The following are scriptures and quotes that we believe you’ll find helpful for living by the Bible in your marriage:
• Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
• Love flows through a marriage that lives up to mutual responsibility. “Love is not self seeking, it’s not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:5 )
• Foundation Verses for Marriage: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24) Ask yourself: “How can I spur him on to encourage him?”
• Don’t isolate yourself, “Let us encourage one another —and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
• A true demonstration of love: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for each other.” (1 John 3:16)
• Apply Hebrews 10:24 that says, “As far as it be within you be at peace with all men.”
• Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
• It says in 1 Corinthians 13:7 that love “always protects.” That doesn’t mean love enables, covers over, or makes secret those things that should be brought to the light. (Giving “protecting love” is being very careful and prayerful of when, where, and with whom, we share “personal” details of our married life that need extra help and wise counsel.) To truly love our spouse is to protect them by showing honor and respect for their feelings —not revealing or doing anything that will embarrass or “cut them down.” By doing so, we’re dishonoring them and showing that we don’t value them.
It also tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that “love is kind,” “does not delight in evil,” and “is not self-seeking” so by embarrassing them, we dishonor not only our spouse, but in many ways, we also show the Lord that we dishonor His Word. Even if our spouse dishonors us, we aren’t given the permission to retaliate in return. (Cindy Wright)
• Keep in mind as you weather those marital storms, that we’re warned in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28, that “those who marry will face many troubles in this life.”
• In reading Luke 19:41-44, I see how these verses could also apply to the enormous sadness that Christ must feel as He sees the “war” that rages within marriages today. It says in these verses, “As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace —but it’s hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you didn’t recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
If we could only “know” the peace that He can bring into everyday living and into our married lives as we allow God to teach us how to truly love one another as Christ loves the church. The “enemies” that are described within these verses could also be compared to the things that we allow to come between us as a couple so we’re no longer living in loving covenant with our spouses. Not only will we be brought down —but also, and most tragically —so will our children.
As Oswald Chambers once said, “If I allow any turning away from God in my private life, everyone around me suffers.” All of this is because we don’t recognize Christ’s redemptive ministry, open to all that embrace Him as Savior, AND as Lord, in being the foundation upon which our marriages must be built upon and maintained. It’s enough to make all of heaven weep! (Cindy Wright)
• The apostle Paul said, “In all things, I have learned to be content.” That same statement can be applied to marriage. In 1 Corinthians, we see how Paul addressed many difficult relationship questions. The over-all answer that he seems to give is to “Be content in the situation where God has placed you. If you’re married, don’t seek to be single. If you’re single, don’t seek to be married.
Live God’s way, one day at a time, and he will show you what to do. Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God. One isn’t morally better than the other, and both are valuable to accomplishing God’s purposes. It’s important for us, therefore, to accept our present situation.” (Explanation from “The New Life Application Bible” of 1 Corinthians 7:3-11)
• In Ephesians 4:15 Paul challenged Christians to live a life of “speaking the truth in love.” Our tendency is to do well on 50% of that verse. Some of us have mastered “speaking the truth.” We’re quick to point out anything that we see or perceive in our spouse and are willing to use any method (attacking, judging, etc.) to drive the point home. Others of us are stuck at the “in love” part of confrontation. We’ve come to believe in complete acceptance and tolerance of any behavior.
Often we become paralyzed with a fear of hurting someone’s feelings and withdraw into passivity and silence. Speaking the truth in love combines both of these concepts to allow us to confront sinful behavior without compromise, yet with absolute care and respect for the individual, saying things in a way that the person can accept. When a couple takes the stance of living out Paul’s challenge of “speaking the truth in love” to each other, the old models of judging and passivity must disappear. (Jeff and Lora Helton)
• He who finds a wife finds what is good. (Proverbs 18:22)
• Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
• A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)
• Finishing is better than starting! (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
• The principles for living in the Bible are the principles for loving in our marriages. (Cindy Wright)
• Don’t give in to injustice —be a difference maker. Give to your spouse, the grace that you would want from him and that you want the Lord to give you. Keep in mind these words, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
And also the words written in Isaiah 1:17,“Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!” 1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
• I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3) “Submission is a key element in the smooth functioning of any business, government, or family. God ordained submission in certain relationships to prevent chaos. It’s essential to understand that submission is not surrender, withdrawal, or apathy. It doesn’t mean inferiority, because God created all people in his image and because all have equal value. Submission is mutual commitment and cooperation.
“Thus God calls for submission among equals. He didn’t make the man superior; he made a way for the man and woman to work together. Jesus Christ, although equal with God the Father, submitted to him to carry out the plan for salvation. Likewise, although equal to man under God, the wife should submit to her husband for the sake of their marriage and family. Submission between equals is submission by choice, not by force. We serve God in these relationships by willingly submitting to others in our church, to our spouses, and to our government leaders.” (Commentary from the New Life Application Bible)
• Guard yourself in your spirit, and don’t break faith. (Malachi 2:16)
• Man was not “created for woman, but woman for man.” For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head. In the LORD, however, woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. (1 Corinthians 11:9-11)
“God created lines of authority in order for his created world to function smoothly. Although there must be lines of superiority. God created men and women with unique and complementary characteristics. One sex is not better than the other. We must not let the issue of authority and submission become a wedge to destroy oneness in marriage. Instead, we should use our unique gifts to strengthen our marriages and to glorify God.”(Commentary from the New Life Application Bible)
• Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church —for we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery —but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
“Paul devotes twice as many words to telling husbands to love their wives as to telling wives to submit to their husbands. How should a man love his wife? (1) He should be willing to sacrifice everything for her. (2) He should make her well-being of primary importance. (3) He should care for her as he cares for his own body. No wife needs to fear submitting to a man who treats her in this way. (Commentary explanation from the New Life Application Bible for Ephesians 5:25-30)
“The union of husband and wife merges two persons in such a way that little can affect one without also affecting the other. Oneness in marriage doesn’t mean losing your personality in the personality of the other. Instead, it means caring for your spouse as you care for yourself, learning to anticipate his or her needs, helping the other person become all he or she can be. The creation story tells of God’s plan that husband and wife should be one (Genesis 2:24), and Jesus also referred to this plan (Matthew 19:4-6). (Commentary explanation for Ephesians 5:31-33)
• A very important principle for men to take to heart: “Speaking the truth in love we will in all things grow up into Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:15-16)
• When you’re living in a “coping situation” in your marriage, you need to make sure that you put activities and “helps” into your life that will enable you to build up your energy back up. Living in a “coping situation” can drastically drain you emotionally, physically and spiritually. Therefore, if you deplete your reserve energy without restoring at least part of it back from time to time, you’ll find yourself in a crisis situation eventually.
The Bible tells us that we can “do all things through Him who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13). But we have to make sure that we don’t neglect to plug into the source of energy so we can do all things.
• Let me ask you, “Are you prayerfully and carefully treating your spouse with the love, honor and respect that God would have you? Are you showing the love of Christ to your spouse?” If not, you may want to pray Psalm 51 with a sincere heart and ask the Lord to show you how to love, honor, and cherish your spouse as you promised in your wedding vows.
• “Fight truth decay —study the Bible daily.”
• Make a pact with a friend of the same sex regarding purity and sexual fidelity to your spouse. Agree to share and ask questions regarding the details of relationships with members of the opposite sex apart from your spouse. Memorize a verse to recall in times of challenge. (Alistair Begg) Recommendation: 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
NEW TESTAMENT MANDATE —a review of some of the “one another” verses:
• Be devoted and give preference to one another. (Romans 12:10)
• Accept one another. (Romans 15:7)
• Care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:25)
• Carry each other’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
• Forgive one another. (Ephesians 4:32)
• Encourage, build up one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
• Spur one another on to love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)
• Confess your sins to one another. (James 5:16)
• Pray for one another. (James 5:16)
• We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.” (2 Corinthians 5:20 -The Message)
• Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message)
• Beware of these statements, “He is” -or- “she is” -or- “I am” a very private person.” PRIVACY CAN VERY EASILY LEAD TO BEHAVIOR THAT GIVES INTO DARKNESS. (See: Proverbs 4:19, 2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 112:4; Matthew 6:23; Luke 11:34-36; John 3:19-21; Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 4:17-18 and Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:5-7; 1 John 2:9-11). Privacy can easily lead into secrecy. And secrecy leads to all kinds of trouble because it’s not exposed to “the light.”
Being a “very private person” can be especially dangerous in a marriage. When we give the vow to enter into a marital relationship, we give up the right to our privacy —especially when that privacy can have a negative effect the life of our spouse. Be careful of the statement, “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” because often it will. Follow the Lord’s leading in this issue. Keep in mind that in marriage, God wants to take the “two of us and make us one.” The enemy of our faith wants to take the “oneness of us” and make us into two.
“The killer of love is creeping separateness. It’s taking love for granted, especially after marriage. It’s ceasing to do things together —finding separate interests. It’s ‘we’ turning into ‘I.’ The modern world, especially in the cities favors it with the man going off to his office; and the woman staying home with the children —or perhaps having a different job. The failure of love might seem to be caused by hate or boredom or unfaithfulness with a lover; but those were results. First came the creeping separateness: the failure behind the failure.” (Sheldon Vanauken and Cindy Wright)
• As you read Matthew 5:31-32 you can see that “Jesus is trying to move us from easy divorce to a deeper commitment to marriage.” (Dr. Roger Barrier)
• An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. (Proverbs 24:26)
• Make it a priority to be involved with other couples on a regular basis, in order to support and be accountable to one another in your marriage relationships. Church small groups and Sunday schools are ideal. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Alistair Begg)
• The surprising result of being honest about your fears and insecurities is that people may actually be more drawn to you (Dr. Todd Linaman) “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit.” (Proverbs 14:8)
• Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean. “But speaking the truth in love, may [we] grow up in all things into Him who is the head —CHRIST.” (Ephesians 4:15 NKJ)
• The enemy of our faith tries to divide us because he knows that “united we stand, divided we fall.” He fans the flames of rivalry and pride. How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
• What are you feeding in your marriage? Are you making a conscientious effort to feed your love, and commitment to your spouse, or are you feeding your doubts, dissatisfaction and self-absorption? If you don’t make a point of feeding your love and commitment, then it’s easy for doubts and dissatisfaction to slide into your way of perceiving your spouse without even realizing it.
Life today naturally pulls us away from each other. The hectic busyness of the way we’re living takes its toll on the marital relationship because without making the time to nurture our love for one another, unmet relational needs have a way of negatively ambushing our feelings of love for one another. Do you spend your time focusing on the negative or on the positive aspects of your spouse?
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8-9: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me —put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Cindy Wright)
• My prayer for marriages: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”(John 17:23) This is also an example of how God wants us to function. Just as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are separate individuals within the Godhead, yet they are one in purpose. In marriage the husband and wife are different individuals and yet they are to be one in purpose. (Cindy Wright)
• Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. (Romans 14:19)
• Prayer for marriages: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23) This is also an example of how God wants us to function. Just as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are separate individuals within the Godhead, yet they are one in purpose. In marriage the husband and wife are different individuals and yet they are to be one in purpose. (Cindy Wright)
• Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes (author unknown). “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” (Proverbs 29:11)
• Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:19)
• Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress. (Proverbs 30:21-23)
• If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven —if there was anything to forgive —I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
• The lips of the righteous knows what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse. (Proverbs 10:32)
• Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)
• Jesus said, “I came that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). When applying this message to marriage, it’s not that those who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ can’t have a good marriage —they can —we’ve seen this to be true. (It’s rare but it’s possible.) But to have a full, rich, abundant married life together, Christ is the key. Marriage is all about the love of God displayed through ordinary people. (Cindy Wright)
• “There are two hindrances to good communication that must be overcome. There’s the bad habit of lazy listening and hasty speaking” (John Lavendar). (Goes with James 1:19)
• Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (Proverbs 1:5)
• The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)
• The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. (Proverbs 15:14)
• He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. (Proverbs 15:31)
• He who answers before listening —that is his folly and his shame. (Proverbs 18:13)
• The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. (Proverbs 18:15)
• Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. (Proverbs 19:20)
• Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12)
• Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.(James 1:19)
• A quiet and gentle spirit disarms men. (Dr Charles Swindoll)This is in reference to the scripture that says, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” It should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:1-2 and 1 Peter 3:4).
• A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction (Proverbs 16:23).
• The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse (Proverbs 10:29).
• Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
• A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (Proverbs 17:27)
• A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.(Proverbs 18:2)
• Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is that Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
• Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.(Philippians 4:29)
• Put away perversity from your mouth keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (Proverbs 4:24)
• He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.(Proverbs 13:3)
• My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All of the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. (Proverbs 8:7-8)
• The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
• A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)
• Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
• If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:15)
• In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (1 Peter 2:11)
• Remind the people to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (Titus 3:2)
• Think of your marriage as sacred ground. It’s a union God has sanctioned, not just because you were determined to come together but also for God’s purpose. “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:6)
• Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? (Amos 3:3)
• The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:2, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”
• Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)
• Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:24).
• Everything is permissible —but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible —but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:23-24).
• If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other (Galatians 6:15).
• Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:9-10).
• But wisdom is proved right by her actions (Matthew 11:19).
• But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment; for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:37).
• My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this —that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command (John 15:12-14).
• Love is an act of will, both an intention and an action. “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
If you have additional scriptures and/or tips you can share to help others who are married, or if you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.