Marriage Success

The Church at Severn Run   -  

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I thought it might be a good time to examine a “Christian marriage.”

Simply put, the key difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage is that Christ is the center of the marriage. When man and woman are united in Christ, their goal is to grow in Christ-likeness throughout their married lives. Non-Christians may have many goals for their marriage, but Christ-likeness is not one of them.

This is not to say that all Christians, when they marry, begin immediately to work toward this goal. Many young Christians don’t even realize this actually is the goal, but the presence of the Holy Spirit within each of them works with them, maturing each one so that the goal of Christ-likeness becomes increasingly clear to them. When both partners make becoming more like Christ their individual goal, a strong, vibrant Christian marriage begins to form.

A Christian marriage is founded on the understanding that the Bible gives a clear description of the roles of husband and wife and a commitment to fulfilling those roles. The husband is to assume leadership in the home . This leadership should not be condescending, dictatorial, or patronizing to the wife, but should be in accordance with the example of Christ leading the church. Christ loved the church (His people) with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect, and selflessness. In this same way, husbands are to love their wives.

The Bible outlines Christian marriage in Ephesians 5:21-26a-b, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 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,…”

Wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord”, not because they are to be subservient to them, but because both husband and wife are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”and because there is to be an authority structure within the home, with Christ at the head. Respect is a key element of the desire to submit; wives must respect their husbands as husbands are to love their wives as we go on to read in verse 33, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Mutual love, respect, and submission form a cornerstone in a Christian marriage. Built upon these three principles, husband and wife will grow in Christ-likeness, growing together, not apart, as each matures spiritually in their walk with Christ.

Another key component in a Christian marriage is selflessness as described in Philippians 2:3–4, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” The principle of humility described in these verses is critical to a strong Christian marriage.

Both husband and wife must consider their partner’s needs before their own, which requires a selflessness that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within them. Humility and selflessness do not come naturally to us because of our fallen or broken nature. They are traits only the Holy Spirit can produce, nurture, and perfect in us. That is why strong Christian marriages are characterized by the spiritual disciplines:

  • Bible study

  • Scripture memory

  • Prayer

  • Meditation on the things of God

When husband and wife practice these disciplines, each is strengthened and matured, which naturally strengthens and matures the marriage.

A successful marriage is something a couple creates together. It is success requires devotion, diligence, and an abiding love.

An abiding, strong, lasting marriage takes years to develop.

  • Do you possess humility Before God and seek guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s sanctification of your marriage?

  • Do you possess a capacity for patience and forgiveness for your spouse?

  • Have you become a beacon of integrity with your spouse, the one person above all others they trust, your entire marriage?

  • Do you spend quality time together being known as “the couple that does things together” and feel the joy that comes from experiencing live together?

Become “one flesh” with your spouse intellectually, emotionally, and physically (Genesis 2:24). Let your spouse know they are “the one” and there will never be another. Ever.

In all things, be selflessly-devoted to your spouse. Submit to one another in true love and loyal dedication.