Some of the teachings in the bible that are instructions for believers are also closely related or mentioned with marriage. For example, the Faith, Hope, & Love verse in 1 Corinthians 13 provides a definition of love that includes
This post will include some of the things that the bible teaches that are helpful to marriage. One thing that we can appreciate about what the bible teaches about marriage is that the principles are never outdated. We can stand on them permanently.
What the Bible Teaches About Marriage: Be compassionate
Colossians 3:12 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
This passage helps us to relate to our spouse however we are willing. Compassion allows us to serve our spouse and do our best to understand where they are spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. It’s interesting that in this passage, compassion is listed first.
That makes me think that we must first have compassion before we can truly engage with our partner in the other qualities listed, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. But with compassion, we are equipped to have difficult conversations, to face tough situations, and to be present with our spouse. This is a practice and a quality that will always be helpful in marriage. It will never be unreasonable or not needed to be there for our spouse.
And even more so than that, it’s not always by our own definitions or own perspectives that we do this work. It may go without saying, but it’s important to operate from our spouse’s perspective whenever we are aiming to be compassionate. That means we should listen to the needs, pay attention to how they are feeling, and use that to serve them in whatever ways they need.
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
We may know that we should give in marriage, even before we speak our vows, but we can’t fully know what it means to give until we are living in our marriage. Giving takes on a new meaning when we are giving with our spouse. This passage is perfect for marriage because we must learn to not expect from our giving. Giving, especially in marriage, is not a means to anything except to love and help our spouse in any way that we are able, in accordance with the divine order we are given to take care of our spouse.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Listening may be one of the most important part of a healthy marriage. Without paying attention to what we are hearing from our spouse, we are left guessing and wondering, neither of which will help us. But truly listening is the key to ensuring that we are equally yoked, as scripture also explains. To agree with one another, we need to know how our actions affect our loved one.
Listening doesn’t just mean hearing. It also means being observant to surroundings, tone of voice, patterns, and everything that our spouse is consciously or unconsciously providing as a way of asking help. And, it’s also always a good idea to take our spouse at their word. Don’t be in the practice of saying or thinking, they didn’ really mean that or dismissing what they say. Operate based on what they say because the bible also says that, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Matthew 12:34b
Listen as a way to be a better spouse. Listen to anticipate and be prepared for what your spouse will need. Listen because it will help and bless your marriage.
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
The bible may not address specific details about our everyday lives such as how we divide chores or the exact words that we should use in every circumstance, or how exactly to take care of our bodies in every way, but it does address everything from a spiritual aspect if we pay attention.
Taking care of our bodies is important for so many different reasons. In faith, the passage above helps us to understand that there is purpose in taking care of ourselves. That purpose is to honor our creator from whom we have received life. In marriage, this practice is important to support one another.
We don’t always know the end result of our self-care however we know that the practice is better for us than not doing so. The passage also reminds us that we are not our own but we were bought with a price. Keeping that in mind helps us to be other-focused and doing what is within our power to care for our spouse as well.
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Faith, as the passage refers to as a substance, in the King James Version, is what connects us to and empowers us by God. Faith, in a marriage, is the main foundation upon which we can grow, serve, learn, love, and all of the other functions in marriage. But faith is a first, primary, necessary element to the other aspects.
For this reason, we should approach faith as a journey together with our spouse. That means we shouldn’t place unreasonable expectations on where our spouse should be in their faith but we should aim to be in partnership whenever possible to encourage one another to strengthen our faith together for the purpose of glorifying God.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Finally, we are blessed to receive a harvest in this lifetime and in our marriages. This passage reminds of us a very important truth. God chose us before we had the opportunity to choose Him. Knowing this can always help us to be humble about our purpose in life in marriage.
We all know that every detail will not be perfect in marriage. We will have trials and troubles but we always have the promises of God while we go through them. This passage tells us that God not only wants us to love one another but also commands us to do so. Of course, this will apply to marriage as well. And when we are obedient in this, we will be satisfied with our offering to one another.