No matter your background, or what your relationship has gone through, there is hope for you to get a strong, healthy, and godly marriage. That hope only comes through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Here are the 12 keys to a healthy, godly marriage:
1. Put God First
Having the right relationship with your spouse starts with having the right relationship with God. The Word of God says in Proverbs 3 verse 6:
In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. (Living Bible)
When you put God first, you put God front and center in your marriage. By putting God first you both rely on God for guidance and direction, and you also obey His Word concerning your life and living in general. When both parties are aligned in their belief in God and the power of His Word, they will both go in the same direction.
Putting God first and making His Word the guideline for actions and behaviours in the marriage, ensures that there will be agreement. The Bible says in Amos 3 verse 3:
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (NKJV)
Walking together in the true sense brings agreement in marriage. Having God in your marriage creates a powerful three-fold cord.
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (NKJV)
2. Pray Together Daily
Married couples should pray together daily and regularly. You should pray in agreement because the Bible says in Matthew 18:19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven”.
Agree on the issues you are praying about, and agree on the Word of God that you are standing on for the things you desire. When you are in agreement, your prayers are powerful. Also, pray over your spouse throughout the day. You get answers to prayers when you pray in agreement.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
3. Study the Word of God Together
As a couple, you should study the Word of God together, discuss what you have received from your joint Bible study, and pray on it together. This will guide your relationship and help you both grow in grace and faith.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)
Recall the Bible says in Matthew 7: 24 – 27 you should build your house on the rock by hearing the Word of God and doing it. Doing this as a couple will help to build a healthy and godly marriage.
4. Respect Each Other Even During Disagreements
When you have disagreements, things like name-calling, hitting, pushing, throwing things, yelling, and belittling should be off-limits. The Bible says that a man should love his wife the way Christ loved the church.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. (NKJV)
See other scriptures:
1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (New King James Version)
2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (New King James Version)
5. Seek to build your spouse by encouragement.
Wives, be your husband’s greatest cheerleader and husbands, be careful of being overly critical.
Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. (NKJV)
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. (NKJV)
6. Be Respectful, Gentle, and Patient With Each Other
Remember that you are both different people with different needs and desires. Do not try and change the other to conform to what you would want them to be. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
7. Laugh Together and Learn to Have Fun as a Couple
Find out what you both enjoy and do it! Have regular date nights, it is recommended it should be a minimum of twice per month.
A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (NKJV)
8. Be Faithful To One Another
Be faithful to one another at all times; that also means keeping pure in the areas of what you watch on TV, movies, and on the computer. This includes pornography, social media, texting or speaking on the phone with the opposite sex, meeting the opposite sex alone for lunch/dinner, and flirting. A good rule to follow is if you could not do it in front of your spouse, then you probably should not be doing it.
Hebrews 13: 4-5
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NKJV)
9. Have a Healthy Sex Life
As a married couple, you should be having sex at least two times per week. Enjoy each other and keep all intimacy dedicated just to your spouse. Carve out this time, put it on the schedule if you have to, but do not neglect this very important time of bonding and connecting with your spouse. (If there have been issues with adultery, pornography, or past sexual abuse, realize you will have to go through a healing process first).
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (NKJV)
15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. 16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. (NKJV)
10. Wives, Submit to Your Husbands
This should not be abusive in any way, but mutual and done with love. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Husbands should think and reflect on the ways and manner Christ loved the church, it will help immensely.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. (NKJV)
Read 1 Peter 3:1-11
11. Leave and Cleave
Leave your family of origin and cleave to your spouse and build your own home and family. This implies becoming one flesh with your spouse.
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (NKJV)
12. Never Use the “D” Word, Divorce
God’s desire is for you to have a healthy marriage that places Him at the center. Do not despair if you are not in a good place in your marriage, God can redeem what seems to be dead and lifeless, perhaps, instead of trying to change your spouse; allow God to change you!
Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC Founder of Hope Ministry www.stephaniereck.com Email: Hopeandencouragement4women@gmail.com Hope Ministry, @2021 Author of, "Disciplining Your Mind 30 Days to a Better You!"