What Happy Couples Know, Part 1: Nothing - Message by Andy Stanley
A great marriage doesn’t happen by accident. It requires care and regular maintenance. But sometimes we don’t want to make the effort. As long as it’s not broken, do we really need to talk about it?
"Expectations create a debt/debtor relationship." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
What does your spouse (or future spouse) owe you? Nothing. Happy couples know they owe each other everything, but are owed nothing in return. So, take your cue from Jesus’ all-encompassing command: “As I have loved you, you are to love one another” (John 13:34).
"We rarely express gratitude for what we’ve come to expect." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Scripture: Ephesians 5:1–2 — “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
What Happy Couples Know, Part 2: It's Mutual - Message by Andy Stanley
We all enter into marriage with hopes, dreams, and desires. They create expectations. But when you put those expectations onto your spouse, it turns your marriage into a debt/debtor relationship. Your relationship becomes marked by the belief that your spouse owes you something. So, how do you keep your hopes, dreams, and desires from becoming expectations?
"Great marriages aren’t built on a division of labor. Great marriages are a submission competition." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
If your marriage is a tug of war, the thought of laying down your end of the rope first is terrifying. But remember: while you were dead in your trespasses and sin, God let go of the rope. He did something for you with no guarantee that you would return the favor. Follow his lead by dropping your end of the rope in your marriage. Happy couples put each other first by going first in an effort to be last.
"What do Happy Couples know? There’s no hope till you let go the rope." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Scripture: Ephesians 5:21 — “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
What Happy Couples Know, Part 3: Sometimes You Have to Throw Things - Message by Andy Stanley
We all enter into marriage with hopes, dreams, and desires. The only way to keep them from becoming expectations is to decide your spouse doesn’t owe you. As long as you think your spouse owes you, your marriage is transactional. It’s all about relational debt and keeping score. That destroys intimacy. It destroys love. But what’s wrong with having hopes, dreams, and desires? What are we supposed to do with them?
"Happy couples don’t let their desires become expectations." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Happy couples don’t let their desires become expectations. Happy couples know to unload their frustrations on God. He invites it. And if you allow him to, he will do something remarkable in your life and marriage.
"Don’t pray polite prayers. Don’t pray formal prayers. Pray honest prayers." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Scripture: 1 Peter 5:5b–7 — “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
What Happy Couples Know, Part 4: It's a Choice - Message by Andy Stanley
"Happy couples know believing the best is a choice." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Happy couples decide they owe each other everything but are owed nothing in return. But that requires effort. Every married person makes a choice every day. That choice feels more like a reaction, so most people don’t think they have a choice at all. But they do. Happy couples make the happy choice.
"Happy couples choose to trust." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Hearts are drawn toward acceptance. That doesn’t mean you avoid difficult conversations or ignore problems. But it does mean you work to resolve your conflicts and get back to trusting each other. Happy couples know that believing the best is a choice. In fact, it’s the happy choice.
"Happy couples decide they owe each other everything but are owed nothing in return." —Andy Stanley #HappyCouplesKnow
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 — Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Communicator, author, and pastor Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe, collectively serving nearly 70,000 people weekly. As the host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, with over five million messages consumed each month through television and podcast, and the author of 20-plus books, including The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating; Ask It; How to Be Rich; Deep & Wide; Visioneering; and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most influential living pastors in America. Andy and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.