Going to church when I was a kid was fun. I mean, I got to see my friends and make jokes in the pews and eventually learn a thing or two in Sunday school. I got to see the different roles people had and learned to respect their service in the church. But, I remember one of the first times the image of one of the women I looked up to got twisted.
She was one person I thought was really close to Jesus. Her daughter and I were good friends and on one particular Sunday, I was invited to their home after church. Her husband did not go to church so that was my first time meeting him. Honestly, I don’t remember much more about the visit besides the following.
Whatever the reason, she and her husband didn’t see eye to eye. This woman, who I just knew was personal friends with the Lord, cussed her husband up one side and down the other. I can still feel myself looking at her in complete shock. The woman who stood before me giving her husband the business was completely different from the woman who praised the name of the Lord at church. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my ears.
I have since learned that not every person who claims to love God is willing to approach marriage from His perspective. However, for those who choose to embrace the principles of Christianity that are important to a true “Christian” marriage, the following tips should be useful.
- Love the way God loves us should be an easy concept to grasp for Christians. 1 Corinthians 13 pretty much lays out the kind of love that God desires for our relationships. Marriage is no exception.
- Remember that Christ is the head of your relationship. By keeping this in mind, you won’t be so quick to push for what YOU want but rather what GOD wants in and from your marriage.
- Submitting to one another is not as tough as it sounds. At times, putting your partner’s wants and needs above yours is more than just a good idea. It’s Biblical, and straight out of Ephesians 5:21.
- It’s good to speak the truth; just don’t forget the love. As a Christian, it’s important to tell the truth in your relationship. But to do so without tact or compassion is not a good look if you claim to follow Jesus. Check out Ephesians 4:15
- Being a peacemaker goes a long way towards a healthy marriage. Matthew 5:9 tells us that peacemakers are called “children of God.” As a child of God, always seek out ways to establish peace rather than havoc in your marriage.
- Practice self denial even though it’s hard. When you deny yourself for your spouse, you gain a greater gift in your marriage. Matthew 16:25 promises life to those who deny themselves for Christ’s sake. So watching the chick flick with your wife when you don’t feel like it can actually strengthen your marriage.
- Pray together as much as possible. While one of the most challenging things for Christian couples to do, this is one of the most effective. Matthew 18:19-20 reminds us of the importance of two people agreeing in prayer.
- Learn to forgive – It’s not easy to let stuff go when you have been hurt. But, Colossians 3:13 encourages us to forgive as we’ve been forgiven.
- Do not keep a record of wrongs – This is not only harmful, but it is a waste of time. Take heed to 1 Corinthians 13:5 and give your energy to uplifting your marriage.
- Spiritual intimacy is about more than just praying together. Discuss the things you pray about with your spouse and worship God together. In Proverbs 31 we see a couple equally matched in their walk with God and it increased their level of spiritual intimacy. It can do the same for you.
- Being faithful to your spouse should be par for the course. It should go without saying to stay true to your spouse and your marriage vows. But in case there’s some doubt, read, study, understand and implement Hebrews 13:4.
- Enjoy sexual intimacy as God intended. Sex and the Christian couple can be a beautiful thing when you are emotionally and spiritually connected. Enjoy Song of Solomon 4:10 and Matthew 19:5.
- Deal with your finances from a Godly perspective. Christian marriages are just as susceptible to financial strife as any other. Tackle the issue of money God’s way. Matthew 6:24-33 can clue you in.
- Don’t go to bed angry. This is easier said than done, even for Christians. But, it’s not impossible. Let Ephesians 4:26 be your guide to rid yourself of anger even if its cause lingers.
- Pursue righteousness in your relationship. You have a choice in your relationship of whether to pursue things that build it up or those that tear it down. When God comes first, Proverbs 15:9 tells why righteousness is the way to go.
- Be humble towards your mate and apologize quickly.The Christian heart should be sensitive to hurting others, much less your life partner. Own up to your mistakes as in Psalm 51:3.
- Sin shouldn’t get a pass in your relationship. Christian couples can form unspoken truces…”you leave me alone with my sin, and I’ll leave you alone with yours.” To help each other grow, and without being judgmental, call sin out when you see it.
- Allow God’s Spirit to work in your marriage. When Christian couples allow God’s Spirit to work, there’s an emotional connection they experience that helps to lead to the success of their union. See Ephesians 5:17-18
- Lead by example just as Jesus did. This one can be a little tricky for some couples. Suffice it to say that doing the right thing doesn’t give you bragging rights. It just means you’ve taken 1 Corinthians 11:1 to heart.
- Work daily towards unity in your marriage. Colossians 3:13-14 should be the go-to scripture for Christian marriages. It just about covers it all but wraps it up nicely with the importance of unity.
There are so many other scriptures and principles that can be used as a blueprint for a healthy Christian marriage. But hopefully, this list will serve as a great place to start.
BMWK, what principles and scriptures have you found useful in building a successful Christian marriage?
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