Applying Biblical Principles to Marriage

Mutual interaction

Have you seen husbands and wives take digs at each other in public? On the other hand, have you observed couples who treat each other with utmost courtesy, respect, and mutual affection?

Of course, how they treat each other when no one else is around counts for a whole lot too!

Marriage enhancers

A concept that would revolutionize many a marriage is this: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her . . . . husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.

“He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church . . .” (Ephesians 5:25, 28-29).

Another marriage-enhancing principle is the Golden Rule: “. . . however you want people to treat you, so treat them . . .” (Matthew 7:12). Why shouldn’t this apply as well to marriage as anywhere else?

The Second Commandment says much the same thing: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). My wife is my closest neighbor. Shouldn’t I love her as myself?

Behavior that boomerangs

The paradox is that selfishness not only hurts one’s mate, but oneself as well. Why would a right-thinking husband want to hurt his wife—physically or emotionally? What could he possibly gain by that?

We must work at our marriages if our marriages are to work.

The more consistently we practice these principles, the happier our marriages will be. It just makes sense.

The same God who gave us marriage also teaches us how to treat one another.

Has what we’ve done so far not worked? Then how about giving His way a try?

happy couple-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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Making It Last

A woman we know mentioned waiting five years before purchasing a wedding gift—to have some assurance the marriage will last. I don’t know if she really does that, or if she was simply making a point.

So what prevents “I do” from becoming “I’m done!”?

We must keep God first in our marriage.

Where both husband and wife are devoted to God, the success of their marriage is practically guaranteed.

Why? Because both are submitting to God’s standards, such as forgiving one another, serving one another, and speaking the truth in love.

We must make up our minds to stay together.

This is what God wants for marriage (Matthew 19:1-9).

We must not even entertain the thought of divorce.

Instead, together we figure out some way to make it work! It just has to!

Marriage: too precious to throw away!


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If You Don’t Remember Anything Else About Your Wedding . . . .

More than a happy occasion

A wedding is both joyous and serious.

Question: What is the most important part of the ceremony? Answer: The exchange of vows.

The “I do” is a binding commitment each makes to the other, to stay together for the duration.

The only statute of limitations is “until death do us part.”

Seeing marriage through God’s eyes

As the couple make their solemn pledges, God and their friends are witnesses to this transaction.

God takes their promises seriously, and so should we. The exchange of vows is no place for silliness or frivolity. It is a holy transaction and must never be taken lightly!

“What therefore God has joined together,” Jesus said, “let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Unless both bride and groom are determined to maintain this mutual commitment, what value are their photogenic smiles?

wedding couple-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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The Violin Maker

From sweet to sour

After putting the finishing touches on an especially fine violin, he then crafted an elegant bow.

What sweet music they made together!


One day, however, their “music” sounded more like a screech.

“I don’t like what I hear,” said the Violin Maker. “What’s wrong?”

“She rubs me the wrong way,” complained the violin.

“He’s so high-strung!” said the bow.

“Remember,” said the Violin Maker, “how beautiful you once sounded?” “Yes,” said the violin. “I remember,” sighed the bow.

“Why not treat each other the way you’d like to be treated? Try it for one week, and see if the music doesn’t come back again.”

From sour to sweet

It was hard, but by week’s end, they were playing sweet melodies together—happier than ever.

And so was their Maker.

(Genesis 2:18-24; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:7)

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The Typo

In a study Bible I found a reference to “the scaredness of the marriage vows.” Scaredness?

This brings to mind the July evening in 1969 when Sara and I faced the preacher in front of a gathering of family and friends. Because of all I’d been taught about the permanence and significance of the marriage covenant, my palms were sweaty, and I kept telling myself, “I must not faint!”


To God, marriage vows really matter!

Our society is hurting because of lightly-taken, easily-broken marriage vows. God intends for these vows to be kept! (Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 19:6)

How much do they matter to us?

Could brides and grooms could use a bit more “scaredness” when they say, “I do”?

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Long-term commitment

An eighth-grade teacher told me that when he informed his class it was his 32nd wedding anniversary, their first response was dead silence. Then: “Wouldn’t that be boring to be married to someone that long?”

Not when we do it God’s way!

“Till death do us part”

The Bible is not a marriage manual, per se, yet it provides much practical wisdom on how to live together in harmony for a lifetime (Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7).


Every happy marriage proves it can be done!

Of course it won’t all be smooth sailing, but at least the two will not abandon ship. In time they can attain that we’ve-been-through-this-together perspective that only those who’ve been married awhile can enjoy.

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