Building a Godly Marriage – Marriage Message #212
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
When we marry we believe that if we are both Believers in God that we will build a Godly marriage. Oh, if it were only this simple!
Yes, the “chances” that we will have a Godly marriage are greater if both spouses are godly themselves, but that’s not the only determining factor. Building a godly marriage takes more than saying wedding vows and then living together. It takes determination and intentionality to live out your wedding vows and also it takes actually living them out.
The Bible says in James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
What we’ve found to be true is that the principles for building and living out a Godly marriage are the principles for loving as it talks about all throughout the Bible. But you have to actually apply what God says in His Word for them to work. God, whose very name means LOVE, can teach you how to love each other and build a Godly marriage but you need to call upon Him to help you and then apply what He tells you to do. Then, your house WILL be filled with “knowledge” and “rare and beautiful treasures” as it tells us in Proverbs 24.
But it won’t be easy —especially in the same way we thought it would be before we married. For some reason so many of us think that we will glide into marriage with ease. (Sadly Steve and I fell into this same trap.) After-all, if we love each other, and we’re both Christians before we marry —won’t our love just grow stronger as the years progress? That would make sense in theory —sure! But in reality it’s much more difficult.
It’s like what Dr Ed Wheat spoke of in his book, Secret Choices:
“It has been said that marriage presents one of the most difficult personal problems in life, because the most emotional and romantic of all human dreams has to be consolidated into an ordinary working relationship. Many of us would agree. And yet the statement is not precisely true, for marriage is no ordinary relationship.
“God designed it to be the ideal partnership in which each partner supports and complements the other; a partnership which is continually renewed and refreshed by the presence and power of love.”
Building a Godly marriage is about being partners and working through the many issues that come up with intentionality and Holy determination and perseverance —being dispensers of grace and mercy. It’s the same kind of grace and mercy we want from God, and we are to apply in our marital partnership.
There’s one thing about marriage that’s for sure: “At prime moments, God will use your marriage to show you how to love the unlovely.” (Dennis Rainey) It’s amazing how “unlovely” your spouse can appear to be at times.
It’s like what Bridgette Dunk, from GTO Ministries said,
“Marriage is a union of two individuals who have come together from different families, each with a different set of expectations concerning marriage. For this reason, it has its challenges. Both spouses have been shaped by positive and negative experiences within their own childhood homes.
“Because of this, each has a predetermined idea about how conflict should be handled, the value of money management, religion, children, and what it means to love someone.”
Again, it will take applying the principles laid out in the Bible to learn how to do that in order to build a Godly marriage. And it will take hard work and determination.
As Dr Steve Stephens said in his book, Marriage: Experiencing the Best:
“Many of us grew up with Hollywood fantasy that once married you automatically live happily ever after. Wonderful relationships should just happen, shouldn’t they? If relating is too much work, it’s not worth it. Tony Campolo writes, ‘Love becomes nonexistent and marriages collapse primarily because most people don’t work hard enough to create love and build marital relationships.’
“We fail to realize that things of value cost us time and energy. Marriages are demanding and draining. Good marriages don’t come easily.”
He also said, (with which we also whole-heartedly agree):
“It’s a sad state of affairs when we take better care of our cars and houses than we do our marriages. We change the oil, fill the tank, check the tires, and periodically tune up our cars. We change light bulbs, wash windows, paint walls, unplug toilets, and re-roof our houses, but what do we do to maintain our marriage?
“The truth is, more damage is done than repairs are made. How important is your marriage? Is it more important to you than your car or your home? Are you willing to put in the time and energy and whatever else it takes to prove to your partner how valuable the relationship truly is to you?”
So, what it comes to, if you want to build a Godly marriage is the following:
1. Read and apply the principles for loving, as outlined throughout the Bible.
2. Ask God, whose very name means LOVE, to teach you how to truly love your spouse —not with human love, but with a Godly, Christ-honoring love (which won’t come naturally).
3. Live in partnership throughout your marriage with each other and with God.
4. Realize that you have entered into a union, blessed by God, with someone who is very different than you (and probably very different than you thought THEY were also) but still, you determine to persevere through whatever circumstances you find yourselves in.
5. Know that it will cost you time, energy and that it won’t come easily.
6. Come to terms with the fact that anything of value will take cost you something. And because marriage is something that God values and you should too (as you live in covenant with God and your spouse), it will be worth it all for your sakes and for the sake of God’s Kingdom work.
7. “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
In your marriage relationship, “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Cindy and Steve Wright