1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a great guide you can use to do a marriage check-up periodically with each other. The following are the suggested guidelines (or you can come up with your own) for this time together. This is a scripture based marriage check up list that we encourage you to use, as God leads.
Here are some guidelines when using it:
• Periodically meet at a time when you can have uninterrupted time to spend with one another.
• Pray, asking the Lord to guide you in your time to peaceably work through this list of questions.
• Determine who’s going to ask each question out loud one at a time.
• Pause after each question is read, then take turns HONESTLY and RESPECTFULLY answer and discuss the question that was read (honoring each other’s perspective on what he or she believes to be true).
• If either of you have hurt your partner, confess and sincerely ask them for forgiveness.
• When the question is properly dealt with move on to the next question until you’ve gone through each one.
• Afterward, pray for God’s blessing and help to “Live a life of love” as we’re told to do in Ephesians 5:1.
This can be an effective tool in helping to keep “short accounts” with offenses that can build up in a marriage and bring you closer together in marital partnership.
From 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 God tells us:
• Love is patient.
~ Have we been patient with each other?
~ Do we bear with one another’s weaknesses?
• Love is kind.
~ Have we been treating each other with loving kindness —and grace?
~ Have we been tenderhearted in our attitudes —and our actions?
~ Additionally, have we been cynical and critical?
~ Have we been using cutting humor in how we relate to one another?
• It does not envy.
~ Has a spirit of envy been displayed by either one of us?
~ Have we been exhibiting discontentment or resentment in what we have or don’t have?
• It does not boast; it is not proud.
~ Have we been boastful … arrogant …or haughty?
~ Are we displaying an attitude of being more superior or smarter than the other?
• It is not rude.
~ Have we been rude … intolerant … or harsh with each other?
• It is not self-seeking.
~ Have we been living together in partnership —not allowing our individual wants to take precedence over our relationship as a marital team?
~ Have we been serving or mostly expecting to receive from our marriage partner?
• It is not easily angered.
~ Have we been especially irritable —or hypersensitive?
• It keeps no record of wrongs.
~ Are we being too “historical” with each other?
~ Are we keeping score of that which we shouldn’t?
• Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
~ Have we been amusing ourselves and taking delight in that, which would not please God?
~ Have we been self-pleasuring ourselves at the expense of our marital partner’s needs?
~ When we converse are we speaking the truth in love?
• It always protects.
~ Have we been protecting each other’s feelings?
~ Have we rudely embarrassed or belittled each other?
~ Can it be in any way interpreted that we’re attacking each other’s character?
• Always trusts.
~ Have we been personally living lives of trustworthiness?
~ Have we been putting our trust in Christ that He will help us work through our problems?
~ And have we believed the best of our spouse, that he or she has our best interest at heart?
• Always hopes.
~ Have there been times when we’re being too quick to assume the worst in each other?
~ Has it been evident that we have hope because of Christ?
• Always perseveres.
~ Have we given up too easily on that, which we shouldn’t?
~ Are we persevering through problems and conflicts rather than caving into them?
Guidelines from additional scriptures for scripture based marriage check up list:
• Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)
~ Have we interacted with our spouse in the humility of the Lord?
~ Have we been living lives worthy of the calling we’ve received from God in our marriage?
• Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)
~ Are we remembering to be peacemakers —keeping in mind that it’s not as important “to be right as it is to do what’s right” for the good of our marital relationship and the Kingdom of God?
• When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I grew up, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
~ Are we showing maturity in how we’re treating each other —refraining from “game playing?”
• 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. (Ephesians 4:29)
~ Have we been talking to each other in unwholesome ways?
~ Have we been dispensers of grace by building each other up?
~ And have we been protecting each other’s feelings so our words benefit those who listen?
• And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Ephesians 4:30-31)
~ Are we grieving the Holy Spirit of God in how we’re treating each other?
~ Have we gotten rid of all bitterness and every form of malice?
We are additionally told, and then we are to ask the questions:
• But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. (Ephesians 5:3-4)
~ Have we protected our marriage sexually in what we’re viewing? This includes not looking at sexual entertainment anywhere outside of our marriage bed?
~ Have we been going the “extra mile” to show our trustworthiness, to honor our spouse and God in how we interact with those of the opposite sex? Are we putting up protective hedges so there’s not even a chance of anyone misunderstanding our words or our actions?
• Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)
~ Are we participating in anything that Christ would call “deeds of darkness?”
~ Are we exposing them as sinful and unhealthy?
• Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
~ Have we been making the most of every opportunity to grow our marriage so it reflects the love of Christ?
~ Have we been balanced in how we spend our time so we don’t burn out?
~ Are we seeking the Lord’s will in how we live so others may be attracted to Christ, as a result?
Steve and Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this list.
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Filed under: Communication Tools
8 responses to “SCRIPTURE BASED MARRIAGE CHECK-UP LIST”
(AUSTRALIA) This is great. Keep up the good work you are doing. Many marriages will be definitely saved. May God bless you more and more for your wonderful job.
(USA) The word is so powerful. The way it is being used here is a blessing. No one should stay defeated, but victorious in Him. God bless what you are doing.
(NAMIBIA) Is forgiveness a decision? How does one forgive a spouse for the second time for an emotional affair spanning at least three years?
(USA) Dear Toni, I’m so, so sorry for your pain. How deeply this must hurt your heart! So sorry. You ask if forgiveness is a decision, and my answer is yes. It’s not a decision that you’re making for your husband’s sake, but a decision to release your “right” to be the one who punishes your husband. And also, it is a decision to stop taking in the poison that unforgiveness brings with it when you drink of the bitterness it delivers to every part of your being. It is more for your sake, than anyone else’s that you make this decision.
I encourage you to go into the “Bitterness and Forgiveness” topic on this web site and ask God to help you to release that which you should. It could be a very long process, but a journey that is important to take. As you read through the quotes and various articles, you will see that forgiveness and reconciliation and the building up of trust again (if it can ever be rebuilt) are separate decisions. God requires that we forgive, but he also gave us a brain and a discerning spirit to use to protect ourselves from further hurt, so what you do beyond that point are separate decisions you are allowed to make (as long as they don’t violate other biblical principles). Whether you can ever trust your husband and whether you should, is something you will need to work out with him and with God.
Obviously, there are many marital issues involved. I’m not saying that you are to blame. You are not. No spouse deserves to be cheated on. He made these horrible decisions by his own lack of integrity and strength of character. If he was bothered by something in your marriage, he should have manned up and worked with you to change matters. His excuses are just that– excuses! He decided to do what he did and he with those choices he hurt you in ways that you don’t deserve.
But now that this is all brought out into the light, there are additional choices to make. Can he be trusted again? Can your heart allow yourself to trust him? Is he repentant –TRULY repentant and if so, how will he demonstrate that he is sincerely sorry. What will he do to protect your relationship so this doesn’t happen again? You can’t allow him to treat your heart like a convenience store –that he uses what he likes about you but goes elsewhere for the rest. Marriage is about being all-inclusively faithful. If he can’t partner with you in that way, YOU have additional decisions to make. We have a lot of articles in the “Surviving Infidelity” and other topics, which would be important for you to read through so you can process through all of this and decide what boundaries you need to set in place and how much of yourself you can trust your husband with in the future.
And then, there may be additional issues (every marriage has them) — weak places that you both need to work on so your marriage is stronger. It’s important to talk about them and see what you can do to change them.
There isn’t any one set of solutions I, or anyone else can give you. Invite God to be your Wonderful Counselor on this journey with you and follow His leading. You have a lot to pray through, grieve through, and seriously consider now that your husband has stabbed your heart with this horrible betrayal. Please know my heart goes out to you and my prayers are lifted up to God, on your behalf.
Thank you so much for your thoughts. As a marriage counselor, it is so encouraging to see Biblically based helps that dig into the wisdom of God and not just relatability/compatibility.
How do you get this across to someone who doesn’t believe in anything biblical? He was raised by the daughter of a preacher and while he believes in the positive teachings of the Bible, he is very turned off by anything religious based. I don’t know how to reach him….
Jodie, yours is one of the hardest mission field that anyone will have to work through, and that is communicating the gospel without words. If you preach with words, sadly, you may slam his ears shut. But if you live it, asking God to say the words to him, God can use you to still communicate His gospel. We have a topic on this web site that you may find helpful to read through: Unbelieving Spouse. Please prayerfully read all you can. I hope it will help you as you live out God’s gospel by your actions and let our Wonderful Counselor fill in His Word.
Hi Cindy and Steve. Thanks for your many messages of encouragement in marriage.
My questions / comments are:
1. What does the bible say about a marriage union. Is it truely exclusive of all others?.
2. How do we deal with matters where we are failing to compromise to move forward as we have hit a road block in our lives.