A marriage that endures through the decades is the result of God’s grace through two people who are committed to one another. Sometimes as I counsel couples, I’m reminded of how important it is when it comes to marriage to keep the basics in mind. If we forget the basic truths about biblical marriage, we easily make assumptions that, over time, undermine the marriage relationship.
Here are ten basics—in no particular order—that every married Christian should remember:
1. We are passionate about the things we work on and think about the most.
Good marriages take effort. It requires real work to understand your spouse and honor and love him or her. A spouse who is passionate about a strong marriage thinks about his or her spouse often and constantly invests in the relationship.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.—1 Peter 3:7
2. Focusing on your needs only will ruin a marriage.
Every husband has unique needs, as does every wife. Ephesians 5 speaks to the individual nature of each spouse’s needs as it commands wives to honor their husbands and husbands to love their wives. But don’t miss the obvious—the command to each spouse is to meet the other’s needs, not to focus on his or her own needs.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord…. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;—Ephesians 5:22, 25
Charity…seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;—1 Corinthians 13:4–5
3. Most marriages will hit a “wall.”
Sometimes a couple is surprised by a season of difficulty in their marriage. Because they never expected it to happen, they assume their marriage is already as good as gone.
If, when you encounter such a season, you recognize that every difficulty can be worked through with the grace of God, biblical truth (perhaps including wise counsel), and a couple determined to strengthen their relationship, you’ll get through it and often be stronger for it.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,—Ephesians 3:20