Take every opportunity which your nearness provides to be speaking seriously to each other about the matters of God, and your salvation. Discussing those things of this world no more than required. And then talk together of the state and duty of your souls towards God, and of your hopes of heaven, as those that take these for their greatest business. And don’t speak lightly, or unreverently, or in a rude and disputing manner; but with gravity and sobriety, as those that are discussing the most important things in the whole world.
Join together in frequent and fervent prayer. Prayer forces the mind into sobriety, and moves the heart with the presence and majesty of God. Pray also for each other when you are in secret, that God may do that work which you most desire, upon each other’s hearts.
It’s a wonderful, freeing thing to realize that the durability and quality of your marriage is not ultimately based on the strength of your commitment to your marriage. Rather, it’s based on something completely apart from your marriage: God’s truth; truth we find plain and clear on the pages of Scripture.
The strengths and weaknesses of a marriage are often more obvious in the bedroom than anywhere else.
Marriage is a call to die [to self]… Christian marriage vows are the inception of a lifelong practice of death, of giving over not only all you have, but all you are. Is this a grim gallows call? Not at all! It is no more grim than dying to self and following Christ. In fact, those who lovingly die for their [spouses] are those who know the most joy, have the most fulfilling marriages, and experience the most love.
The Puritan ethic of marriage was to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment, but rather for one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, and then to proceed with God’s help to do just that. The Puritan ethic of nurture was to train up children in the way they should go, to care for their bodies and souls together, and to educate them for sober, godly, socially useful adult living. The Puritan way of home life was based on maintaining order, courtesy and family worship. Goodwill, patience, consistency and an encouraging attitude were seen as the essential domestic virtues.
When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.
Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
To have peace and love in a marriage is a gift that is next to the knowledge of the gospel.
God’s way to a successful marriage focuses on what husbands and wives put into it, not on what they can get out of it.
Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.
It often happens that when couples get their relationship to God straightened out, their relationships with one another begin to straighten out as well.
Compatibility is not the key to marriage… It is our conviction, based on experience in ministry and God’s Word, that two Christians who share an attraction, who are committed in faith to God through Christ, and who are determined to obey the Bible’s teachings will be able to love each other in marriage (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
A great many Christian books and counselors hail compatibility as the key to a successful and happy marriage. In our view, this reflects the consumer model of our secular culture more than the sacrificial model found in Holy Scripture. Marriage, experts tell us, works only when our needs and desires are met. But no such teaching is found in the Bible. In Scripture, we find that marriage works as a man and a woman stand before God in obedient faith, giving instead of taking, and serving instead of demanding. This is our problem with the emphasis on finding a compatible companion: it turns the whole of the Christian life on its head. Jesus said of Himself, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:28), and surely marital love can be built on no other foundation (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
Staying married, therefore, is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. “Till death do us part” or “As long as we both shall live” is a sacred covenant promise – the same kind Jesus made with His bride when He died for her.
Just like Adam, you must individually receive your mate as God’s provision for your need for companionship. Receiving your mate demonstrates your faith in God’s integrity. Adam’s focus was on God’s flawless character, not Eve’s performance. He knew God and knew that God could be trusted. Adam enthusiastically received Eve because he knew she was from God. Adam’s faith in God enabled him to receive Eve as God’s perfect provision for him.
[Regarding marriage:] First, he must choose his love, and then he must love his choice.
When a husband and wife walk in the Spirit and fulfill their core roles, they complement one another, bring unity to their marriage, joy to their hearts, a reversal of the fall and proof they are being recreated by Christ.
If you are having troubles with your spouse it is not because of what you think of him or her, it is not because of negative thought patterns, it is not because you haven’t first loved self. But it is what you think of Jesus. Do you love Him First? Do you live for Him First? Is your life, His? If you are right with Jesus Christ the King of Glory, then it will be right with your husband or your wife. And this is what is right with God.