How to Have a Godly Marriage
The Closer You are to God, The Closer You Are to Eachother
My husband Isaac, and I go to church every Sunday. Once we determined that we were getting married, we decided that we wanted to do marriage counseling at our church to solidify and seek wisdom from others’ to help us start our marriage on the right foot. I will never forget the drawing that our pastor made. Our first day in marriage counseling he walked up to a whiteboard and wrote a triangle with God at the top and Isaac’s name along with mine in the other two points of the triangle. He then said “This is the foundation of your marriage. When Isaac fails-God will not, and when you fail-God will not. So always strive to push yourself close to God because the closer you get to him, the closer you and Isaac will be”. For me, this was extremely powerful because it encouraged us to push each other to always be better and always be faithful even through tough times. When one of us fails, we can hold one another up. And when we as a couple work together for the Kingdom, we, in turn, will be closer. Here is an example of what our Pastor shared with us.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:9
LEARN YOUR SPOUSE'S LOVE LANGUAGE
There are five different types of love language: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Figuring out what your Spouse’s love language is will help you deeper understand their need as your spouse. For example, In marriage counseling, I found that my type of love language is quality time. In order to feel as though I am appreciated and loved, I often need quality one on one time with Isaac. In turn, Isaac needs affirmation. How he feels loved and appreciated is when I speak highly of what he is doing and the hard work he is accomplishing. From this, we are able to change our daily habits to be sure to reflect our spouse’s love language. Isaac will dedicate 30 minutes a day to solely pay attention and spend time with me, and I will give positive affirmation to the things he is doing and desires to do in the future. This allows us to both feel needed and desired each and every day.
This ties us into God’s command, “. . . just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34.
LOVE & RESPECT: A BALANCING ACT
When Isaac asked me to Marry him *Picture of our engagement above* I was so excited and so terrified! In the bible, it talks about the duties of a Godly wife and the expectations of a Godly husband.
“Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12
“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.” Ephesians 5:22-24
“Enjoy life with the woman whom you love” Ecclesiastes 9:9
The Bible talks about marriage in such a beautiful, respectable way. It is to be honored by the unity of two individuals before Christ. But what is the best way to honor your spouse? Through Love and Respect.
The night Isaac proposed, I messaged my Pastor and asked for help-seeking out any information I could find that would help me live up to these expectations of a Godly wife. The next day he responded giving me a book to read, “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs. In the book, it talked about how man and women demand different types of love. Men demand respect, and when they feel respected, they, in turn, provide love. Women demand love and when they feel loved they provide respect. Often, however, we forget that men and women are wired differently and that an act of love from a husband might not match what a woman’s act of love might be. In this, we are to remember that men and women are different in their thought processes and that in order to maintain balance we are to understand our spouse and their needs (as talked about in the five love languages) and try to put that in front of our own needs.
When we put our needs first and not our own we fall into what Eggerichs’ describes as the “Crazy Cycle”. In order to avoid this, we must put our spouse before ourselves and understand our spouse’s daily needs.
PRAY TOGETHER... EVERYDAY
Prayer is often used only in times of despair or stress however it is a wonderful way to grow closer to God and to grow closer to your spouse. For a husband and wife that pray together every day, they are not only growing in their faith but also allowing each other to understand their weaknesses and the things that they are struggling with. Prayer also can help diffuse and eliminate fights in a relationship because it makes the priority of the situation getting through it together instead of attacking each other apart. Your prayer wouldn’t be “God help my husband because he annoys the crap out of me” but instead “God I am struggling to understand this situation, please give me the strength to endure and the wisdom to overcome this challenge”. As you pray this, your husband will see that you are trying to better yourself as his wife, but also letting him know that this is something you two will need to face together as husband and wife, not separate-as man and woman.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE LIKE MINDED
As a twenty-year-old- married couple this is extremely hard to do. Our lives are surrounded by people who haven’t even had their first girlfriend/boyfriend, let alone are married and committed to something greater than themselves. For us, it is hard because we don’t wish to live a double life, but instead, want to bestow upon others how great it is to be faithful and loving to another. We often surround ourselves with older couples who have experienced things we haven’t experienced and can provide insight in times of trouble or doubt. With this, we are able to be an example to others and to grow with each other along with our faith. If we didn’t surround ourselves with these dedicated, experienced, married couples, we would struggle and look elsewhere for support. Surround yourself with people with common goals, that way when you fall or they fall, there will be support.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see, the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
The world around us is filled with many temptations. Sex, Drugs, Porn, Greed, Pleasure, Adultery are a few of many to name. These along with many others can contribute to complications in a marriage and even divorce. These things, however, will not be removed from society which means we as married individuals need to set up guardrails to prevent us from falling over the edge and committing a crime in our relationships. The best way to do this is to be open to your spouse and talk about some areas of concern and/or some areas in which you are concerned for your significant other. This will allow for you and your spouse to eliminate those temptations but setting up standards of which your relationship is to withhold. For example, If my husband is uncomfortable with me hanging around a certain group of people, he could voice his concern and why he feels this way and 9/10 his gut instinct will save me from doing something that could reflect upon our relationship badly (this is just an example, not something that we have encountered in our relationship). If you are unable to tell your spouse who you’ve been with, where you have been, and what you were doing it almost always something that can hurt or destroy your relationship. Establishing these guardrails will help prevent you from being in those situations and help you better your relationship with your significant other. Being faithful to your spouse also shows your faithfulness to God by honoring your commitment to being a Godly Husband/Wife.
“You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves” 1 Corinthians 6:19
HONOR AND RESPECT YOUR MARRIAGE-EVEN IN PUBLIC!
As a husband/wife your duty is to protect your marriage at all costs. This is even truer in today’s society because people will turn on you on a dime. Honor and protect your spouse in every situation. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your marriage and to show others that your spouse is your main priority and that you do not wish to bring disrespect to them in any way.
This can be implemented in public situations such as being with a group of friends, eating in public without your spouse, and even in everyday life. When you live your life protecting your spouse’s honor and the love you two share you end up putting boundaries upon what can be said/done to you that could directly affect your relationship.
For example, if I ever find myself in a situation in which I know my spouse would feel uncomfortable about me being in, I simply remove myself. This ultimately shows my spouse that he is my priority and that I do not wish to cause conflict or disappointment in our marriage. It also establishes a deeper trust between us and allows us to prosper together as a couple.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
All together a marriage is a representation of love, respect, trust, and communication. A marriage that is constantly at work for improvement and that is constantly honoring God’s purpose will ultimately succeed. God wants us to love one another especially our spouse who has been chosen directly for us to admire, take care of, and love for eternity.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3-4
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© 2020 Morgan Stump