Do you actively work on strengthening your marriage? What may have seemed like an easy relationship to maintain when you were dating, takes work to build and maintain after you are married. Satan is willingly trying to destroy marriages everywhere, regardless of whether a couple attends church every Sunday and is active in their church or if a couple doesn’t believe in God. The Bible is full of advice on how to treat one another, including in a marriage.
Here are seven Biblical ways to strengthen your marriage.
#7 Don’t Make Selfish Decisions
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
This is easier said than done, but what does it really mean? If you are demanding instead of asking a preference or opinion, you are probably coming into a situation selfishly. Husbands and wives have many responsibilities. Sometimes one spouse may make commitments that don’t fit into the schedule and demand the commitments are met. For example, a wife makes plans to have a couple over for dinner without checking with her husband and then demands he cancel an important meeting that will require him to stay late at work. Instead of turning this type of situation into a feud, both spouses need to take a step back and speak lovingly. Maybe it means the wife reschedules dinner or the husband cut the meeting a little short.
#6 Study the Bible Together to Renew Your Mind (Romans 12:1-2)
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
There are many ways you can renew your mind and become like-minded. This is incredibly important in a marriage. Ever wake up and thing, “Who is this person?” when you look at your spouse? Take this as a sign that you need to spend time talking and connecting. A great Bible study will strengthen your bond and create intimacy because you are like-minded. If you actively practice this, you will increase your ability to see where the other person is coming from on important spiritual issues and there will be more love, trust and respect in your relationship. Taking the time to study the Bible together frequently will help the small things throughout your day run smoothly.
#5 Surround Yourselves with Other Couples Who Will Strengthen and Encourage You
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.””
This verse certainly does not mean completely cut everyone out of your life who has different morals, but if you have spent time with a mature Christian couple, you will feel a sense of strength and encouragement. An individual (and a couple) who focuses on developing Biblical morals has an inner beauty that uplifts those around them, especially other Christians. Spending time with other Christians you admire in Bible studies, over dinner and the mundane parts of your day will greatly impact you and your marriage.
#4 Practice Being Vulnerable
Genesis 2:25 “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
Reread the last three words of the verse: “were not ashamed.” This verse means more than just the physical intimacy in a marriage, it means being completely open and vulnerable about what is in your heart. Help your spouse peel back the layers of fears, hopes, dreams, disappointments and joys. Openly share this with your spouse and focus on creating a safe and accepting environment in order to do so. Being vulnerable often comes naturally when you are dating, but Satan knows how to divide you and your spouse – even when you don’t mean to put up a wall. The more conscious of being vulnerable you are, the stronger your marriage will become.
#3 Be Understanding of One Another
1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Wives also need to be understanding of their husbands, but ladies, we sometimes make it hard for our men to follow along when we are talking. Men, do you ever think (or say), “Can you please get to the point?” When a wife hears this, she is actually hearing, “I don’t care what you are saying. Hurry up!” This is one example of a conversation that can suddenly go down the wrong path as feelings are hurt because there is a lack of understanding! The more understanding you are of how your spouse’s brain is wired and the stresses they are dealing with, the better you will connect and treat each other lovingly.
#2 Listen to Each Other
Proverbs 18:13 “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
What does it truly mean to listen to one another? First, put down the cell phone and other electronic devices that send the message that what your spouse is saying is not important! When you actively listen to your spouse, your eyes and ears are intent to learn what they will say next. Don’t assume what the other is going to say or think about the next thing to “one-up” your husband or wife. Hearing their concerns means you don’t write them off and you try to understand where you are coming from. If your spouse tells you something you don’t appreciate, be understanding of where they are coming from and determine if God is using them to let you in on something important!
#1 Thank God for Your Spouse
Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,”
If you recall, Paul was writing to the church at Philippi and they began their letter with “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” Do you think they agreed with every word and action the members of the church (imperfect humans) said and did? No, but they were thankful for them! He thanked God for everything they thought about this church, meaning they did not dwell on the negative. Imagine if you thanked God not just your spouse, but for the things you cherish about them. This keeps you focused on the blessings God brings you through your spouse. If you read the rest of Philippians, you will notice how Paul and Timothy instruct the church and it shows that being thankful does not mean you only discuss the upbeat and happy topics. When you need to talk to your spouse about something unpleasant and “hard,” start by giving thanks to God instead of creating a mental list of why you are right and they are wrong.
Ultimately, the best way to strengthen your marriage is to ask God to open your eyes to what’s happening in your marriage. Sometimes small things build up and you just need to discuss them. Other times, your spouse may say or do something that triggers a negative thought or feeling from your past. Regardless of exactly what the issue is, if you are having trouble in your marriage, seek counsel from your pastor, a Christian counselor or even a trustworthy friend. God provides help to those who ask (Matthew 7:7). If your marriage is in great shape, then actively find ways to continue improving it and learning about your spouse. God will bless you will a strong marriage if you ask Him and diligently seek out the steps!
Article by Elise Cleary
I am a Christian writer and editor that lives in northern Michigan and thoroughly enjoy music, movies, TV shows, books and other entertainment with a Christian focus. My favorite song is "Oceans" by Hillsong United because it reminds me that has big plans for me and everyone else who puts their trust in Him. There are many movies that have impacted my life, but a few include God's Not Dead, The Shunning and Letters to God. I also write for www.faithandentertainment.com and love connecting with readers, so please don't hesitate to contact me! When I'm not writing I enjoy watching movies and laughing with my busy toddler and husband.