Keys for a Godly Marriage
Ephesians 5 gives us the perfect guideline for a Godly marriage / household. How do we do this when both of us are imperfect? We find it difficult to fulfill our roles to one another in marriage when one hurts the other, perhaps disappoints the other. We hold onto hurt from the past and count up wrong doings, building up resentment towards one another. Eventually, we find ourselves living separate lives, happy individually but unhappy together.
Ephesians 5:21-24, 26-33 NIV
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Romans 12:10 says “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves”.
This means, we love first and foremost, it means we put aside our own needs, wants, insecurities, pain etc and we unconditionally love. We love even if our husbands forgot to take the black bag out on dirt day, or if our wives forgot to make the bed. It means we love even though he / she said that hurtful thing. We made a commitment to share the rest of our lives together and in that commitment we are devoted to one another in love, putting the other above ourselves regardless of their imperfections.
What is love though? We think it’s a feeling, that butterflies feeling while still courting each other before marriage. We think it’s that honeymoon or “just got married” feeling. When that’s gone, we think our marriage is over.
Love is not that feeling. God is love, He loved the world so much that He gave His one and only son to save the sins of the whole world. Jesus went around preaching all over to multitudes of people showing them love every where He went. Love is a choice to be a number of things as we see in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“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. Love never fails.”
Love is a choice to always be patient and kind, even when you don’t feel like it. Love is a choice to forgive others and keep no record of their wrongdoings. Love is a choice to always protect, hope, persevere etc. Love is not envious, love is appreciating when your spouse is better than you in some things. Love is not self seeking, love is putting your spouse above yourself. It’s these choices that help us to be devoted to one another in love, and to honour one another above ourselves.
These are choices we should be making on a daily basis in our marriage, to strengthen the marriage union. It may take unlearning some thought patterns, behaviours etc, but if you make a choice to get on the journey you’re already closer to a happy marriage God’s way.
Colossians 3:12-15 NIV
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
In this piece of Scripture we see that we are to clothe ourselves with these virtues, for everyone we meet. Jesus heart for the church, is the heart we wear in marriage. The design for what God intended for marriage to look like as mentioned in Ephesians 5, will follow after, as you continue to pray and strengthen your marriage.
My husband and I have been married 4 years and in this time we have learnt some valuable lessons through our mistakes, this is just to name one of them. Some have been harder to deal with than others but we are determined to work at it. There is no other person I would have rather experienced this with. We did a marriage course earlier this year, which helped us realise so much about marriage God’s way. We have found the keys to unlocking Eden in our marriage in Gods word, in Jesus Heart. I would encourage every married couple to attend one of these, all of them if you have to.
Learn as much as you can together about marriage God’s way, your relationship will bear much fruit from watering the right seeds in your marriage. Have the courage to ask God what it is about you that needs to change in order for your marriage to reach the next level. Pray for each other, pray for yourself, pray apart and pray together!
I trust you have found some encouragement and hope through reading this blog at least one married couple will choose a road of recovery rather than divorce.