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How to Build a Stronger Marriage Using Biblical Marriage Principles

Marriage is a God-given union between a man and a woman to glorify Him and live according to His good purposes and serve Him and others. How do you build a stronger marriage? Use biblical marriage principles. These principles in God’s Word give you the foundation for creating and maintaining life, growing your faith, and fulfilling your purpose. 

Biblical marriage principles reveal how to…

  • Serve God
  • Teach and serve children
  • Teach and serve others
  • Have an intimate relationship
  • Lead well
  • Surrender everything
  • Cling to hope
  • Exercise grace

What Is a Biblical View of Marriage?

How you think about marriage shapes your view of…

  • Unity
  • Family
  • Cultures
  • Creation

God is a God of order, not chaos (1 Corinthians 14:33). Marriage is part of God’s creation order. 

Matthew 19:4-6 says… 

  • “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’”

Here, Jesus is referring to the creation account. He is echoing… 

  • Genesis 1:27“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
  • Genesis 2:18“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’”

A biblical view of marriage is believing it is…

  • Created by God
  • Intended to reflect the love and image of God
  • To be fruitful and blessed (life-giving emotionally, spiritually, and physically)
  • A covenant relationship
  • To be between one man and one woman
  • Intimate and unlike any other relationship

Marriage points us to our hope of Jesus’ return to claim His Bride, the Church, and make marriage a living picture of the gospel. Using biblical marriage principles to build a stronger marriage allows us to actively take part in this expectant hope.

What Is Biblical Love in Marriage?

Biblical love… 

  • “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”—1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Often, many associate love with a feeling. While love is an experience that causes us to “feel,” it is first and foremost an action word. Love is a choice. Exercising biblical love in marriage can position your heart to love others…

  • Selflessly
  • Graciously
  • Virtuously

Applying biblical love in your marriage day-to-day impacts how you think and act toward your…

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Co-workers
  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Strangers
An engagement ring lies on the Bible opened at 1 Corinthians 13.

5 Practical Ways to Build a Stronger Marriage Using Biblical Marriage Principles

For Wives

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #1—Wives, Pray without Ceasing 

Commit to praying blessings over your husband. Ask God to reveal to you how He wants to bless him (i.e., the works of his hands, growing in his faith) and start praying promises in God’s Word for your husband and keep praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #2—Wives, Resist the Urge to Criticize

Wives, you want to see your husband succeed. However, the enemy can take your words and twist them. So wives, be intentional about the words you speak. Ask God to give you words to help build up and benefit your husband and make you aware of when to pause and hold back any “unwholesome” talk (see Ephesians 4:29).

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #3—Wives, Refute Lies about Your Beauty and Worth

One of the ways the enemy tears down marriages is by getting you to compare yourself with others, doubt your worth, and focus on appearance. When you get caught up in these lies, you can tend to shut down and feel insecure around your husband. Take those lies and replace them with truth about how God sees you as a wife, woman, and daughter. 

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #4—Wives, Tell Your Husband What You Admire about Him

Even strong and confident husbands need to hear words that express admiration from you. This builds them up and places them in the leadership role of your family, where God designed them to be, so they can love better and fulfill their purpose. 

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #5—Wives, Think about Respect

By nature, men desire respect. Respect opens doors for communication for men. Ask God how you can intentionally show your husband respect. Perhaps this is giving him undivided attention or asking for his opinion on a matter. Ephesians 5:33 reminds wives to “respect her husband” for a good reason. It is a biblical marriage principle that aligns a husband and wife according to God’s divine order. 

For Husbands

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #1—Husbands, Pray without Ceasing 

Commit to praying blessings over your wife. Ask God to reveal to you how He wants to bless and encourage her (i.e., give her confidence and increase her trust). Start praying promises in God’s Word for her, and keep praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #2—Husbands, Tell Her You Love Her

We all want to be loved, but wives want to hear you say those 3 special words. The words you speak matter. Jesus said, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). When you tell your wife you love her, she sees you speaking directly from your heart. 

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #3—Husbands, Make Eye Contact When Talking

There are many things vying for your attention. When you look your wife in the eyes while in a conversation, it shows her you are focused on her, that she has his full attention, and she feels connected to you. Jesus speaks of eyes and light in Matthew 6:22-24. Husbands and wives should keep their eyes on God and ask Him how He wants them to focus on each other. 

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #4—Husbands, Speak Life and Words of Affirmation to Her

Ephesians 5:25-26 says you are to love your wives like Christ loved the church. Christ’s aim for His Church is a husband’s aim for his wife—her sanctification. Sanctification means to be set apart for a purpose. Husband, tell your wife how she is set apart and affirm her purpose.

  • Biblical Marriage Principle #5—Husbands, Lead Her and Your Family

Ephesians 5:27 says that Christ’s plan is to “present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Husbands are to labor in the same way. Husband, lead your wife spiritually, look for ways to encourage her in her relationship with God, and lead her in prayer to put on the full armor of God so she can battle the opposition knowing the victory is secure. 

Why God Wants Us to Have Stronger Marriages 

When we have stronger marriages, God’s image becomes clearer to others. Stronger marriages are living proof of God’s love. And stronger marriages come from using the biblical marriage principles above.

Do you have friends or family members who struggle in their marriages? Everyone goes through challenging times in marriage. That’s to be expected. Applying biblical marriage principles not only positions you to grow in faith and have a life changed by Jesus but also allows you to share the gospel with others. 

Even if your friends or family members are Christians, when you can share how God has made your marriage stronger through biblical marriage principles, it speaks life to others. It gives them hope and encouragement, which they need during trying times. 

  • Stronger marriages provide security and protection.

Physical marriages are a picture of Jesus’ marriage to the Church. Jesus refers to Himself as the “Bridegroom” and the Church as “His bride.” He is on mission to redeem and rescue His Bride. The Word says God is our refuge and strong tower (Psalm 61:3). The Bride’s mission is to live her life for Him, anticipating His return to take her home. In this abiding place of God, the Bride finds protection.

Though we go through trials, we are not consumed. When we apply biblical marriage principles, we step into a place of abiding, as Jesus describes in John 15:5. We are then able to “bear much fruit” and are protected from “withering” away. 

  • Stronger marriages change you to be more like Jesus.

Nothing challenges and changes us more than loving others the way God loves. Our flesh is selfish, always looking for ways to meet our needs first. But strong marriages have something in common, the husband and wife choose humility. 

Philippians 2 tells us that through humility, there is unity. We are to check our selfish ambition at the door (see Philippians 2:3-4) and think about the interest of our spouse. 

Jesus died so that we may have life. When we allow the Holy Spirit to crucify our selfishness in marriage, we become more like Jesus. 

  • Stronger marriages make stronger families, communities, and cultures. 

Stronger marriages are intentional marriages. Using biblical marriage principles in your relationship with your spouse creates an environment that fosters intentionality in your home, work, and community. When you are intentional about how you love your spouse, it creates a ripple effect, and those around you are strengthened too. 

Children learn from the marriages closest to them. Marriages teach children how to resolve conflict, react, and respond to others’ emotions. Strong marriages show kids how to resolve disagreements and misunderstandings respectfully and how to be loving and work through difficult emotions.

The Takeaway

Biblical marriage principles…

  • Take intentionality
  • Look to build up your spouse
  • Reflect Christ’s love for the Church and the Church’s submission and respect for Christ
  • Foster an environment that allows couples to share the gospel with others and their children

Are you looking for ways to strengthen your marriage and family? Check out resources, tools, and supports that encourage your faith and create stronger marriages.