Here are 6 of my favorite Bible passages about marriage… each passage challenges me, instructs my heart, and keeps me grounded in the beauty of how and why God made marriage. At the end of each verse, I’ve written a question for wives to consider.
It helps to understand the significance of each if you read the verses out loud.
- THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF MARRIAGE– companionship, complementary help, commitment, oneness: “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’… Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” ~Genesis 2Am I living out God’s intent in my marriage? Am I a companion and helper to my husband? Am I a one-flesh partner he can cling to? Am I unashamed in my intimacy with him?
- WHAT IS LOVE?– a convicting passage that gives an action-oriented definition: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8Am I loving him with this kind of love? Would these adjectives describe my general attitude toward and interactions with my husband? If this is the definition of love, am I truly loving my husband?
- ROLES WITHIN MARRIAGE– submission and service, helper and head, love and respect: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor… in the same way husbands should love their wives as their own body. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” ~Ephesians 5: 22-33Do I have a submitted heart? Is the GOSPEL of Jesus’ lavish love for the church and His bride’s loving response to Him the focus and motivation of my heart in this area of submission? As I don’t only want to be loved when I am perfectly lovable, am I excusing disrespectful attitudes as if respect is only to be given to my husband when it’s “deserved”?
- WHAT ABOUT THE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP?– once married, we no longer have sole authority over our bodies: “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” ~1 Corinthians 7:1-40
Am I holding myself back from my husband, retaining authority and “rights,” depriving him from what is rightfully his (even “only” sometimes)? Does my heart attitude, my physical action, or my response to him indicate that I am sexually unreceptive to him?
- NATURE OF THE COMMITMENT– a lifetime covenant of God joining two into one: “They are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” ~Matthew 19:8-9
Do I entertain thoughts of or toy with actions of separation? Am I (intentionally or unintentionally) separating what God has joined together?
- GROWTH AND COMPANIONSHIP– God refines and strengthens us in marriage: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him– a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Am I convinced of this? Do I treat my husband as the gift that he is to me? Do I value him as a co-laborer, someone who will help me when I fall, stand by me when I am attacked, and keep me warm when I would be cold and lonely? Do I see him for the person he is, and value the role he has in my life? Do I intentionally encourage the three-stranded nature of our covenant before and with God– am I doing my part to help us grow spiritually stronger as a couple?