Advice for the struggling Christian marriage
By Sherise Henry
The satisfaction that comes from a fulfilling relationship has effects on everything from our emotions to even our physical health. Divorce is a disease that has spread through the population of even Christian marriages leaving emotional wounds and separated families. But key speakers in the Christian community say that it's personal discipleship that helps save marriages and even though there has been negative press concerning Christian marriages, certain values still hold true for persons who take their faith seriously and apply it in their marriages. In an article on Christian marriage, Glenn Stanton for the GospelCoalition.org stated the following, “What appears intuitive is true. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes—attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples—enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public, and unbelievers.”
Got Questions.org singles out selfishness as the root cause of most marital problems. Marriage is the most intimate relationship two people can share and is second only to the individual’s relationship with God. There can be many struggles that come with trying to live as one flesh. Counselors with Focus on the Family advise couples to look for the root of the conflict not just the apparent reasons they aren’t getting along. Arguments may stem from hurt or neglect experienced earlier by a mate that they are now just acting upon. Here is a list of eight Bible verses a couple can reflect on alone and together to remember the purpose and goals of any Christian marital relationship.
1)Matthew 19:6 Therefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
2)Mark 10:8 And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh.
3)1Peter 3: 1-8 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. 7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
4)Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
5)Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
6)Phillipians 2:3-13 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose
7) Proverbs:19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise
8) Ephesians 5:21-331 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Seeking Christian counsel is also a good measure to take. Focus on the family suggests finding a third party Christian counselor who can notice things in the marriage relationship that may be overlooked by the marriage partners themselves. May God forever bless and restore your union.