wrong person...and he did too.When I would see happily married couples, it would make me sad.  And those lovey-dovey couples?  They made me want to vomit.I wondered if I’d ever be happy.I don’t know what happened, but for the last few years it’s been pretty good.  We actually enjoy each other’s company.  Yes, the same things still drive me nuts (and him too), but we are able to see past it.  I can’t explain it; it’s like we just had to hang in there.  Now that we’ve been married for 13 years, I wouldn’t want to start over with anyone else.

Marriage Is Like a Mirror

There’s something I heard many years ago that has stuck with me:  “Marriage is like a mirror put right in front of you to show you what you’re really like.”  Is that ever true!  I was such a nice, sweet, gentle girl till I got married!  All my selfishness came rushing to the surface and showed its ugly face.  At first I thought it was all my husband’s fault, but I know better now.  It was there all along.  God has used my husband to show me my weaknesses.God uses marriage to show us the things hidden deep inside us that He wants to purge.  He does this because He loves us too much to let us stay the same.  He made woman to be a helper for man.  Little did man know that would not be just a cheerleader for him, but one who has no problem telling him what he needs to deal with.I thought marriage was designed to make me happy.  That attitude was hurting my marriage, and is currently destroying over 50% of North American marriages.  Marriage is not for the other person to fulfill our happiness.  How could they possibly live up to that kind of standard? Marriage is to fulfill God’s heart for us to have a partner through life, to discover ourselves, to live life together, and to learn what it really means to love despite.  Happiness, ironically, follows when we let go of “what’s in it for me.”

Becoming Real

Marriage shows us God’s heart for relationship and vulnerability. What a beautiful thing it is when someone sees us with our masks stripped away and can still love us. It’s not infatuation at that point, is it?  It’s deeper.  It’s raw.  It’s real."What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit (of Velveteen Rabbit fame) one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?""Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.""Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit."Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.""Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?""It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."Connie Jakab is the author of the blog, Culture Rebel , which is also her first book title to be released fall, 2012. The founder of WILD (women impacting lives daily) as well as Mpact, a dance company that produces shows based on social justice issues, Connie drives her passion outward into the arms of those wanting something more radical and meaningful in life. She can be found on twitter @ConnieJakab.