Nurturing a Godly Marriage

Tips and resources for nurturing a godly marriage

 

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What is a Godly Marriage?

 
I am no expert on godly marriage, and I don’t pretend to be. Even after eight years I am well aware that we are still “newbies” compared to so many others. However, God has blessed my husband and I with a peaceful and unified marriage, and we purpose to make it a godly one. 
 
So, what is a “godly marriage?” What does the Bible say about it and what does it look like in daily life? 
 
A Godly Marriage Is…
  • Christ-centered
  • High priority
  • Selfless
  • Fun and fully satisfying
  • Peaceful (handles conflict well)
  • Cultivated
 
Christ-Centered 

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

Marriage is primarily about God – giving glory to Him and reflecting His heart to the world. In other words, it’s not really about us. 

I know that’s a hard pill to swallow and it certainly isn’t the prevailing message of the world. However, the greater we understand and embrace this reality, the more all the other aspects of marriage and intimate living fall into place. 
 
Jesus is the most important person in your marriage. He should be your Great Counselor – the first one you run to for troubleshooting, advice, guidance, and ideas. In a Christ-Centered marriage, God’s Word is the final authority and it’s the how-to manual. Study what God says about marriage and make that your guiding light.  
 
Be careful that the books you read and the people you listen to are reflecting biblical perspectives – test them with scripture! Otherwise, you are allowing unbiblical principles a place in your marriage and they will do you more harm than good. 
 
High Priority

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:22, 25

God is to be our first love and our first priority. The next is our spouse. We are to love and consider our spouse above our hobbies, our work, our friends, our family, ourselves… even above our children. 
 
Obviously, abusive relationships are a different story, and the needs of children must be carefully attended to. But in a healthy, godly couple, the marriage is given top priority above all other concerns. In a family, when the marriage suffers, all other relationships and household logistics suffer. If that weren’t so, then divorce wouldn’t wreak such havoc on a family system. 
 
Selfless

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4 

It seems to me that most marriages struggle because one or both sides is failing to live out the scripture above. Thinking back on every tiff my husband and I have had, I can see that this is true for me! Long after the fluffy romantic feelings of early marriage fade, intentional, purposeful love can take it’s place. 
 
Imagine a marriage where both the husband and wife were putting each other’s needs above their own all the time. Marriage would be cake! 

Of course, there is nothing “cake” about being selfless, humble, and putting the needs of another wholly above your own. It’s downright hard – even impossible! Too often, we fall into one of two traps: 1) trying to control our spouse and our marriage, or 2) adopting a doormat mentality. 
 
This is why Jesus is the most important person in your marriage. By the Spirit, God can enable you to grow in selflessness, biblical submission, and sacrificial love for your spouse. He will give you discernment in these matters (not make you a doormat). If the effort isn’t mutual in your union, He will give you wisdom and strength to follow His ways out of love and obedience.
 
Fun and Fully Satisfying

A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. ~ Proverbs 15:13 

Let your own fountain be blessed, and enjoy the girl you married when you were young,  a loving doe and a graceful deer. Always let her breasts satisfy you. Always be intoxicated with her love. ~ Proverbs 5:18-19

A godly marriage is one where laughter, companionship, friendship, and physical intimacy are prized. Marriage is supposed to be fun! There are several ways I could go with this topic, but I am going to focus on a particular danger we wives need to be aware of: comparisons. 

 
Do not compare your spouse to another man. 
When we entertain thoughts of discontent over our husband’s habits, traits, leadership, appearance, finances, struggles, or whatever, we are setting them and our marriage up for a fall. 
 
Do not compare yourself to another woman. 
When we become focused on our physical appearance to an unhealthy degree, and compare ourselves to other women, our confidence takes a dive. It can easily turn into a pride issue instead of a genuine desire to please our husbands. 
 
Instead, delight in your marriage
Invite God to reveal to you the special way He created both you and your spouse. Ask Him to strengthen you in unity, affection, and  intimacy. Ask Him to breathe new life into your friendship with your husband, and show you how to cultivate that relationship. 
 
Peaceful (Handles Conflict Well)

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:31-32

Fights, tiffs, disagreements, or “intense fellowship.” Whatever you call it, conflict will come up in your marriage. You are two imperfect people living in close proximity! My husband and I lovingly call it “the crucible of marriage.” Your sins and your husband’s sins will come out in the crucible and conflict will ensue!
 
How you handle conflict is a good way to evaluate how you are doing as a couple. If there is a disagreement, there is no need to resort to the cold shoulder, biting remarks, manipulation, or drawing a line in the sand. 
 
Instead, ask God for help to handle conflict in more loving and constructive ways:
  • focus on common goals
  • look for mutually beneficial solutions
  • do a pride and selfishness check on yourself 
  • think on how to love and respect your spouse in the words you choose
  • take a short break to think before speaking
  • do not allow yourselves to stay angry
 
Cultivating a Godly Marriage

There are many things you can do to invest in your marriage. It is one of the things I have been thinking on as I focus on cultivating faithfulness in my life this year. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Wise Counselors. Both you and your husband need friends and mentors who have godly marriages. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth finding trusted advisors in this area. 
  • Prayer. Pray for your marriage and all the things we’ve talked about here. Pray for your husband daily. These prayers are precious and will bear much fruit, especially when you are facing obstacles in your pursuit of a godly marriage. 
  • Time Together. Be intentional in your time together. Is there a hobby or pastime you could do together? Take up an interest of his or find a new one together. Spend time in prayer together every night. Read a book together. Go for walks in the evening. Have regular date nights and once-a-year getaways! 

Resources and Links
Here are some of my favorite resources for marriage. 

More Posts on Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. You have taken time to write a thoughtful post that centers around the important things in a marriage. I appreciate the list of what a Godly marriage is.

  2. You listed some of my FAVORITE resources, Love and Respect, The 5 Love Languages, and My Beloved and My Friend! Thank you!! <3

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