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Thomas is quick to clarify that God isn't happiness per se, but that marriage promotes even higher values."God did not create marriage just to give us a pleasant means of repopulating the world and providing a steady societal institution to raise children."We have to stop asking of marriage what God never designed it to give — perfect happiness, conflict-free living, and idolatrous obsession," Thomas explains.Instead, he says, we can appreciate what God designed marriage to provide: partnership, spiritual intimacy and the ability to pursue God — together.The success of marriage depends largely on this stage called dating.

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For instance, Jesus refers to Himself as the "bridegroom" and to the kingdom of heaven as a "wedding banquet." These points demonstrate that God's purposes for marriage extend far beyond personal happiness.

Rather, he asks: How can we use the challenges, joys, struggles and celebrations of marriage to draw closer to God?

What if God designed marriage to make us both happy holy?

Even men and women who grew up in stable homes, who attend church and consider themselves Christians, who promise "until death do us part," can have it all fall apart. According to author Gary Thomas, we're not asking the right questions.

As Christians, we know that applying biblical principles to marriage will give us a stronger foundation than those of our unbelieving friends and neighbors. What if your relationship isn't as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?


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