Category Archives: Marriage Help

Marriage Conflict: Getting the to the Root of the Problem

marriage conflictMarriage Conflict Opportunities for Intimacy

“We are too quick to resent and feel what we suffer from others, but fail to consider how much others suffer from us. Whoever considers his own defects fully and honestly will find no reason to judge others harshly.” Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.

Have you ever considered what caused you to fall in love, only to find yourself in more conflict than you could ever have imagined? I have known couples that have been married for 40+ years and the overwhelming majority of that time they have spent in conflict, either unable or unwilling to end the crazy cycle. Continue reading

Common Marriage Problems Require a Plan

couple-in-waterOne way Common marriage problems can be overcome is with marriage counseling. Dealing with specific problems is one way to help your marriage. But more importantly is understanding God’s plan and purpose for marriage.

To overcome the most common problems in marriage you must understand God’s plan and reason for saving marriages. This understanding is paramount to having the GREATEST marriage of all. Continue reading

Godly Marriage Advice for a Godly Marriage

godly-marriageSo you say “I want a godly marriage, but how?”

The answer is two fold. First, chose to be concerned about the same things God is concerned about. Second, learn to utilize God’s strategy for making your marriage what He wants it to be.

First Piece of Godly Marriage Advice: Focus your attention on the things God is concerned with in your marriage.

God’s highest priority is His glory. Because God is concerned with His glory, He is always concerned with conforming His children to be more like His Son Jesus (Romans 8:29).

God’s number one priority needs to be your number one priority.

The more we act like, think like, relate like Jesus, the more glory God gets. God is in the glory business. His modus operandi is to glorify Himself. So what should we be concerned about? Our number one priority needs to be whether we are bringing God glory in our marriage relationship. Notice I didn’t say, the number one priority should be whether your spouse is bringing God glory.

Glory shines out of the heart and is always seen and recognized by God.

So bringing glory to God has everything to do with thinking godly thoughts and behaving in godly ways.

But you say, “glory to God, how can I even think about bringing glory to God when I have a self-centered spouse who complains all the time, is critical, doesn’t love me or understand me, and that makes me miserable, angry, depressed, frustrated etc.” Good question! That’s where your understanding God’s strategy is critical.

Second Piece of Godly Marriage Advice: You must understand God’s strategy for bring glory to His Name

God’s strategy is to use the difficulties in our lives to chisel the likeness of Jesus out of the hardness of our hearts. He does it by bringing two people together who are most likely going to have the greatest impact on each other in this way. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpen another.”

We tend to think, “this is not the person I married. He or she hardly bears any resemblance to the person I married.” Again this is part of God’s design and the fall. Prior to marriage two people are not “one flesh.” Generally speaking there is a veil over our eyes during the dating period. That veil is not torn away until we become one flesh. That is why sometime after we get married, we start seeing our spouse differently. As our lives settle into a routine and we are not giving each other the kind of undivided attention and consideration that often happens during courtship, when we stop being the center of our loved one’s universe our perception of them also begins to change.

Third Piece of Godly Marriage Advice: Change your perception change your marriage

Our perception is the lens of beliefs through which we understand and interpret actions and interactions with other people. David cried out to God “Give me a pure heart.” Likewise we would do well to ask God for the same thing. Our beliefs are hidden deep within our heart and they act like a lens through which the events in our life are understood …accurately or inaccurately.

Our perceptions are largely shaped by our early experiences: especially messages about ourselves communicated to us by significant others in our lives like parents, teachers, caretakers, siblings etc. The other factors that influence our perception (aka, “the eyes of our heart”) is the fall. We are created with sinful, prideful, selfish hearts.

Many of the problems we have in marriage are actually the result of projecting our own cognitive distortions and unfinished business onto our spouse. This often results in misreading our spouse’s motives and making negative assumptions about their thoughts or intentions. When this happens it’s natural to begin to feel that our spouse is not on our side.

Tear Down Every Stronghold

So the third piece of godly marriage advice is understand that God’s strategy is to tear down every stronghold, every misconception and every cognitive distortion in our minds — He tells us in His word that we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 and that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This process of sanctification happens as we wash our minds with the water of the Word and the Holy Spirit applies it to our hearts.


How to Have a Godly Marriage

How to Have a Godly MarriageMany Christian couples are struggling with attaining what they consider to be a godly marriage. I often hear from couples that they did everything right before they got married so they are quite confused about why their marriage is so difficult and what they can do about it. God created marriage first and foremost as a reflection of His love for His people, and this ultimately is the simple solution to the problem…love one another as Christ has loved you. (John 13:34)

First, we will address the 2 most important reasons why having a godly marriage is difficult. Then we will address the solutions.

Okay, so why is this so hard

Well, you might be saying, that sounds lovely, but my marriage is far from being the Garden of Eden. In fact, you might be thinking, “all my wife does is complain about how I don’t live up to her standards” or “My husband doesn’t give me the time of day let alone the love and attention you’re talking about.”

You may feel your spouse just doesn’t understand you or what you need. You may often think “If only He/she would listen to me and change, our marriage would be so much better.” You may feel like you’re going insane and rather than fight it any longer you have just decided to do your own thing.

Problem #1 is that we are all fallen creatures

Although we were created in the image of God, that image has been marred beyond recognition in some cases. God is in the process of restoring that image like an artist slowly and methodically. Though our natural inclinations since the fall are those of selfishness, self centeredness, pride and blame…

Our Creator, with his brush in hand is restoring the image of a darkened and discolored masterpiece. (Consider this: it took a team of artists 20 years to completely restore the ceiling of the Sistine chapel!). You may be thinking “You’re right, my spouse is a REAL WORK OF ART!” Sarcasm aside, the truth is you and your spouse are God’s masterpieces that will not be completely restored on this side of heaven.

Problem #2 is the image of God in us has been further disfigured

by the sinful actions of other fallen human beings who have wounded us in one way or another. A wound is anything that has damaged our sense of person-hood, violated our boundaries, broken our trust, or failed to give love and nurture during a critical time. Without Christ, most soul wounds will result in more selfish and sinful behavior.

Read more marriage advice about how to have a godly marriage


How to Have a Godly Marriage

Godly MarriageWhat is a Godly Marriage?

Deuteronomy 7:6-9 gives us a picture of what a godly marriage looks like:

“For you are a people Holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affections on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”

There are several principles in the above scripture that describe from God’s perspective what is a godly marriage…

First, God chose us to be His treasured possession and set his affection on us. (Deuteronomy 7:6-7). In other words God chose to enter into an exclusive, personal and intimate relationship with His people.

A Godly Marriage is a Covenant

In the same way through the marriage covenant we choose our spouse to be our treasured possession. In a godly marriage we set all our affections on this one exclusive person. The traditional wedding vows adapted from the Book of Common Prayer express these biblical principles put forth in Deuteronomy 7:

Just like God redeemed the children of Israel from the power of the king of Egypt, He redeems us from the power of Satan so that we can be free to worship Him. In marriage (as well as in the Christian life) we are to foster an atmosphere of love and freedom, not setting ourselves in bondage to anyone or anything. We are to remain free to worship and serve Christ and to set all our affections on God and our spouse. Clearly, husbands and wives should love and repect each other and this agape love will foster an atmosphere of freedom not fear or bondage.

A Godly Marriage is a Faithful Marriage

Second, God makes it clear that He is God, there is no other god besides Him. In other words, there is no reason to go after other gods. God expects us to remain faithful to Him. God is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations. In fact scripture says that everything God does He does in faithfulness (Deut 32:4, Psalm 33:4)

When we marry, we enter into a covenant of faithfulness. Pledging to be faithful in marriage is but being the reflective glory of God. Married couples are a witness to heaven and earth that the God of Israel is a faithful God. (Eph 3:10, John 17:23). Complete faithfulness to our God and our spouse is characteristic of a god exalting marriage.

A Godly Marriage is Focused on Christ

Understanding God’s relationship with His people gives us insight into God’s words to Adam after He created Eve from Adam’s rib. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24). Paul says in Ephesians 5:32 this is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. Referring back to verse 29 where he states that “After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church – for we are members of his body.”

Third, we see as believers that we have a great and grave responsibility. Marriage is a witness, a great testimony to heaven and earth that Jesus Christ loves His bride and cares for her. In a godly marriage our mindset is always to be focused on Christ and His love for His Bride.

Throughout the Old and New Covenants we see God referring to His relationship with His people as that of a husband or bridegroom; his people are referred to as His wife or Bride. Hosea says it best…

I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD. (Hosea 2:19-20)

A Godly marriage Reflects God’s Character

Finally, Hosea introduces several characteristics to us that describe how husbands and wives are to relate to one another in a godly marriage. Again, when husbands and wives faithfully express these characteristics they reflect God’s glory to a multitude of witnesses in heaven and in earth. God says succinctly the defining characteristics of His relationship with the church, the things his people can count on from Him are these…

  • Betrothal Forever (monogamy)(Matthew 19:6) So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has join together, let man not separate. When we come to Christ we are joined with Him for all eternity.

Husbands and wives are to be united in their faith, and their sense of purpose for their family and the expenditure of their resources (physical energy, emotional energy, time, material possessions, finances etc.)

In a godly marriage husbands and wives eliminate things in their lives that threaten their unity, purpose and faith.

  • Righteousness. The word Tsedeq quite often is translated “just”. It is also the word used for properly balanced weights and measures. Jesus referred to Tsedeq when he taught that as children of the Most High, we must be kind to the ungrateful and wicked just as the Most High is. Jesus explains it like this, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” How much more so does God expect us to extend the riches of His kindness to our spouse if He calls us to do this for the ungodly.
  • Justice (God’s Mishpat his law). It is often said that God’s word is a road map for our lives and indeed it is and so much more…it is to be our very life. God gave us the grace of His words and instruction originally in the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. In God’s word Peter says is everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Chances are Peter was thinking of the Torah when he wrote that. And remember the words Moses spoke over the people of Israel as he instructed them how to live the blessed life: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deut 6) How are husbands and wives to express God’s Justice, His Misphat, well His word tells us that as well…

In a godly marriage husbands and wives are to make it the highest priority of their lives to know and understand and live out God’s word and they are to manage all their resources in a way that expresses loving God with all their heart, soul and strength.

  • Loving-kindness (God’s Checed). God’s Checed was brought to fullness through Jesus Christ. This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.(1 John 3:16) In fact, while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). Both husbands and wives are to demonstrate sacrificial love and compassion for one another. To live in love is to see God manifested in the world through the marriage relationship.

A godly marriage is a covenant between a man and woman that demonstrates faithfulness to God and one another, is focused on Christ and reflects God’s relationship with His bride the Church.