The start of marriage is so exciting. It’s all fresh and new, and you’re both looking forward to a lifetime of happiness. You’ll go out of your way to do kind acts for each other and make each other feel loved. Then a few years (and perhaps a few kids) later, you’re both exhausted, the house is a mess, and all you really want is to get some sleep and a few minutes of ‘me time’. Weeks go by and you realise that it’s been awhile since you’ve spent real quality time together.
Marriage is a holy union, but unfortunately so many people take it for granted. Lots of couples are sadly getting divorced, some even cheating on each other. Other couples stay together but are completely miserable. Let’s not let ourselves get stuck in a rut or forget why we got married in the first place. Let’s allow ourselves to thrive in our marriages and to be one with our husbands, just like the Bible describes marriage to be (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6; Mark 10:6–9).
Here are a few ways to follow the Bible’s teachings on marriage. If we’re being totally honest, some of these may not come completely naturally to us. But as Christians and loving wives, let’s try our best to follow the Bible and what it says about marriage, and ‘bring good, not harm’ to our hubbies, all the days of our lives (Proverbs 31:12).
- Respect your husband (Ephesians 5:33) and submit to him (Ephesians 5:22–23). The Bible tells us that the man is the head of the household; that we need to submit to him, just as he submits to God (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22–23) and loves his wife more than himself (Ephesians 5:28). This might not come easy to some women in an age where we’ve grown to be so independent and reliant on ourselves, but remember this is meant to be out of love, obedience to God, and as a testimony of our faith (1 Peter 3:1–6). The man is the head of the household, just as Jesus is the head of the church, so treat him accordingly.
- Don’t lose your temper (James 1:19–20; Proverbs 21:19). Love is patient, kind, and is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:4–5). Getting angry because your hubby forgot to take out the rubbish or put the toilet seat down doesn’t quite fit the description of a godly kind of love. However, if he’s done something a little more extreme than that, don’t forget to be patient and gentle with him (Ephesians 4:20). We all make mistakes. If you do happen to get angry, don’t stay angry because that opens up the door to sin (Ephesians 4:26–27).
- Forgive wholeheartedly and don’t bring up past mistakes (Ephesians 4:32; 1 Corinthians 13:5). God forgives us for all our sins. Who are we to deny our husbands of our mere human forgiveness? Again, we all make mistakes. Once you’ve forgiven and forgotten, leave the past exactly where it is — the past. Love keeps no records of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), so try not to bring up any past mistakes if the mood should strike, no matter how tempting it may be.
- Don’t lie (Colossians 3:9; Proverbs 6:16–19). You should have no good reason to lie to your husband, right? If you have to hide something from him, should you really be doing it? If you have done something wrong, the right thing to do is tell him; don’t keep it from him. Love rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6).
- Humble yourself and serve your husband. As Christians, we should be modelling Jesus, which includes humbling ourselves and serving others (Philippians 2:3–8; Galatians 5:13). No task should be too lowly when it comes to serving, just as no task was too lowly for Jesus.
- Honour your marriage and resist temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 13:4). “But this would never be a problem for us!” … I know, but temptation isn’t usually a problem for newlyweds or even long-term couples… until it is. Couples don’t usually start out their relationships or marriages with a plan to commit adultery; they’re happy and completely in love… until something goes wrong along the way here or there, then temptation presents itself, and they are unable to resist. Marriage partly exists so you can satisfy each other’s needs, specifically to avoid sexual immorality and temptation (1 Corinthians 7:1–7).
- Don’t forget that you love each other and you’re there for each other. You were literally made for him so he wouldn’t be alone (Genesis 2:18–24). You were a part of him and now as a married couple you are reunited as one. You chose to be together for your whole lives for a reason. Remember that every day, and the little things that might normally bother you might not seem so bad after all. At the end of the day, love covers all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8).
What are your favourite Bible verses about marriage?