Marriage Meditation: The Fruit of the Spirit Is Joy

By Bill Arbuckle

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Joy is a gift from God that — when we choose it — can fill our marriage with contentment, confidence and hope.

Getting Started

  • Watch today’s Marriage Meditation video.
  • Read today’s Marriage Meditation devotion.
  • Share today’s question with your spouse.

Today’s Video

Today’s Devotion

Scripture reading:

Psalm 21:6 — “You make him glad with the joy of your presence.”

Meditation: It’s easy to confuse joy with happiness. We associate both emotions with goodness and hope. But there’s a difference between the two. Happiness is our response to the good things that happen to us. Joy is the choice to see goodness in spite of what happens to us.

Today, we’re looking at joy — one of the fruits of the Spirit. What role does joy play in your marriage? Why is it important to your relationship with your spouse?

Think back to your first year of marriage. Hopefully, you and your spouse enjoyed those first few months. After all, there were many things to celebrate. Milestones to be commemorated. And happiness to be found in each other’s company.

And then, over time, things changed. Life happened. You still enjoyed each other’s company but started to see your spouse as a real person — with all the quirks, habits and imperfections. Some of those personality traits grated. Happiness didn’t come as easily as it had in the afterglow of the wedding ceremony, but that didn’t mean your relationship was over. Why? Because you could choose to find joy in your relationship. Joy became the glue that held your marriage together.

Joy isn’t easy. Good choices rarely are. We need God’s help to choose joy when we’d rather seek happiness.

How do you find joy?

The Bible tells us that joy begins with a person — God Himself.

  • Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
  • Colossians 1:11 – “Being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.”
  • Psalm 21:6 – “For you make him most blessed forever, you make him glad with the joy of your presence.”

When God is at the center of our marriage, we can find joy no matter the challenges.

An important note: Please don’t read today’s devotion and think, If I pray and read my Bible, all will be well. Yes, God does promise to take care of us, but if you’re dealing with serious marital problems such as abuse or infidelity, please seek immediate help from a licensed Christian counselor. Sometimes, God’s provision looks like the face of a trusted counselor or social worker.

Finding joy in your marriage

If you want to jumpstart your joy, here are three ideas to help:

  • Cultivate your relationship with God. Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. That means you need His presence and His guidance to find true joy.
  • Savor your marriage. Enjoy the little things — the shared moments, the laughter, inside jokes and tender memories. Life is made up of little moments, but we often overlook them.
  • Look for ways to grow closer together. It’s never too late to write love notes or start a new adventure. Share your dreams with your spouse and then act on those dreams. Look at each opportunity as a way to invest in joy.

Joy is a gift from God that — when we choose it — can fill our marriage with contentment, confidence and hope.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, no matter what happens in life, help me choose joy. Amen.

To receive Marriage Meditation videos and devotions for couples, text “MARRIAGE” to 72000.

Today’s Question

How can you and your spouse choose joy and savor the small things in your marriage?

More Resources

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Originally published on

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