In a recent article I wrote titled 20 God-Centered Tips For a Successful Christian Marriage, I outlined some tips to help develop the kind of relationship where God’s word is front and center in your union. Many of those character traits are far from easy to live by, but if you desire a successful Christian marriage, they are worth pursuing.
But, what exactly does “successful” mean? While success can mean different things to different people, I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to relationships, particularly marriage, we are all on the same page. Simply put, we want to be happy.
Interestingly though, many couples try to achieve that happiness according to their own standard. Of course, that’s all well and good if that’s the decision you’ve made for your life and your relationship. This article then, while it could still prove helpful, isn’t necessarily geared toward you. Instead, it is meant for those who have chosen to be followers of Christ.
You see, once you’ve decided to truly make Jesus the Lord of your life, it’s a game changer. The standards are set higher and the resulting happiness is “immeasurably more” than you could ask or imagine. In essence, amazing things are headed your way.
We know this because in Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Now, while prosperity gospel is all the rage, I don’t think this message is meant to have you salivating over financial gains. Instead, I believe the plans that God has for you will make you and your relationships rich in ways that bring you no harm, gives you hope, and secures the future of your marriage.
Rich in Love
Read 1 Corinthians 13 – When you first start dating and your relationship is fresh, it can be easy to “feel” the love your mate has for you. The promise of God in a Christian marriage takes the love deeper and for the long haul. Through the good, the bad, the rich, and the poor times, Christlike love will be the thing that steadies the boat.
Rich in Kindness
Read Ephesians 4:32 – A marriage steeped in Christ is a marriage rich in acts of kindness. Imagine receiving or giving just for the sake of pleasing your spouse. The awww factor between man and wife is elevated when two people choose the standard set by Jesus in showing mercy, grace, and forgiveness. All of these are the breeding ground upon which kindness is nurtured and ultimately enriched in a relationship.
Rich in Submission
Read Ephesians 5:21 – This is one of my favorite scriptures because it really does set the bar high for both men and women. While submission is usually attributed to the woman, it is clear that Christ means for us to submit to one another. For the successful marriage, this often means finding a way to compromise and ensure that each other’s needs are met.
Rich in Respect
Read Ephesians 5:33 – When a husband allows Christ to permeate his love for his wife, she often willingly allows Christ to enrich her respect for her husband. But what I love about this scripture is that by his love, we can be assured of the husband’s respect for his wife. In the same way, by her respect, we can be assured of the wife’s love for her husband.
Rich in Sexual Intimacy
Read Mark 10:7-8 – The Bible gives one main reason a man leaves his father and mother. It is so that he can unite with his wife and the two become one flesh. That’s right. God wants your marriage to be rich in sexual intimacy. This is where you really become one. Only in intercourse are your hearts, minds, and bodies truly intertwined all at once. When the two become one flesh with Christ, then your relationship becomes difficult to unravel.
Rich in Faithfulness
Read Proverbs 28:20 – I find it interesting that this scripture turns out to be the heartbeat of all the others above. It is a call to faithfulness that leads to blessing. But it’s not just any kind of blessing…but a rich blessing. Not only that but when you are faithful to Christ first, it becomes a no-brainer to be faithful to your spouse.
When we make a decision to seek Christ with all of our hearts and unleash Him in our marriage, something amazing happens to our relationship. We begin to recognize God’s plans for us and those plans lead to an amazing life and a marriage rich in every kind of blessing.
BMWK, are you ready to unleash Christ in your marriage?