christian marriage: guidelines to live by

Christian marriage: guidelines to live by offers the Christian couple biblical suggestions, viewpoints, and principles on which to base their married lives together.

As followers of Christ, it is quite difficult at times to enjoy our lives and freedom as Christians in this secular world, where we have a society that shuns and numbs down the joys and virtues of the nuclear family, with all its pure values and wholesome ways of living; just as it should be and how it has been for many years in the past.

Isn't it interesting how our society and culture has changed from year to year in regards to getting married and staying married? Many years ago, our ancestors could not conceive of getting divorced; or if they did, there were very few couples doing so. In times of hardships and struggles they stayed with each other and stuck it out together, regardless of uncomfortable situations going on within their family unit.

christian marriage versus "shackin' up"

"Shackin' up", or so we call living together before marriage (in the US), is a term many don't want to hear because it denotes a negative connotation for what our young people and society feels free to do this day in time; however, this term indeed points out what exactly it is!

This is an act of rebellion to our societal norms and it rises up against the pure and wholesome standards of the nuclear family unit, of which God has placed us, and has meant for us to enjoy our family lives in as well. Our world's system wants to make it an OK thing and a right practice, even if we bring children into the world while living this way.

Nowadays, we see more couples out there, who interpret the concept of living together before marriage as the newly defined "family unit". They may or may not decide to marry after they have spent some time together as one, and/or have brought children into the world within this type of family lifestyle. This is in no way characteristic of a Christian marriage.

There is no stability in "shackin' up because it is so easy to pick up and leave the relationship whenever one feels like doing so. If there are children present, it makes it doubly hard on them because, many times, they have developed a bond or loving friendship and/or parental relationship to the other person as well. So leaving them is up-rooting their young lives as well.

If you are a believer in Christ, and have become serious about getting into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex; and you're wanting to make it a stable, permanent one; then go into it correctly by means of a Christian marriage.

Just shackin' up seems to have become the norm for many young couples these days, even with those who claim to be Christians! However, as followers of Christ, wishing to please Him and do His will, we know this is a sin in the eyes of our dear Lord, and you and I would not and should not ever participate in this wrongful practice for any reason. Christian marriage maintains a much higher standard for the believer.

Here, the Bible warns us of the dangers of engaging in the practices of pre-marital sex, and of living outside the bounds of holy matrimony:

  • Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
  • 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 tells us, "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."
  • Ephesians 5:3 says, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named upon you, as becometh saints." Lastly,
  • 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, the Apostle Paul instructs, "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide, even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." 

important issues/concerns within a christian marriage

There can be a vast array of important issues/concerns that occur within a Christian marriage; however, we will look at and discuss a few that give more concern than others. Among these are:

Relationship Issues/Concerns:

These types of issues within Christian marriage are things like: (1) sex and intimacy, (2) issues of trust, obedience, and submission to God and to each other, (3) communication, (4) honesty, and (5) accountability to each other, and (6) attending to each other's needs.

Financial Issues/Concerns:

These types of concerns within Christian marriage are things such as: (1) budgeting and control of household expenses, (2) spending habits, (4) savings, (5) Life, health, home, car insurance, and (6) frugality and stewardship of money, time, and possessions.

Family-Related Issues/Concerns:

Although the husband and wife are just two people, they are still considered as a family unit. Family issues/concerns are considered with other family members, such as with (1) in-laws (grandparents), siblings, cousins, uncles, nieces/nephews, and so forth. Other topics include (2) Blended families, which are happening more all the time now, (3) enjoying family time together, participating in family activities, and (4) creating date nights, etc.

Work-Related Issues/Concerns:

Topics discussed here are various issues/concerns of things that happen or surround the workplace and its environment. Examples are: (1) ethics in the workplace, (2) harassment at work, (3) questions on being a working mom vs.a stay-at-home mom, (4) honesty and integrity at work, (5) getting to work on time, (6) morning routines, (7) office romance/affairs, (8)office politics, (9)getting a job, (10)success in your job/career, and (11)successful interviews, etc.

Spiritual Issues/Concerns:

Christian marriage gives more spiritual meaning to your spousal union, and must be nourished throughout the years from principles based on the Word of God. Here we discuss: (1) how to get through trials, tribulations, and temptations; (2) going to a Christian church, (3) discussions of true worship, (4) obedience in baptism, (5) discussions of salvation, (6) faith, (7) prayer, (8) daily devotion and Bible studies, and (9) how you conduct your spiritual lives at home.

Chaos, Conflict, Crisis Issues/Concerns:

These types of situations and circumstances happen in every marriage from time to time and must also be addressed. Some of these are: (1) conflict about house chores, (2) getting enough rest/sleep, (3) dealing with grief (loss of a loved one, house, car, money, or finances), (4) unwanted/unexpected pregnancy/abortion, (5) health problems, (6) disabilities, (7) extra-marital affairs/adultery, (8) drugs and alcohol or other addictions (yes, these can lurk around within a Christian marriage if not careful), and many others.  

what does a christian marriage look like?

Perhaps you have never seen a real Christian marriage being modeled before you as a child growing up. Many families seem to be morally good, but yet lack Christ in their lives, whereby placing Him as Lord and Savior over all, and especially over the complete family unit.

I was very fortunate to have two parents, who exemplified a Christian marriage to their children and household; who loved the Lord with all their heart and placed Christ as the head and center of their lives, even though there were five children among them as well. My father was a minister all of my childhood and most of my adult years, and led our family within biblical principles set in God's Word. My mother was a wonderful minister's wife, who taught and disciplined all of us kids in the ways of the Lord. Although they each had their faults and were not perfect by any means, they always came together in one accord to love, teach, train, and discipline us as the Lord intended them to do.

Scripture gives us clear indication of what your and my Christian marriage should be and look like. There are set principles for the role of the husband and of the wife, and then for the both of them together within their union of holy matrimony. Here are a few of these passages of Scripture given for you and me to live by within our Christian marriage also:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-10,13 says, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; Doth not behave itself unseemly; seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: But whether there be prophesies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. And now abideth faith, hope, charity- these three; but the greatest of these is charity." This is what a Christian marriage should begin with--love (charity).
  • Proverbs 18:22 tells us, " Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord."
  • Genesis 2:20-24  tells us, "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man'. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
  • Ephesians 5:20-33 instructs us, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ, who also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife, even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
  • Matthew 19:2-6, Jesus said "And great multitudes followed Him and He healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?' And He answered and said unto them, 'Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning, made them male and female,' And said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: And they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." As you can see, Christian marriage truly begins at this point.
  • Proverbs 21:9 warns, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house." This is why a woman should have a sweet spirit within her home and marriage.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" This truth gives us reason and instruction on why it is vital to enter into a Christian marriage; not one with an unbeliever. Finally,
  • 1 Corinthians 11:8-12 says, "For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man; Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God."  These are the rightful roles that are set by God for us to live by as man and woman within a Christian marriage.

In conclusion, here we see that there are various factors and considerations that go into what a Christian marriage is and looks like in God's eyes. When we implement these set principles into our marriages today, you and I will thrive and prosper according to God's Word, and will experience the joy, peace, and love designed for man and wife.

I would just encourage you to honor and cherish your own Christian marriage with all due diligence and reverence as you strive together to live as one in the Lord; thereby, glorifying His name through your lives and marriage.

Related Articles:

Charity Equals God's Love And Divine Nature

Home Life In Christian Living

Love Marriage; Don't Frown On It!

Marriage In The Christian Home

Niceties Matter In Marriage

Tying The Knot: Should You, Or Shouldn't You?

Valentine's Day: Celebrating Love With Your Special Sweetheart

Home Page

Top Of Page