Christian Marriage Advice – 7 Tips For Married Couples

Christian Marriage Advice – 7 Tips For Married Couples

christian marriage advice - couple on bench

 

God’s design of marriage is perfect. The best Christian marriage advice in the world is very simple: One man and one woman for life. Unfortunately, we humans are flawed and messy people. We think we can fall in and out of love. You’ve probably heard someone say before, “I just fell in love with him/her.” This simply isn’t true. The act of falling means it didn’t happen on purpose. That’d also mean that people can “fall” out of love. This isn’t true either. People actively choose whom they love and whom they do not. Our first choice on whom to love needs to be Christ. If we desire to love our spouses in the way God wants us to, we must first choose to love Christ and also to follow His examples for living.

Often, Christians feel that divorce would never happen to them. We in the church have somehow been able to cling to the false and old thinking that Christians don’t get divorced. The unfortunate truth is that divorce is happening across the board, whether you’re in the church or not. The absolute worst thing we can do for our marriages is be under the false assumption that divorce would never happen to us.

Luckily for Christians, we have an entire book dedicated to living life. Christian advice for marriage starts, continues, and ends within God’s Word. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we are told, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

If you’re married, one of your “good works” talked about in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is your marriage. Whether you’ve been married for a long time or aren’t married yet and are looking for Christian advice for newlyweds, the Bible is the go-to book for all of your needs regarding your marriage.

Marriage is like a house that becomes a home when Christ enters it and becomes a part of every part. Walls and a good roof aren’t all you need. You also need to understand the neighborhood you’ll be living in, and then you need to lay a good foundation. Each part of the house must be working correctly for the house to be a home. Viewing your marriage as a house is a way to adapt fundamental truths of the Bible. When we use God’s word for a blueprint in our marriages and how to live every single day, we are getting the best possible Christian marriage advice.

 

1. Neighborhood – The State Of Marriage

Similar to when you’re looking to move into a house, you need to understand the neighborhood you’re moving into. Marriage in America, including for Christians, has been on the decline for decades. The statistics don’t lie, and they paint a very bleak outlook for marriage. As the morals of America shift away from God and toward humanism, marriages, and thus, families, are the ones who truly suffer.

A 2014 study conducted by the Council on Contemporary Families compared two mostly conservative states (Alabama and Arkansas) to divorce rates in two liberal states (New Jersey and Massachusetts). As Christians, we would think divorce doesn’t happen as much in the conservative God-fearing states, right? Wrong! In the study, they found 13 per 1,000 marriages ended in divorce in the conservative states versus the lower, almost by half, 7 per 1,000 in the liberal states. While these statistics can be worrisome, we need not worry. Instead, we need to analyze our hearts and minds and truly align them with the Lord and His word. It’s through a relationship with God that we have hope, and it’s in Him that we can have the best possible marriages.

 

What Can We Do?

We can’t throw the towel in and not move into the neighborhood, but we can be aware of what’s going on across the street and next door when it comes to marriage. No one gets married expecting it to end in divorce, but the statistics show that even those who claim to be Christians end their marriages. We, as Christians, need to be on guard against divorce. We need to treasure our marriages like God treasures us. The value placed on marriage in America has shifted dramatically in the last fifty years, but we, as Christians, can take comfort that God’s Word and His promises haven’t changed. Through the Scriptures in the Bible, we have a perfect blueprint for marriage, and through our relationship with Jesus, we can have the marriage we long for in our hearts.

  • Do you treasure your marriage?
  • Daily, do you care more about the things of God or of man?
  • Do you follow the Bible’s teachings on life and marriage? Or do you cherrypick what you like?

 

 

2. Laying The Right Foundation

Every good house needs a solid foundation, and so does each marriage. If you came here looking for advice on marriage, taking a look at the foundation of your marriage is the best place to start. A marriage that is built on mistrust, lies, or other misdeeds will be difficult to overcome. Notice that there was no mention of “impossible”, and the reason for that is because with God, nothing is impossible, including marriage.

If you and your spouse had a rough start (sex before marriage, messy divorces, etc.), you do not need to worry. God forgives. Repent (1 Corinthians 7:2), confess, and get on track. The foundation might have settled, and it’ll take hard work to re-lay the foundation of your marriage, but if you want to address the issues that plagued the beginning, it’s time to get the jackhammer.

 

Christian Marriage Advice – Building A Foundation

Learn more about Jase Robertson of Duck Dynasty here.

 

Having a solid foundation in your marriage is going to make sure your house stays up when the storms come. Getting back to basics is the fundamental first step in creating a Biblical and God-honoring marriage. If your spouse doesn’t want to join with you in praying, reading the Bible, and attending church, don’t chastise him or her, but instead, pray earnestly for them. While it might seem hopeless for your spouse, don’t give up! And remember, Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 that we are not to divorce our unbelieving spouses, regardless of how painful it can be.

 

It’s YOU who can make a change in the marriage.

 

Questions for Thought:

  • What’s the state of my marriage’s foundation?
  • Does my foundation need to be repaired?
  • Have I prayed for my spouse? For myself?

 

3. Walls Of Gratitude

Every home needs walls, and these walls are what really bring in the structure of our home and family. Walls of gratitude are necessary for each Christian home. A sense of gratitude shouldn’t only be in our prayers at the end of the day as we reflect on the highs and lows, but also from moment to moment in our daily lives. Each parent wants their child to be thankful and appreciative. These qualities are not just given out. They’re learned. When they see us with gratefulness and thankfulness in every aspect, they’ll be sure to follow.

 

 

A 2014 poll by 60 minutes shows parents typically feel that their children do not appreciate the hard work that is put in by the parents. The most important thing we can do to help our children, which helps our stress levels and improves our relationship with our spouses, is to build walls of gratitude.

A daunting task? Not when we turn to Scripture for guidance and to God for strength. We must take the time each day to purposefully focus on the good in our lives that we are told to focus on in the Bible (Philippians 4:8). When we do this, we are able to be thankful in all that we do.

Questions for Thought:

  • Do I have a thankful spirit in my daily life?
  • How can I seek the Lord more in my daily devotions?

 

 

4. Stop The Bulldozer

Sometimes our marriages can feel SO complicated and too messed up that a bulldozer is the only thing that could help our marriage. If you’re on this web page, chances are that you’re looking for Christian marriage advice that applies to you, to your situation at home. If you’re in a confusing time, please call off the bulldozer. Many of the issues that are present in marriages are ongoing and downright painful. We often can feel hopeless and we just want to throw it all away. 2 Cor. 1:3-4 tells us that God is ‘the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.’ Take God up on His promise and ask Him to give it to you.

In order to work through the difficulties we have in marriage, we must take a stand against the pain. We can do this by not allowing Satan a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). A foothold is easy to identify if you’re looking. This is ANYTHING that goes contrary to God and what he commands us to think (good thoughts) and do (put others before yourself and God first). This could be simply seeing that your spouse hadn’t completed a chore and you feel unloved. Those little avenues are roads into your heart and life which Satan can get on and corrupt our thinking.

Too often, we feel something along the lines of, “If only he/she would do this or that . . .”

This is wrong and unbiblical.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with our spouse, we ought to focus on God.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with our spouse, we ought to focus on God (Colossians 3:2). If we have a Heavenly-orientated mindset and direct our attentions to the things of God, we see our problems shrink as our God grows. We can’t give up on our marriages when things get tough. We must renew our thinking and our mindsets so we are more trained on God than anything else.

Questions for Thought:

  • Are you putting God first? Others before yourself?
  • Is the pain due to failed expectations or broken commands of God?

 

5. An Open Door

Every house needs many doors. If we come up to a door and it’s open, we feel as if it’s okay to walk in. If a door is shut, we feel as if we are being denied. We need to have an open-door policy. If your heart’s desire is to have a Godly marriage, it requires YOU to have an open-door policy with your spouse. Much like a boss at work who wants to be accessible to his employees, spouses have to be accessible to their spouses.

This particular piece of Christian marriage advice can be easy to read over but very difficult to adapt in a real way, daily and in life. That’s why in the stories of Amongst The Flames, Up In Smoke, and One Friday Afternoon, we find stories that highlight the struggles of typical Christian marriages. It’s a great way to see how people have to have not only God, but an open-door policy in order for their marriages to work. Through a relationship with God and drawing closer to Him, we are able to open that door for our spouses. Communication is HUGE. In the story of Amongst The Flames, Cole Taylor was blown away when he finds out his wife wanted to separate and they’re heading for divorce. He had missed the warning signs because he thought he could simply be on auto-pilot when it came to their marriage. This is a common occurrence in marriages today, both inside and outside the church. Had Cole and his wife have had an open-door policy, maybe his wife wouldn’t have walked out to begin with.

Whether things are good or bad in our marriages, we have to be open and responsive to a conversation with our spouses. Without open communication, we put ourselves and our marriages in danger.

Questions:

  • (Ask spouse) Do you feel like you can talk to me about anything?
  • What areas of conversation do I avoid with my spouse (triggers)? How can I pray for them?

 

6. Plug Ins

We need plug-ins around the house to feed off the electricity that is coming in through the power line. God is the power line, and we desperately NEED to plug into His power. Getting plugged into church, no matter whether it’s serving or through Bible study, is one of the best ways to super-charge your marriage. Volunteering in a children’s ministry or attending a weekly Bible study are just a few different ideas that can work well for you.

Jim and Barbara Hitchens were having difficulties in their marriage due to the stress of financials. There was no one person at fault, but the stress had an impact on them. They upped their attendance at church to twice a week and joined a Bible study in which they could connect with other believers. These small changes helped the two of them not only relieve stress but share thoughts, feelings, and insights with each other and others weekly (the study had homework and group discussions.)

A warning against marriage-related studies. If a spouse agrees, that’s fine, but if they’re not interested or feel forced, it can bring more harm to the relationship. Approaching marriage difficulties with a “fix-it” mentality can be more destructive than helpful. Let the bible study home group be a thing that’s just diving deeper into God and the Word and not related to “fixing” problems. This removes the pressure.

 

7. Roof

Last, but not least, every Christian marriage and home needs a roof, and a solid one at that. The roof is God and is above all else. This one piece of Christian marriage advice is one that applies to anybody, married or not. While there’s a storm outside, pounding mightily against the walls and roof, the marriage is safe under its protection—God.

When we choose to actively live and serve God in our lives and live outside of ourselves, something beautiful happens. Most, if not all, of our marriage struggles begin to wash away. No longer are we bound by the restrictions of thinking that our spouses are responsible for our happiness, but we are free to enjoy them the way God designed them.

 

Just as the video above discusses, we have to ask an important question. Where is God? As we draw closer to God in our personal relationships with Him, we become closer to our spouse. Marriage and God might seem like different things, but God has to invade every part of your life. One wise thing every married person can do immediately to start applying this Christian marriage advice is to start asking the tough questions.

Questions for Thought:

  • Who or what gets in the way of my relationship with God?
  • How can I put God above all else?
  • Do I have idols in my life such as TV or other things that take away time with God?

 

Conclusion

  1. It’s through the example of Jesus Christ that we have a blueprint on how to live our lives. It’s through His grace, mercy, and love that we are able to live each day. As we learn to keep thankfulness in our hearts, focus on Him and His Word, the desired Christian marriage begins to form. 

     

     

     

     

     


    References

    1. Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates. (2014, January 23). Retrieved August 02, 2017, from https://contemporaryfamilies.org/impact-of-conservative-protestantism-on-regional-divorce-rates/
    2. News, C. (2014, October 06). 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll: Gratitude. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-vanity-fair-poll-gratitude/
    3. Bureau, U. C. (1970, January 01). Data. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2016/demo/families/cps-2016.html
    4. Foust, M. (2008, July 16). Christian & Religious Families Happier, Less Likely to Divorce. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/christian-and-religious-families-happier-less-likely-to-divorce-11579251.html
    5. Gallup, I. (2001, May 24). Majority Considers Sex Before Marriage Morally Okay. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/3163/majority-considers-sex-before-marriage-morally-okay.aspx
    6. Gallup, I. (2016, December 23). Five Key Findings on Religion in the US. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/200186/five-key-findings-religion.aspx
    7. Gallup, I. (n.d.). Marriage. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/117328/marriage.aspx
    8. Gallup, I. (2001, May 24). Majority Considers Sex Before Marriage Morally Okay. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/3163/majority-considers-sex-before-marriage-morally-okay.aspx