The Bible is alive with marriage tips. Any scriptures that can help us with interpersonal relationships can ESPECIALLY be good to help us in our marriages. The principles for living, are the principles for loving and living with each other, as husband and wife, in the best of ways.
For the next few weeks we will be sharing with you some of these simple principles from the book of Proverbs, praying that they minister to your marriages. We would love for you to share additional thoughts with us that the Lord gives you concerning these principles and how they apply to marriage —especially on this web site (in the comment section below). May the Lord minister to us all.
Please prayerfully consider the following tips for your marriage:
• “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare treasure” (Proverbs 24:3-4) What kind of house are you building? Are you building up, or are you helping to tear down of your spouse’s spirit and the atmosphere of your home? It’s important to look within, and take personal responsibility for your contribution to the atmosphere. “The wise woman builds her house but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1).
• And that goes for husbands, as well. In 1 Peter 3 it tells husbands, “Be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with your of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” The Lord won’t listen to your excuses in trying to say that “she doesn’t act like the weaker vessel” or “the reason I act like this is because of the woman you gave me.” No! The Lord didn’t listen to these types of excuses in the Garden of Eden, and He won’t accept excuses today for being foolish and unkind, no matter what your wife does.
• But ladies, let’s not make it any more difficult on our husbands than we are supposed to — even if they aren’t living as they should. It says in the scriptures, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 21:9). “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” (Uh-oh… I live in a desert with my husband. I’d better take this to heart!) “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand” (Proverbs 27:15-16). Unfortunately, this is true. Lord, help us not to be quarrelsome, as wives or as husbands.
• “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14). “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down” (Proverbs 26:20). The commentary for The New Life Application Bible says the following concerning this verse:
“Talking about every little irritation or piece of gossip only keeps the fires of anger going. Refusing to discuss them cuts the fuel line and makes the fires die out. Does someone (like your spouse) continually irritate you? Decide not to complain about the person, and see if your irritation dies from lack of fuel.”
That advice won’t work for every irritation, but it will for many. “He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction” (Proverbs 17:19). Know when to “speak the truth in love” as the Bible tells us because sometimes silence builds a “high gate.” But also know when to stop the drama by letting a matter alone. Choose your battles wisely.
• “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3). Keep in mind, “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house” (Proverbs 17:13). Even if your spouse doesn’t do what is right, don’t stoop down to the same level.
• There is a saying that says “Charity begins at home.” But so does graciousness. “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9). The New Life Bible commentary says:
“This proverb is saying that we should be willing to forgive other’s sins against us. Covering over offenses is necessary to any relationship. It’s tempting, especially in an argument, to bring up all the mistakes the other person has ever made. Love, however, keeps its mouth shut —difficult though that may be. Try never to bring anything into an argument that is unrelated to the topic being discussed. As we grow to be like Christ, we will acquire God’s ability to forget the confessed sins of the past.”
• Be careful of “right fighting.” Right fighting is arguing to such a degree that you would much rather prove you are right, than to work on and save the relationship. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25). And sometimes your being so adamant about proving to your spouse that your way is the “right” way, can cause a death in your relationship. “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).
• “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3). The commentary for The Life Application Bible says:
“You have not mastered self-control if you do not control what you say. Words can cut and destroy. James recognized this truth when he stated, ‘The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts‘ (James 3:5). If you want to be self-controlled, begin with your tongue. Stop and think before you reach or speak. If you can control this small but powerful member, you can control the rest of your body.”
• “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 17:27). “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (Proverbs 17:28). “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). That doesn’t mean that you can’t say anything at all. But think of words as gifts that we give to each other. Any good thing can be overdone. But it can also be underdone. Ask the Lord to help you to keep wise in the balance of all that you share.
• “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:23-24).
We pray that the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart will be pleasing unto the Lord and bring healing and sweetness to your marriage relationship. May God bless you this week as you work to make your marriage the best it can be to the glory of God.
Cindy and Steve Wright