Divine Marriage Counseling II


In a previous article we noted that almost everyone seeks advice on marriage at some point and while the voices of human experience and wisdom may provide us with some helpful counsel, the very best advice, counsel that is foolproof, comes from God. Never forget 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’” (Matthew 19:4, 5). Since marriage originated with God and is His plan for mankind, common sense would require that we study His plan for marriage.

If you have not already read the previous article, I would encourage you to do so before reading this one. Then please take the time to read all the verses cited below. Space does not allow for their inclusion in the text of the article, but it is vital that these words of God be read and applied.

  1. Wives can learn to love their husbands (Titus 2:3–5). In a troubled marriage the question is sometimes raised, “How can you (or do you) expect me to stay with a man I don’t love?” I believe the proper answer is that no woman is expected to stay with a man she does not love, but if she wishes to please God she learns to love him. The question then becomes, “Why would I want to leave the man I love?”

    But how would God answer the question when asked by a woman who, unfortunately, is married to a man who has proven himself completely unworthy of love? “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

  2. Be as courteous and respectful as you were during the courtship (Ephesians 4:32; Philippians 2:1–4). God instructs us to put the interests of others ahead of our own and if we do this with our spouses, our homes will be much more peaceful.

  3. Cut the apron strings. Some seem to forget that their spouse agreed to marry them—not their father and mother (Genesis 2:24) Remember God’s decree that the two, not three or four, are to become one flesh. Matthew 19:4, 5

    [As an aside, parents must allow the strings to be cut. Parents must not interfere in their child’s marriage and they must not make their children feel guilty when they seek to establish their own families].

  4. The two have not truly become one flesh simply because they live in the same house and share the same bed (Ephesians 5:28–31). To be one we must make time for one another. From time to time we need to stay home, turn off the television, let the answering machine pick up the calls, and talk to each other. Just as God forbids turning one back into two again (Matthew 19:4–6), He will not be pleased when the two never really become one.

  5. Because financial problems often destroy marriages, learn to be content (Philippians 4:11–13; 1 Timothy 6:6–10; Matthew 6:19-34). Instead of a home where gold rules, have a home that follows the Golden Rule (see #9).

  6. Never become involved in a war of words. When accusations of “and you’re another one” begin to be traded, serious injury often results (1 Peter 2:21–23; Romans 12:14). While the old line about sticks and stones breaking bones is true, the next part about words never hurting is as false as can be. Words can cut very deeply and leave permanent scars. Be careful!

  7. If and when your spouse mistreats you, do not succumb to the temptation to get even (Romans 12:17–21). Vengeance is sinful and only makes matters worse.

  8. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath...” (Ephesians 4:26). Difficulties will come and tempers will rise, but don’t allow anger to simmer until it explodes.

  9. Therefore, whatever you want [your spouses] to do to you, do also to them….” (Matthew 7:12). Though these simple words require little explanation, they do require self-control and selflessness. If we truly practice the Golden Rule, the likelihood is great that peace and love will rule in our homes.

  10. Study the Bible both individually and as a couple (1 Peter 2:1–3; Acts 20:32). It contains instructions and guidance from the supreme marriage Counselor. The Bible will make you a better person, and better people make better partners.

  11. Pray both individually and as a couple (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Where better to turn for strength and wisdom than God Almighty? James 1:5

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another....Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse....Repay no one evil for evil....Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:10, 14, 17–19