Marriage is one of God’s first gifts to humanity. In Genesis 2, we read even more about the creation of the world. After God had created everything that we see around us, He took a look at Adam, the first human, and took note of something. Adam was there alone. Yes, Adam had a personal relationship with God. God had taken the steps to ensure that Adam had everything he could ever need. He had tasked Adam with the job of naming every creature that he saw, but God recognized that something was missing.
Genesis 2:18 (ESV)
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Up until this point, God had declared everything that He had made was good. However, when He saw Adam’s bachelorhood in the Garden of Eden, He said that it wasn’t good. It was at this point that God decided to create the first woman, and in turn, the first marriage.
Taken from Adam’s side (Genesis 2:22), God created Eve as someone who could support and love Adam. God putting such an emphasis on marriage gives us a good idea about how much it matters to Him.
It’s up to you to strengthen the bond between you and your spouse. God’s Word gives us even greater insight into how much He cares about marriage. We can apply these principles to learn how to create marriages that operate God’s way, and therefore, are able to withstand the test of time.
Praying For Your Spouse
1 John 5:14-15 (TPT)
Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.
John, the disciple who was closest to Jesus, wrote at least four books in the New Testament. In this passage from 1 John, we get some guarantees about prayer. While these verses don’t discuss marriage, they provide an insight to the power of prayer. John assures us that when we pray God hears us and that we obtain the requests that we ask of Him.
What does that mean for marriage? It means that you should pray for your spouse every day. It’s equally important that you understand how to pray for your spouse. Don’t simply ask God to turn your spouse into your idealized version of a partner. Instead, spend some time allowing God to show you the ways that you could be a better spouse.
Prayer is arguably the most powerful tool that we have in marriage. Based on the promise that John made in the verses we just read, when we pray for our spouses, God hears us! Make the commitment today that you’re going to pray for your spouse every day. When you do this, God will begin doing a work in your marriage.
Communication is Key
Proverbs 18:21 (TPT)
Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life, and the talkative person will reap the consequences.
If you’ve ever read anything about marriage, been to a marriage seminar, listened to a podcast, or heard a sermon about marriage, you’ve probably heard about the importance of communication. Even though you’ve heard it before, don’t gloss over this section.
According to Scripture, you have the power to bring life or death into the relationship between you and your spouse based solely on the words that you use. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about your spouse, to your spouse, or about your marriage, the words that you use have power to create a good relationship or tear your marriage down.
Take a few minutes and think about the way that you speak to your spouse. Do you look for opportunities to build him or her up? Or do you find yourself constantly being a voice of ridicule? In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says that Christians shouldn’t let any unwholesome talk come from our mouths. When we read that verse, we may think of telling “dirty jokes” or using crude language. While those are certainly examples of unwholesome talk, they’re not the only ones.
Choose the words that you use when talking to or about your spouse carefully. Don’t use words that will do harm. Instead, choose words that will give life to your partner, and in turn, your marriage.
Giving To Your Spouse
Acts 20:35 (TPT)
I’ve left you an example of how you should serve and take care of those who are weak. For we must always cherish the words of our Lord Jesus, who taught, ‘Giving brings a far greater blessing than receiving.’
One of the most famous quotes from any US President is credited to John F. Kennedy, who once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” While Kennedy’s words spoke to the spirit of patriotism, what if you applied that concept to your marriage.
Everyone wants to receive something from their spouse. That’s not wrong. However, instead of being hyper-focused on what your spouse can do for you, what if you spent time looking at what you can give to your spouse?
No, this doesn’t mean that you need to constantly look for ways to spend money on extravagant gifts. If you have the means to do that, and want to, shopping for your spouse is great. But giving goes beyond dollars and cents. Have you ever considered cooking your partner’s favorite meal for no special reason? Perhaps you should bring home flowers on a random Tuesday afternoon. Giving doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to pertain to a special occasion. Looking for ways to give to your spouse allows you to better display the characteristics of God, who blesses us with divine gifts based solely on His love for us.
A True Commitment
Mark 10:9 (TPT)
So there you have it. What God has joined together, no one has the right to split apart.
These words of Christ lead us to our final point about how to strengthen your marriage. When Christ said that no one has the right to tear apart what God has joined together, that includes you and your spouse. God put the two of you together. Out of the roughly 8 billion people on planet earth, God put the two of you together. He did so for a purpose. It’s because He saw the way that the two of you have traits that complement the other.
Commitment to your marriage is a multi-layered concept. First of all, it’s vital that you and your spouse are committed to your relationships with Christ. When we love God the way that we’re supposed to, it makes it possible to love others (including each other) the way that we’re supposed to. Make your relationship with God the most important in your life.
Once you have established that commitment, you can fully commit to one another. Commitment to your spouse isn’t difficult. Think back to the day of your wedding. You stood in front of God, family, and friends, and vowed to love one another until death parted you. Being fully committed to your spouse simply means that you fulfill the vows that you made on that special day.
A Closing Prayer:
Father, thank You for my spouse. I know that You chose him/her for me, and me for him/her. Help me to be the spouse that he/she needs. Show me areas in which I can give of myself in my commitment to him/her. In Christ’s name, Amen.