Cultivating A Godly, Christian Marriage
Learn how your marriage can glorify God, bring you joy, and impact the world around you.
In his wisdom, God put the closest human relationship - marriage - right in the middle of life's most challenging process, becoming like Christ (sanctification). It's hard to imagine anything more glorious (or difficult) than a biblical, Christian marriage, where a man and woman get to picture the relationship God has with us, his church. Whether you're in your first year of marriage, or a seasoned couple, you'll find practical, biblical advice on marriage here.
Featured (Free) Resource: 6 Ways The Gospel Will Transform Your Marriage Forever
You love Christ, and you love your spouse. But somehow, loving Jesus doesn't always lead to a satisfying, godly marriage. This guide offers Christian advice on marriage in 6 key areas so yours can thrive.
A Godly Marriage - The Hardest Relationship You'll Ever Love
If you've been married more than a few months, you know marriage is awesome and hard. There are many moments where you couldn't be happier. And others where you wonder if you made the right decision.
When you were dating, it used to be so easy. Not that it was perfect, but holding hands, date nights with dinner and a movie, and conversation just flowed.
But after awhile, it's not so straightforward. Arguing over petty details, struggling to find energy for each other after a long day, fighting for margin when life is crazy busy, and compromising over physical intimacy can all take a toll over time. Not to mention challenges with cultivating spiritual intimacy.
All of a sudden, the biblical principles on marriage we thought we knew can feel irrelevant. And we begin to feel like failures.
Christian Marriage: Holiness Or Happiness?
When you realize how difficult marriage can be, it's hard not to wonder if God made a mistake.
My wife and I didn't question our marriage, but after a great season of dating and engagement, the wheels fell off a year into our marriage. We still loved each other, and had some great moments, but we bickered constantly over the dumbest things... even when we knew they were dumb. (And often late at night, when nothing good ever happens. But I digress...)
We just couldn't seem to make any kind of lasting progress, and eventually wound up at a counselor, ready to admit we needed help. 'God, why in the world is marriage SO hard?!'
Over time, we came to see that our marriage was about way more than our happiness. In his sovereign wisdom, God had placed our marriage in the epicenter of his process of making us like his Son (sanctification).
Knowing our individual strengths and weaknesses, he had put Sharon (my wife) and I together so that we could fulfill his grand purpose of picturing his relationship with his church through Christ.
'This mystery [of marriage] is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.' (Ephesians 5:32)
God is willing to let us experience moments of unhappiness in the greater interests of our holiness and joy. As we become molded into the likeness of Christ, we glorify God and - ironically - also become happier. At least on a deeper level.
As the days pass, like a gifted sculptor, God is chiseling away at sin and weakness we didn't even recognize. And making something beautiful in the process. Ultimately, God is committed to both our holiness and - in the truest sense of the word - our happiness, too.
If we'll stick with it, we will witness God's powerful, refining work that gives us something far, far better than the bliss of those early days of dating. Something we wouldn't trade for anything.
A Balanced Approach
Just a word or two about my approach to all this, and what you can expect here. (Warning: minor rant ahead.)
This site is far from perfect, but something really frustrates me when I encounter many Christian resources on marriage. Something I'm trying (emphasis on trying) to do better here.
Too often we're given a choice between 'biblical' and 'practical.' Good theology or helpful tips and advice.
Being biblical, of course, is absolutely essential. As Paul put it, 'All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.' (2 Timothy 3:16)
But if we only have solid doctrine and quote scripture, we get stuck in our heads. We can become proud ('knowledge puffs up'). And have no idea what to do next in our real lives.
As in, how does a huge, biblical truth like 'the glory of God' relate to how I treat my spouse? (It absolutely does, but it's rarely obvious.)
That was me coming out of seminary. I knew a ton about God, but didn't know him nearly enough. And I had no idea how to connect most of what I learned to my marriage.
On the other hand, if we don't have a solid understanding of theology and scripture, and emphasize tips, tricks and hacks, we're not any better off.
Again, super-practical, easily digestible pointers have value. I've learned - and use - a ton of quick tips on pretty much everything.
But if our lives are built merely on 'six ways Christians can have a happy marriage', it's like - as my friend put it - getting a milkshake when what you need is a steak.
When the storms of life come, we'll get swept away without the anchor of deep, foundational, biblical realities.
We'll be shallow - and, this is scary - possibly be okay with that.
No, we need a solid grasp on what the bible teaches about... everything and, what that means practically for our lives.
With God's help, I hope to offer you both God's Word and practical things you can use in the slog of everyday life so that you can pursue a satisfying, godly marriage.
As we grow together on Christ, our Rock, we'll be in a position to honor him regardless of whether we're single, dating, engaged or married. I look forward to sharing this journey with you!
Copyright 2021 by Bryan Stoudt