settings icon
share icon

How can I have a godly marriage?

translate godly marriage

Understanding God’s purpose for marriage is critical to having a godly marriage. God created marriage to be a covenant agreement between two people, a man and a woman, and Himself (Matthew 19:6; Malachi 2:14). As husband and wife, the couple is united by God as “one flesh” both legally and spiritually (Genesis 2:24). This three-way union, with God at the center, forms the foundation on which to build a godly marriage.

God has a unique purpose for the marriage covenant. A good resource on this topic is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. In the book, the author explores the biblical concept that God’s intention for marriage is to make us more holy, not to make us happy. Christian marriage is a divine picture of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church. Through His demonstration of love for us, Jesus Christ modeled how to love our partner in marriage: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. . . . This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church . . . and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:25–33). Jesus came to serve and give Himself sacrificially for the church, which is what husbands and wives are called to do for one another in marriage.

If you’ve been married for any length of time, you understand the challenges of blending the lives and aspirations of two flawed and sinful people into one cohesive partnership. Marriage relationships are complex and complicated. We bring our emotional baggage and brokenness from past hurts into the mix. The only way to make a marriage work is for both partners to “follow God’s example, . . . and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1–2). We must obey the Lord’s command to love our spouse unselfishly, laying down our wants and desires “as Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).

God’s purpose in the life of every believer, whether married or single, is spiritual transformation, as the believer is sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit and conformed to Christ’s image (1 Peter 1:15–16; Romans 8:29; 12:1–2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 12:14). How different would our marriages look if we made it our life’s mission to help, support, serve, and pray for our spouse in his or her walk with Christ each day? Instead of focusing on our partner’s faults or our own unmet needs, what if we looked for ways to love one another in the completeness of God’s love (1 John 4:12)? What if we followed the instruction to “encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13), “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24), “serve one another humbly” (Galatians 5:13), “be devoted to one another” and “honor one another” above ourselves (Romans 12:10), and “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)?

A godly marriage requires deliberate effort and sacrifice. The foundation starts with our faith in God and our commitment to our covenant with Him and our spouse. Keeping Christ at the center of our relationship is vital to maintaining the health and success of our marriage.

Here are some basic practical guidelines for fostering a godly marriage:

• Pray together regularly (Colossians 4:2). Praying as a couple will strengthen your spiritual bond and bring you both closer to the Lord. Be authentic with each other, confess your sins, and share your struggles.
• Read the Bible together regularly (2 Timothy 3:16–17; Psalm 119:105).
• Attend church, worship together, and get plugged into the body of Christ. Serving and sharing your lives with other believers will build you up in the faith and provide a network of friends and counselors to support you through challenging times (Hebrews 10:24–25).
• Make important decisions together (Amos 3:3).
• Keep the lines of communication open (James 1:19). Listen to your spouse to hear what he or she is saying. Be honest and sincere. Treat each other with kindness and respect. Be quick to forgive.
• Nurture the romantic side of your relationship (Proverbs 5:18). Remember to have fun together, hold hands, laugh together, and admire each other’s accomplishments.

You can have a godly marriage. Even if your marriage seems beyond repair, don’t give up. Be sure you have done everything within your power to give God time to restore the relationship. Seek out a trained marriage counselor. Consider that God may have brought you to this place in your marriage to work out a good purpose in your life and the life of your spouse (Romans 8:28). Nothing is too difficult for God (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26). The Lord wants to make you holy, whole, and complete. Your difficulties in marriage may be the path He has chosen to transform you.

Return to:

Questions about Marriage

How can I have a godly marriage?
Subscribe to the

Question of the Week

Get our Question of the Week delivered right to your inbox!

Follow Us: Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon Instagram icon
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
This page last updated: January 19, 2023