Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Foundation Of A Christian Marriage: 3 Tips

“Blueprints” by Gualberto107 via 

Building a great marriage based on God's word takes time, dedication and work. It's similar to building a house… if we don't begin with the basic foundation and check the blueprints, our house won't be very solid… it might even crumble, yikes.

We don't want to go into marriage believing in God yet then ironically not include Him in our marital relationship… that seems so silly yet it actually happens. Intentional? Probably not but it's damaging just the same. We want to be intentional in our marriages and our relationship with the Lord. Otherwise we just might wake up one day years into our marriage and see the glaring truth before us… yes, we believe in God yet we didn't once contemplate what He wanted for us and our marriage… instead we ignored our bibles, we didn't read good solid teaching and articles on what makes a successful Christian marriage and we didn't look to other couples who are in those solid marriages through our church and community or even seek our pastor for counsel when needed. 

We can see that the key difference is commitment versus merely stamping a religious label or denomination on ourselves such as Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, etc and thinking our work is done. It goes back to the question Kyle Idleman poses in his book Not A Fan… are we mere fans or followers? As Christians our marriage should reflect actively following Christ not just being a fan… this means actions hold much more weight than pretty words. 

So what can we do as believers to cultivate a great marriage that includes God?

There are several points to consider: Here are 3… 

1. As a couple it's so important to take the time to read the bible together or even side by side and then taking the time to discuss. Also, reading articles on marriage that are Christian based can help bring discussion to the table for a couple… what is your perspective of the advice in it? Do you see any of those issues in your own marriage? Receiving daily devotionals sent to your email and sharing the ones that hit home for you with your spouse can lead to conversation as well.

PRAYER IS LIKE ACTIVELY TAKING YOUR ALLERGY MEDICATION; if you know pollen and grass make you break out in hives you'd likely take your medicine right? Of course you would; it would act as your preventative against catastrophe. Reading the bible together as a couple is kinda the same thing… when we are pro-active and pray life over our relationship versus neglecting it's health we are doing a good thing!

2. It's important that both spouses are partners…. one particular verse may become twisted to ones own liking… 

For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body.
Ephesians 5:23-32
Husbands may believe that since the scripture states their wife must submit to them that they then have the authority and discretion to do anything and everything they choose… however unloving. But the scripture is clear that husbands are to love their wives. It reminds us of a domino effect. If a husband is loving his wife; leading her toward God and making sound decisions that reflect Christ not the world… then his wife will gladly submit. Conversely, if a husband is not loving his wife and is treating her poorly, maybe even with emotional or physical abuse it only stands to reason that she may not feel loved by him… actions speak volumes and if a husband is behaving more like a jailer than a follower of Christ his wife and marriage will suffer. 
Partnership is vital in a marriage; one person is not worth more in Christ's eyes whether man or woman… both bring wonderful, different but VALUABLE qualities to the table. 
She may be weaker than you are, but she is your 
equal partner in God's gift of new life.

Husbands when leading should do so with love not anger, wrath and control 
Remember that you each have a right to be heard, to calmly and respectfully relay any concerns you have regardless of whether it is finances, in-laws, children, sex or even a vacation or new purchase. When we take the time to really hear (not just be ready with our response) what our spouse wants it shows we care and that their perspective is just as important… this can only serve to bring couples closer together rather than pushing them apart. 

3. Couples need to protect their marriage from outside forces… satan is delighted to use any and all tactics he can to infiltrate a marriage; to annihilate love and any sweet expression of it. Satan's number one goal is to destroy… namely family. If the devil can destroy a marriage he will divide a husband, wife and children. Sex was created by God for married couples to show their love to one another and for procreation… it's so incredibly important for husbands and wives to utilize the tools they are given to protect their intimate relationship.

If you're struggling with emotions from a past relationship that included sex.. (or even that didn't) and it's overshadowing your marriage it's so essential to pray for forgiveness to God… just be honest with Him and admit this is a struggle and that you need help. Repent and commit anew to your marriage… follow God's will for your life; be obedient to Him, ask for strength and that no weapons formed against your marriage may prosper. 

Shield yourself and your spouse from any potential sexual sin so it doesn't infiltrate your marriage; say no to porn and filth on the television screen, share email accounts and keep strong boundaries between yourselves and those of the opposite sex…  turn to God and ask Him to chisel your mindset so that you each honor one another and show love in the healthiest of ways that please Him. God wants us to enjoy a relationship of sweet intimacy with our loved one and when we do that in the purest of ways it is sacred, unmarred and full of joy. 
© ~ 2015

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