The following are quotes from various resources on Spiritual Matters as they pertain to marriage. We pray they will bring clarity and are a blessing to your marital relationship.

Key for quote - business conceptThroughout the Bible marriage is employed as a metaphor for the relationship between man and God. [The apostle] Paul resorted to this picture to describe the loving union between Christ and His Church. The Old Testament prophets also used marriage as the plainest and most transparent example of the type of covenant love the Lord has for His people. And Jesus told parables in which a wedding feast became the symbolic setting for the coming of the kingdom. A good Christian marriage, indeed, is more than a religious metaphor: It is a first, tangible, visible, and most glorious fruit of the kingdom of God. (Mike Mason, “The Mystery of Marriage”)

• Marriage thrives spiritually when we die to our singleness and are resurrected to a divine union. We are to support our spouses in all they lack, and they are to support us in the same way. And if you’re tempted to say, “But my spouse doesn’t watch my back, so why should I watch his [or hers?!]” read the first three verses of Romans 15:1,We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself.

The day you exchanged vows, you promised to join your finances, your future, your family, your welfare —everything you have —with this one other person. It’s a waste of spiritual energy to obsess over a spouse’s fault; instead, we’re called to figure out what we can do to make this sacred relationship work. (Gary Thomas, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage)

Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. No feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go.

Being “in love” is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both spouses ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would, if they allowed themselves, “be in love” with someone else. “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it. (C. S. Lewis)

Learning to love one another and meet each other’s needs is important, because it strengthens a couple’s relationship and allows them to remain true to their commitment. More important than strengthening the relationship with one another is keeping the covenant they made before God. As the husband and wife grow closer to God as individuals, God will more closely knit their hearts together. They will learn to love unconditionally and serve sacrificially as Jesus modeled in giving His life for His bride. (Lysa Terkeurst, “Capture Her Heart”)

Keep in mind that God is able to redeem sacrifices you make in honor of His word.

As both of you in a marriage strive to SEEK THE LIGHT rather than striving to be right —you’ll find that a lot of your marital problems will resolve themselves.

If God is the strongest strand in the “cord of three,” then a couple can know that when their own strength is gone, God can hold them together. (Julie Ann Fidler – “Adventures in Holy Matrimony”)

Love always means sacrifice.

If you think that marriage is a contract like a Tupperware Contract that you can break rather than a covenantal life-long relationship —when you view God as the 3rd party in your marriage then you’ll do things differently and it will become a more stable relationship. (Unknown)

• We need to think of our marriage as sacred ground —a union with God.

• When you hurt each other in your marriage, you’re also hurting the heart of God. God Himself sanctioned your marriage on your wedding day. And your spouse is one that He entrusted to you to cleave to, minister to, and take care of —to become part of your very own body. If you have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. For that reason, it HAS to hurt God’s heart when you damage that which He dwells within.

You’re also damaging His testimony to others that don’t know Him in a personal way of how He can minister in, through, and TO them in their relationship with each other. When others see how you interact with each other, they prayerfully will say within their hearts, “If God can help them in their marriage —to make it as loving as I see it is, then He may be able to help us also. HOW I WANT TO KNOW THEIR GOD BETTER!” (Cindy Wright)

• Are you a good steward of that which God has entrusted to you? Marriage is a stewardship responsibility that God’s given you. (Cindy Wright)

“How would you treat your spouse if you saw them as being autographed by God?” Gary Smalley posed that question as he spoke on the subject of marriage and it’s a good one to think and pray about.

Can you look at loving your spouse as doing it for the very heart of God? (Goes with Matthew 25:40)

• Our marriages are a mission field. They’re arena experiences where others are to see God through.

Are you loving, your neighbor (spouse) as yourself? (See Matthew 19:19 and Matthew 5:43-48) Does your life show that as a fact? Are you communicating the gospel of loving with AND without words?

The principles for living in the Bible are the principles for loving in our marriages. (Cindy Wright)

Too often people miss God by 12″ —the distance between their head to their heart.

Someone once said, “If you can’t forgive your husband, forgive the father of your children.

• God wrapped His words around the relationship of marriage to describe God’s love and relationship with the world. (Charlie Shedd)

• 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)

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction (Antoine De Saint-Exupery)

• To live is Christ. But what about at home? Is that our standard for living in our home?

Our marriage becomes a by-product of what’s going on in our lives spiritually. (Travis Turner, Life Partners Marriage Counselor)

• Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God. (Unknown)

• Marriage: It’s not about, What can I gain from this marriage. But what can God gain? What can we do together, as a married couple, that wouldn’t be possible if we lived as two individuals? It’s not about taking —but giving, giving to each other the grace God gives to us to give to our spouse. (“Never Alone” -by David and Teresa Ferguson)

The purpose of a covenant is to bring out the best in each other.

•  What does covenant have to do with marriage? In God’s sight, marriage is a covenant (Malachi 2:13-14). Your covenant vow is like a compass. No matter which direction you are headed, a compass always points north. Its dependability is the only reason we use it. Next, consider a spinning toy gyroscope. No matter which way you tilt the base it is on, the gyroscope will remain upright. That’s what covenant is. It is the compass and gyroscope of marriage. No matter which way life turns, you remain in covenant. (Mike Williamson, “Building Your Marriage Upon the Rock)

• Does your marriage have a community purpose? Granted, we’re all called to spread the gospel, but what form will that take? (From the book: Before a Bad Goodbye)

• Immature couples often completely fail to establish a ministry ethic before or during their marriages. Such couples form a cozy “love nest” and ignore the needs of those around them. Their nest may look loving, but such “love” is really a form of corporate selfishness, quite alien from the dynamic self-giving love taught by Christ. Jesus said, If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” (Matthew 5:46, NIV). Any family that only loves itself is falling woefully short of the biblical picture of healthy Christian loving.

Instead, marriage should improve our ability to give to others. Paul says, …God was reconciling the world to give Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19, NIV). This is exciting news. We are not here merely to be reconciled to God, but also to be the agents of reconciliation for lost millions around us. Plan on making this purpose a central feature in your marriage. You won’t regret it. (Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt, The Myth of Romance)

There’s probably no higher level of human sharing than that between a man and a woman, united in love and marriage, working on an assignment that’s been handed to them by God. (Carl and Martha Nelson)

The Greek word for “thanks” is eukapist (Eucharist). The way we say thank you to God and to each other is the greatest imaginable form of appreciation. In fact, the reason we’re created in God’s image is to be God’s representatives on this earth —to do here what God would do —to take care of the land and each other as God would take care of us (Mister Rogers).

We often hear it asked, What am I getting out of this marriage? But the more appropriate question is: What is GOD getting out of your marriage? He’s seeking a colleague —a dedicated partner and coworker —in the ministry of loving your spouse, and YOU are the colleague he wants. Furthermore, He’s seeking a colleague to JOIN HIM in the ministry of loving you, and He wants your spouse to fill that role. (“Never Alone” – by David and Teresa Ferguson)

• Our aloneness isn’t removed solely through a personal spiritual relationship with God. And it’s not removed solely through the human marriage relationship. The very good of God’s design for marriage is found in a 3-way relationship. God desires that you partner with him in the marriage to remove your spouse’s aloneness’ and God desires to join with your spouse to remove your aloneness. (“Never Alone” -by David and Teresa Ferguson)

• Being a faithful and loving spouse ultimately relies upon our choice to be faithful to God. Especially when a husband or wife is unlovable, continuing in the marriage is only possible when our life means more than finding pleasure, fulfillment, and happiness. When marriage is viewed as a calling or ministry, hope resurfaces in the midst of broken dreams. The hope is no longer that the frog will turn into Prince Charming.

There’s instead, hope that God can be glorified through what seems like a tragedy. It’s only in seeking God and his plan to build the house that forgiveness and unconditional love can infuse life into a dead marriage. (It’s Not About Satisfaction” –by Julianna Slattery)

Do you feel as though you have little to give your spouse? How can you love when he or she has given you nothing? The answer is Jesus. Imagine a well of love springing up inside of you. No longer are you dependent on your spouse’s touch or compliment to make it through the day. Only Jesus is able to love perfectly. You can only invest in your marriage when your life and your happiness don’t depend on the success of finding the hero in your husband or savior in your wife.

If wives are desperate for knights in shining armor, they won’t be able to vanquish their insecurities and disappointments long enough to invest in mortal husbands. Instead, you must depend on God and his provision for your ultimate worth and stability. Only then can you freely obey God’s wisdom rather than your fears. (“It’s Not About Satisfaction”- by Julianna Slattery)

Any time we reconcile in marriage, it’s a picture of what God wants to do with man.

What if your love for each other is dead? If you have a covenantal death of your marriage, pray for a covenantal resurrection. All things are possible in Christ. (Tony Evans)

Without ever passing out a tract, preaching a sermon, or even saying a word, a Spirit-filled Christian home declares to all who come within reach that God will do for others what He has done for them, if they’ll only give Him a chance. (Jerry Jenkins)

• The most urgent mission field on Earth isn’t across the sea or even across the street —it’s right where you live —in your home and family. Jesus’ last instruction was to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). At the thought of this command, our eyes look across the world for our work field. That’s not bad; it’s just not all. God intended the home to be the first place of Christian discipleship and growth (see Deuteronomy 6:4-8).

Our family members must be the first ones we reach out to in word and example with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fundamental way in which this occurs is through the marriage relationship. (Gary Smalley, from the Foreword of the book, The Giving Marriage, Focus on the Family, Marriage Series)

Do you realize when you said “I do” to the vow to become a marital partner to your spouse you changed mission fields?

• When Jesus Christ presides in a marriage —then and only then is it a Christian Marriage. (Unknown)

• 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)

• “Few problems are more urgent in society or the church than the soaring divorce rate,” said Mike McManus (Marriage Savers). “The divorce rate among atheists and agnostics in the United States is below that of almost every Protestant church” he said. “Only the Lutherans and Catholics are at a lower rate in divorcing than the atheists.”

• Marriage is a living advertisement for God. Men and women are made in God’s image. Together as husband and wife, the man and woman reflect God’s nature. Throughout married life, the two halves of humanity showcase God’s love, joy, mercy, grace, sensitivity, tenderness, care, forgiveness, and commitment. When a couple engages in the act of marriage, they display God.

How couples handle life’s ups and downs presents a side of God’s nature to the world. How a couple communicates, argues, and resolves conflict give people a greater sense of who God is. By uniting both parts of humanity, marriage helps people grasp God better, see God more clearly, know God more deeply, and live for God more intently. Every married couple is an advertisement for God. Ultimately, it is up to each married couple to decide how persuasive their public notice for God will be. (J. Jason Krafsky – Before “I Do”)