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9 biblical lessons you need to apply to have a happy and whole marriage

GETTYMarriage // Article By EEW Editors

If you want to have a happy, healthy and lasting marriage, there are some principles you must follow.

Here are EEW Magazine’s tips for keeping Christ at the center of your union and building a strong foundation together until you are parted by death.

1. Never Go to Bed Angry.
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26)

No matter how lovey-dovey we are and how amazing our marriages may be, we all butt heads with our spouse from time-to-time. There are days when you want to wring his neck and he yours.

Differences of opinion create tension, but you still must live with each other and love one another through it. So in those times when your personalities clash, be careful not to let your emotions control you to the point where you become vengeful, mean, inconsiderate, abrasive, cold and unfeeling. Get things right before you go to sleep. After all, tomorrow is not promised to any of us!

2. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19)

When you’re communicating, if you’re fighting to get your point across without understanding where the other person is coming from, that’s a recipe for disaster. Some arguments and heated debates can be diffused before they ever get started if you take time to understand the perspective of your spouse.

Often, we end up bickering because both parties want to be heard and no one wants to stop and hear. As my grandmother, who was married 60 years before my “Pop-Pop” died always told me, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.”

3. Don’t Ever use your Words to Tear the Other Person Down.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

I must confess. Being too quick to speak has been a vice of mine for some time. God has really dealt with me over the years and He is yet working on me in this area. I know there is no such thing as a perfect person and we all “offend in word” sometimes as James 3:2 clearly states.

But experience has taught me that apologies don’t erase hurtful comments, so we have to be careful of what we say. Wounding someone with our tongue takes only seconds, but reversing the psychological and emotional damage caused by words hurled as weapons, can take years to heal.

Sticks and stones break bones, and misused words break hearts and spirits.

4. You are Responsible for Building a Strong, Healthy Home.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1)

I had a friend of mine that used to call me at all times of the day and night. She wanted to chat for hours. She would drop by unannounced and it was really beginning to bother my husband. I had to nip that situation in the bud to preserve the peaceful and happy environment of my home.

Every day we have the opportunity to make choices that will impact our home life. We must ask God for the wisdom to choose rightly, thereby strengthening our marriage.

5. Keep Others out of your Business.
“A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.” (Proverbs 12:23)

If all your family and friends know your business, that’s going to come back to bite you. This is one the most important lessons I have learned through trial and error… lots of error.

Loved ones can be detrimental to a relationship if you don’t set boundaries. Once you disclose your thoughts on private matters in your marriage, their opinions and input can sway the way you handle situations, often with negative consequences. Just like a dish can be ruined in the kitchen if too many hands are in the pot, a marital union can be undermined by too many outside voices and ideas the mix.

Wise counsel from a trusted pastor, Christian professional, or someone else that both you and your spouse agrees is trustworthy is healthy. Just choose wisely.

6. Resist the Urge to Quarrel and Nag.
“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 21:9)

For the most part, women are natural communicators. We like to air out our feelings and share what’s going on in our heads, which is a lot most days. Many times, our talks can turn critical when our husbands aren’t doing the things we think they should be doing. We’ll end up asking a barrage of questions: why didn’t you take out the garbage when I asked you to? How did you forget to pay that bill, again?  

Before you know it, there’s a laundry list of things we’re dumping on our man who just wants to run for shelter. Learn how not to be a nag. That doesn’t mean not expressing yourself or pretending everything is okay when it’s not.

Transparent communication is important in any relationship.

The point is, know when to be quiet if it’s not that serious. If you don’t, you’ll be beating him over the head with complaints and driving him away.

7. As Parents, Present a Unified Front to the Children.
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25)

If you have children, co-parenting is a big part of marriage and can also be the source of fighting. Moms and dads are not alike. In many cases, some (though not all) women are more nurturing, gentle and protective. A husband's way of relating to the children isn’t the same as ours. His style of disciplining, interacting, and conversing with them is very different.

Inevitably, he will say or do something with which we don’t agree. But undermining him in front of the children and fussing in their hearing creates division.

Always be united while your children are watching. Get things together later, behind closed doors... and do so respectfully.

8. Be Quick to Forgive.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

If you expect to remain married until death do you part, you’re going to have to forgive. Just as you offend him at times, he will do the same to you. In fact, serious violations in a relationship happen. You never know what you’ll face. But if you want the union to last, you have to be willing to let some things go and move on.

If he says he’s sorry, accept his apology, and ask God to help you release any resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness that wants to linger.

You would want and expect him to do the same, right?

9. Display the Fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Everyone goes through changes in marriage, both good and bad. But the only way to survive and thrive in your relationship is to walk in the spirit. Being led and governed by God’s word and the power of His Holy Spirit, will help you avoid common pitfalls that break up what were once rock-solid, strong unions.

Show love, be gentle, walk in peace, control your tongue and impulses. These are all ways to showcase the work of the Spirit in your life, and strengthen your marriage.

Galatians 5:16 says if you and I walk in the spirit, we won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.

While there are many other wise lessons we could relay to you, start with these and ask God to deal with you about any other areas in your relationship that need to be strengthened.

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