5 Bible Verses and How They Guide Biblical Marriage

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”


“…in all things…”  We live in a tumultuous world!  Cancel culture and censorship, gender dysphoria, and a global pandemic are a few of the disturbing changes we are living through today. The isolation and stress we experience harms our physical and mental health. We are hurting. For many people, these difficult circumstances cause fear and anxiety, especially in a marriage when both spouses aren’t united as Christians. But there is hope!  


As a Christian, I believe and rest in the knowledge that none of these things have caught God by surprise.  He is not asleep or inattentive. He is present, aware, and working. I don’t always know the best answer to everything in the world around me, but I do know God.  I know that when I choose Him, everytime, I and my family will be right where we need to be. I can take refuge in the truth that “…God works for the good of those who love Him…”


Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”


“What!  It says that?  How can that be?” (Says the 13 year old that still lives inside of me – He’s been grounded now for quite a long time – hasn’t been out of his room in years.)  Believe me, I can’t make this stuff up.  These commands are in the Bible, and the call to set aside your interests for those of others will absolutely change your life, your marriage, and all your other relationships.  To be a Christian is to be different.


Number One: We are to be humble – we are not “all that”.  Number Two: Get rid of selfishness and serve others.  Jesus deserved to be accepted and regarded as King of the earth, instead we shamefully crucified Him.  He came as a servant, and through his actions, taught us how to serve others rightly.  Number Three: Know your spouse.  What are they interested in?  What gives them joy and happiness?  We must stop focussing on ourselves and think more of those around us, beyond what they can do for us. Only then can we humbly serve one another in love, as Jesus did.


Ephesians 5:33 “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”


Did you hear that? Love AND respect.  We live in a love dominated culture – We write songs about it, purchase cards for each other about it, and glorify it in movies and television.  Our culture doesn’t, however, play up an equally important aspect of relationships – respect.  It never occurred to me that my wife was being disrespectful to me in our arguments; I just knew I didn’t like the way she attacked me.  She wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, but she was trying to manipulate me just like I was trying to manipulate her.  We both had our rules for how to do relationships, and we wanted the other to do it our way.  Round and round we’d go, seeing whose selfish attitude would win this time.  Sound familiar?  We found glorious change when we went through Love and Respect by Emmerson Eggerichs and realized how selfish we both were. Actually, we didn’t have serious marriage problems – we had serious Jesus problems.


We called ourselves Christians, read the Bible, and went to church; but we were both picking and choosing which parts of the Bible and church we were actually willing to follow.  Jesus said in John 14:15  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”  He didn’t say pick and choose.  The Bible commands husbands to love and wives to respect.  Notice that Jesus didn’t say “when they deserve it.”  When you unconditionally love or respect your spouse as your Savior has done for you, you will see your marriage change for the better.  Yes, this may be a very long and difficult process. If your spouse is slow to change, do this for Jesus; trusting that He knows what He is doing and that He loves you – that’s why He went to the cross for you!  Regardless of how your spouse responds, you have done what Christ has asked you to do.  (Please note – abuse is never part of this process. If your spouse is abusing you, get out!)  “Well done, good and faithful servant…”  I highly recommend you read and understand Love and Respect, by Emmerson Eggerichs especially chapters 23 and 24. 


Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”


In our flesh, our natural self as we were born, we cannot love or respect others as Christ teaches us to.  We can try, we can be “nice”, we can confuse love and lust – but none of this will last. Because of sin, to love others as Christ loves them requires change.  This is what being “born again” is all about.  When the power that resurrected Jesus from the grave comes into your life, you can die to yourself, distancing yourself from the worldly person you once were, and let Christ’s power give you victory against sin in ways you never believed possible.  You can love or respect a spouse that is not lovely or respectable at the moment, knowing that you are doing what your Lord and Savior has called you to do.


John 14:6 “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


When we call ourselves Christians (Christ-followers) we are signing up to change.  Our life can’t look the same as it did when we were following the ways of the world.  We can’t have it both ways. There is no third option – We are or we aren’t.  By His death Jesus has made atonement for all our sins , making us acceptable to God in Heaven.  There is no other way to achieve this; we can’t be “good” enough or work hard enough to ensure our salvation.  We are not expected to be perfect as Christians.  God knows we are still human, still in the flesh, still in a broken and fallen world – so He gives us grace when we slip.  What a gift!  What God wants is for us to know in our heart that we love Him, want to follow Him, and desire to be with Him for eternity.  No more one foot in and one foot out – we have to be all in!  


As authentic Christians, we see Jesus differently and trust Him for today – no matter how crazy a day we are having.  We rest in Him and the love for us that compelled Him to die on a cross.  We change how we live our life.  We want to read the Bible and learn everything it says about relationships, especially marriage.  We distance ourselves from worldliness in our past.  We no longer see our spouse as the enemy; we now know who the real enemy is.  We look beyond our spouse and see Jesus cheering us on to make big changes in our life and live the “one another” verses that are in the Bible. 


What is at stake here is OUR eternity, and we get to choose.