How do we know the following Christian marriage tips are approved by God? We know because they’re based on His principles. We sure wouldn’t make up this stuff! It flies in the face of a lot of what “comes naturally” to us as human beings. If you don’t believe us, look around at all the dysfunctional and failing marriages. They’re everywhere we look!
But God wants more for us than that. God never fails; we do! However, if we apply His principles our marriages won’t fail either. The following are practical Christian marriage tips, but they can be quite challenging to apply. We know; we work hard to apply them to our marriage. And most of the time we do pretty good (we’ve had a lot of years to practice them). But then there are those other times!
Christian Marriage Tips: Approved by God
First, here’s one that we all usually think we know; but do we really?
• LEARN How to Love. Loving each other as husband and wife does not come as naturally as most people believe it does. And it never stops—or at least, it shouldn’t. It’s a continual education and re-education. God knows that. That’s one of the reasons He made sure we had His written Word available to us. However, it’s important to note:
“Merely reading God’s Word won’t help you or your marriage. That’s like reading a recipe but not actually preparing a meal. It will not create a spiritual bond. The Bible provides God’s instructions on how to live righteously in an unrighteous world, but it does us no good if we don’t apply it. ‘Do not merely listen to the word… do what it says.’ (James 4:22)” (David Clarke)
Secondly, here is an obvious one that we too often forget (or we stubbornly don’t apply):
• Love Like Jesus.
“Jesus is the exemplary model of grace, forgiveness, and love. When we love like Christ in our marriages, we’re instilling those values at its heart. We’re bound to stumble and cause one another pain—sometimes unintentionally, and other times not. When we fail to exercise grace, then we begin to resent one another. For many relationships, pervasive resentment is a death blow. To prevent resentment from setting in, it’s essential to practice loving like Jesus. (Drs Les & Leslie Parrott)
“Our marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ and the Church. Christ does not fall out of love with us when we mess up. So why should we fall out of love with each other?” (Joshua Pease) Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
More Christian Marriage Tips
• Serve Your Spouse, With Jesus as Your Example.
“Why is it so difficult for us to follow His example? Jesus Christ, the King of the universe willingly served the people He loved. Whether it is emptying the ice cube trays, taking out the trash or ironing shirts, Jesus calls each one of us to sacrifice our way for someone else [like our spouse] every day. How many more wars in my life could come to an end if I would start living like Jesus?” (Susan Petropulos)
It’s also important to note:
“One of the best gifts you can give to your marriage and to your spouse is a commitment to keep growing in the Lord. If you cling to romantic sentimentality (‘Why can’t he/she love me just the way I am?’), you’re preferring spiritual laziness over the health of your marriage and over the desire to bless your spouse. I have the opportunity give my wife a gift—a better, more mature me—but not if I’m too selfish or too lazy and instead just want her to keep stepping around the moral obstacles I drop in her way.
“In his Word and by His Spirit, God has made available to us everything we need to grow: ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.‘ (2 Peter 1:3) Which means if we want to grow, we can. God has made growth available to every believer.” (Gary Thomas)
But as you grow, make sure you:
• Don’t Play the Compare Game.
“Stop comparing your spiritual maturity with your spouse’s; instead, start comparing your spiritual maturity with Ephesians 4:1-3. If you do that, you will change the climate of your marriage.” (Gary Thomas)
Keep in Mind: You’re Not Your Spouse’s Holy Spirit.
“Don’t be afraid to confront issues in love. Remember that we are helping one another grow in Christ and become more like Him. We are not the Holy Spirit, but after seeking the Lord in prayer and if He is nudging you to talk to your spouse about an issue, then do it—lovingly! (Amy Allen) “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” (Galatians 6:1)
It’s difficult for us to be “gentle” at different times in our marriage. But God blesses the “meek” which is defined as “strength under control.” So, as you talk to your spouse:
• Be Careful of the Words You Use Because Someday You May Have to Eat Them!
“You cannot separate the horizontal from the vertical. You cannot talk one way to God and another way to your family, friends, and others. We’re warned about the power of the tongue. James wrote, ‘with it we bless our Lord and Father. And with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.’ (James 3:9-10)” (Emerson Eggerichs)
Additional Christian Marriage Pointers
• Keep Short Accounts and Let It Go!
“It’s better to deal with sin and disappointments as they happen. It’s better to pull the weeds of discord today and not let them go to seed. Ignoring the weeds only multiplies them. Ignoring conflict does the same thing. If all isn’t well in the marriage, then do whatever you can about it. ‘If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.’ (Romans 12:18)” (Debi Walter)
Stop nursing and rehearsing the pains you give each other. Release it ASAP and experience freedom!
“It’s fascinating that President Garfield did not succumb to death because of the bullet wound. He died from the infections caused by doctors who kept probing the wound. Funny—we tend to do this with our wounds. We replay the bad memories again and again. We talk about them repeatedly to anyone who will listen. Then we think of ways we can exact revenge. We poke and prod at our gaping wounds. In the process we become bitter. Hardened. And, often, we withhold our love from those who need it most. But this is not how God wants us to live. He wants to give us a new beginning. A new story. A fresh start. He wants to heal what has been broken. He wants to reconcile what has been torn apart.” (Jentezen Franklin)
“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:15)
And Last, But Not Least:
• Apply the Healing Balm of Forgiveness Regularly!
“Marriage becomes a series of surprises for most of us, and one of them is how frequently we need to forgive and be forgiven.” (Dr Ed Wheat) “So many marriages have been destroyed by not following the instruction, ‘Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice‘. (Ephesians 4:31)” (Paul Bucknell)
There’s no doubt that these are tough principles to live by in our marriages! But as you can see in God’s Word, they are approved by God!
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Romans 15:5-6)
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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