Two weeks ago, we gave some tips from the Bible to help strengthen our marriages. As we said, “The tips for loving are the tips for living, which are contained within the Bible.” You can’t get a much better marriage manual than God’s Word! This week we’d like to expand upon this concept. So here are some additional Proverbs marriage tips (with added thoughts) that can help you in your marriage. Just make sure you apply what you read in the Bible.
Additional Proverbs Marriage Tips:
• The first tip we’d like to give is to begin the marriage with God. Right from the start, the Bible says, “In the beginning God…“ He is to be the strengthening force in the “cord of three strands“ —which is talked about in Ecclesiastes 4. Seriously consider the promises you are making in the marriage covenant relationship you are entering into. Marriage is for grown ups. So don’t marry if you can’t approach marriage by giving it your all.
• Be strong in your stand to be promise keepers, not promise breakers. Proverbs 20:25 says, “It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.“ As the commentary in the Life Application Study Bible says:
“To dedicate something meant that you intended to give it as an offering to God. Dedicated means set apart for religious use. This proverb points out the evil of making a vow rashly and then reconsidering it. God takes vows seriously and requires that they be carried out.” (See: Deuteronomy 23:21-23)
Steve and I found ourselves feeling trapped earlier in our marriage. We THOUGHT we were marrying for the right reasons —because we loved each other. But we later found out that our ideas of love were shaky. We should have researched more about what marriage was REALLY about before our wedding. And then we would have been more prepared after the wedding. Our idealistic “love” fell short when troubles started to pile up and began to separate us from truly loving each other.
Thankfully, we eventually looked towards the Lord to help us. And He helped us to turn toward each other and learn what we needed to rebuild a GREAT marriage.
More Marriage Tips:
• If you are considering marrying, make sure that you both have the moral character, dedication, and a persevering attitude to do what it takes to make your marriage healthy. Don’t marry if you aren’t BOTH willing to go the way the Lord would show you. Married life has a way of bringing out the worst in each of us at times. But the Lord, whose very name means LOVE, can show us how to love each other as we should. “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.“ (Proverbs 21:21)
• Proverbs 30:21-23 tells us, “Under three things the earth trembles“ and one of them is “an unloved woman who is married.“ Men: don’t marry unless you intend to continue showing your future wife the love she needs (not the love YOU need). And if you’re married and you’ve stopped showing love —BEGIN AGAIN! Today can be a new beginning!
• Infuse humor into your marriage. Life is serious. But sometimes we take it more seriously than we should. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.“ Make sure that you aren’t crushing the spirit of your spouse and family.
• Also, don’t be so easily offended that you can’t see the humor in life. De-fuse that, which really won’t matter 100 years from now. Sometimes when life is painful, Steve and I look long and hard to find to laugh about. But when we finally find it, it’s worth its relationship strength in gold. “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.“ (Proverbs 15:30)
Pay Attention and Fool God’s Word!
• Listen, listen, listen. God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use it accordingly. “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.“ (Proverbs 18:2) “He who answers before listening —that is folly and his shame.“ (Proverbs 18:13) “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.“ (Proverbs 2:11)
• Watch the friendships you keep. Someone may have been a good friend to you before marriage. But that doesn’t mean that they’re a good friend to your marriage afterward. Some friendships can grow to be toxic. When you marry, you are to give up your “single-minded” lifestyle to join in marriage to your partnership. “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.“ (Proverbs 23:20-21)
Also look at Proverbs 23:29-35. The combination of all of these verses tells us to choose our friends, and our recreation wisely. It could hurt you and your marriage. 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning. For there are some who are ignorant of God —I say this to your shame.“
You can read an article on this subject with links to many additional articles in the “Assorted Marriage Issues” topic of this web site. The article is titled, Friendships and How They Influence a Marriage.
Your Attitude and Words Matter!
• “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.“ (Proverbs 26:4) Just because your spouse spouts off, it doesn’t mean that you have to participate. As the old saying goes, “two wrongs don’t make it right.” In Noah’s day, everyone else was doing a lot of things, but everyone else was wrong. The flood proved that. And the one who did right in God’s eyes (Noah) was eventually rewarded for not giving in to the pressure surrounding him.
It’s the same in marriage. Sometimes our spouse does or says something they shouldn’t. They direct it at you, when really, they’re releasing pressure built up from other circumstances. It’s more about them than it is about you. As John Maxwell said,
“Look beyond the person for the problem. Always remember that hurting people overreact, over-exaggerate, and overprotect themselves. When a person’s reaction is out of line or larger than the issue at hand, the response is almost always about something else.”
Try to “rise above the emotional turmoil” your spouse is creating. And don’t join in by spouting off back at them. You’re just adding to the problem. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.“ (Proverbs 15:1)
Be Partners, Not Adversaries
• “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.“ (Proverbs 27:17) In marriage, keep in mind that all arguing isn’t problematic. It can sometimes help you to work through differences that are dividing your relationship. The commentary in the Life Application Study Bible says:
“A meeting of minds can help people see their ideas with new clarity, refine them, and shape them into brilliant insights. This requires discussion partners who can challenge one another and stimulate thought —people who focus on the idea without involving their egos in the discussion; people who know how to attack the thought and not the thinker. Two friends who bring their ideas together can help each other become sharper.”
If you don’t have a marriage partner that will be this kind of friend to you, keep praying and trying. Persevere in the way God would have you. And if, for this season of your marriage, your partner remains distant, ask the Lord to be the “friend” you need it. He can lead you to healthy ways to relieve the pressure you’re experiencing. Just make sure you pay attention and follow His lead.
Cindy and Steve Wright
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