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Building a God-Honoring Marriage

Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families

No one plans to become a broken family or a miserable couple. We marry because we yearn for a life-long, thriving relationship. So, how can believers become intentional about building a God-honoring marriage?

PRIORITY 1: Discover God’s design for marriage.
We must understand that every marriage is intended to be a masterpiece reflecting the marriage between God and His people. Marriage is the most frequent metaphor used in the Bible to describe God’s relationship with His people. In fact, writing to the Ephesians, Paul called marriage a “profound
mystery” because it is a picture of “Christ and the church.”

PRIORITY 2: Commit to a covenant marriage.
Today’s civil marriages are much like business contracts—easy to get into and easy to get out of. God’s covenant with His people was a promise to remain eternally faithful even if His people weren’t faithful in return. In covenant marriage, both spouses are committed for a lifetime—in sickness and health, for better or worse. They don’t threaten divorce or consider it an option.

PRIORITY 3: Pursue a passionate marriage.
Couples aren’t supposed to just stick it out and find a way to make their marriages survive. God calls us to pursue a passionate, thriving marriage. The Song of Solomon expresses the kind of love, joy and celebration God designed for marriage. That passion is built on much more than infatuation
and sexual desire. It is rooted in the physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy God created couples to experience as a foretaste of the eternal unity, communion and intimacy we can have with God.

PRIORITY 4: Become heroic in marriage.
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue humanity. Writing to the Ephesians, Paul connected Christ’s sacrifice directly to marriage: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25) and “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives
should submit to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:24). In other words, mutual submission to one another requires giving up our own interests to heroically serve the other person.

PRIORITY 5: Fight for your marriage.
Every couple will mess up. Too often, however, they also choose to give up. Throughout Scripture, God fights for His relationship with His people, remaining faithful in the face of unfaithfulness. He forgives again and again. No couple can avoid strife and arguments, but we can avoid "giving the Devil a
foothold” in our marriages by keeping short accounts and quickly restoring the relationship regardless of what happens.

Resources

Recommended Books:

  • Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • It Starts at Home by Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope
  • The Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen
  • The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • A Celebration of Sex by Dr. Douglas Rosenau

Simply Romantic Nights Kit (from FamilyLife Ministries) Discover intimacy in a new light using a series of his/her date night ideas.

Prestonwood Support

Prestonwood has a variety of Bible Fellowships for the spiritual development of every person. The Prestonwood Library, located on the second floor of the Plano Campus, provides additional resources and services to help Christians grow in faith and ministry. No matter your age and stage of life, there’s a Bible Fellowship for you. Visit prestonwood.org/connect for more information.

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