So often when we study the Bible regarding marriage we look to the classic texts. Passages like Genesis 2, Matthew 19, and Ephesians 5. Those are great texts on the topic, but the whole Bible shares principles that are helpful for this most foundational of all relationships. Here are seven Bible principles I have chosen from Scripture that will transform your marriage.
- Both partners are sinners (Romans 3:23). Marriage is tough because people are flawed. Each person will make mistakes. We struggle with insecurity, jealousy, guilt, greed, lust, and selfishness. We are often deceived by sin and act impulsively giving into our fleshly nature. We must give our spouse grace and understand they are not perfect; we certainly should understand our need for them to extend grace to us.
- Your thoughts shape your love (Prov. 23:7; Phil. 4:8; Ex. 20:17). As a man thinks, so is he! We must choose each day to think good about our spouse. We should adopt a mindset of gratitude and joy. A mindset that says I am the luckiest guy in the world to be married to her. Consciously choosing to think well of your spouse and focus on their positive qualities greatly impacts your marital happiness and success.
- The golden rule still applies in marriage (Mat. 7:12). Jesus’ basic relationship rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated. This principle shapes our behavior and actions toward others. But for some reason we often neglect to see how it also applies to our spouse. When you are frustrated and upset with your spouse, challenge yourself to follow the golden rule!
- Bitterness will flavor everything in a marriage (Heb. 12:15-17). The Hebrew writes says that we should see to it that no “root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble.” Bitterness lies below the surface, like the root of the plant. The outgrowth of it in our marriages involve harsh communication, anger, and a closed heart. We must not let bitterness from past wrongs and hurts live within our marriage. We must work out our problems and extend forgiveness. If bitterness is allowed to take root it will influence all of our marriage till it eventually overtakes it.
- Greed destroys a union (Mat. 23:25; 2 Peter 2:3; 14; Mat. 6:24). Greed harms a marriage because it causes money to be prioritized over the spouse. When one or both partners focus on material gain and profit, it strains the relationship. It regularly creates excessive debt and requires over-working which hinder the closeness of the marriage. Many couples have ruined their marriage because they were greedy!
- Look up and out (John 4:34-35). Jesus, in speaking about a spiritual harvest, encourages his disciples to lift up their eyes and see that the fields are white unto harvest. While we need to focus on our marriage, we also need to lift up our eyes to the needs of others. When a couple chooses to not be wrapped up in their own problems, but intentionally work together to serve others, they often draw closer together. They are able to put their individual lights for Christ together and shine brighter!
- Do all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31: John 17:1-4). Our marriages are about the glory of God. Satan desires to destroy every marriage, because it hinders the glory of God. Spouses must realize that more is at stake with their marriage than their personal happiness. Quite literally the glory of God in the world is at stake. We must deny ourselves and our own glory, yielding to God’s greater purpose and glory through our marriage.
The Bible contains many more Biblical principles that can transform our marriages!