Eight Ways to Maintain a God-Centered Marriage
Do you know the secret to a long and happy marriage? Keeping Christ at the center.
Got Questions reports, “There’s definite good news regarding divorce rates and Christians: contrary to what’s been reported for years, the divorce rate is not 50 percent; it’s more like 30 percent. And then we find that people who keep God at the center of their home and family stay married at far greater rates, and even thrive within those marriages.”
If you grew up in church or currently attend church, you’ve probably heard a pastor or ministry leader mention this idea or emphasize the need to keep God first in your marriage. You likely agree, but when it comes down to it, you may not know how this is done.
If this sounds familiar, continue reading. Use these tips to help keep Christ front and center in your marriage.
1. Strengthen Your Personal Relationship with God
Desiring God explains, “You cannot make God a priority in your marriage if you do not know who he is personally.”
It’s blunt, but it’s true. Our personal relationship with God must be prioritized. It is only after you love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind that you are able to love your spouse well.
Spend personal time in prayer, worship, and the Scripture. Practice the spiritual disciplines.
[Related Read: Applying Spiritual Disciplines to Your Life]
By focusing on strengthening your personal relationship with God, you’ll be able to strengthen your marriage relationship.
2. Worship Together
When it comes to having a God-centered marriage, most Christians know the importance of attending church together. Unfortunately, this is where it ends. Just as your personal relationship shouldn’t begin and end on Sunday morning, neither should your marriage.
On a daily basis, find ways to worship together. Talk about what God is doing in your lives and praise him together. Put on worship music and sing together on your car rides. Text each other Bible verses and links to worship songs.
3. Read and Learn Together
Make it a habit to read and learn about God together. This may look like reading a daily devotional for couples or listening to faith-based podcasts while you are on a long road trip. Consider reading books together that are dealing with topics for your season of life (such as parenting or caregiving).
Not readers? Listen to the audiobook versions.
4. Pray for Each Other and With Each Other
Pray for your spouse daily. Often, spouses know needs that their spouse may not even see themselves. Take these concerns to God in prayer.
Also, pray together. Pray before meals and pray when there is a need. Pray to start the day or end the day together. Partner with your spouse in prayer. Share prayer requests with one another.
5. Serve Together
Look for opportunities to serve within your home church together. This may look like teaching a Sunday School class or doing behind-the-scenes production work for weekend services. You might even take a mission trip together.
Even outside of churches, look for opportunities to share Christ’s love together in your community through service projects, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen or delivering meals to the homebound.
6. Spend Time with Others
Don’t live your marriage in isolation. As Christians, you should surround yourself with a community of believers – not just one believer.
There are great benefits to being with other couples. Couples who have been married longer can act as mentors to you. In turn, you can share your truths with younger couples.
7. Prioritize Your Faith When Making Decisions
As a married couple, you will make most of your important life decisions together (or, at least, you should).
You will need to choose where and how you live, what you spend and save money for, how you raise and discipline your children, or what church you attend and what social activities you take part in.
When the time comes to make these important decisions, talk it through with one another carefully considering God’s word. Ultimately, all your decisions need the wisdom that comes from faith.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5
8. Reflect God’s Character
Marriage is a beautiful opportunity for Christians to show Christ’s love for his church to the world. Married Christians have the opportunity to love their spouses as Christ loves us.
This is done by reflecting God’s character to your spouse. Acting unselfishly. Practicing forgiveness. Honor one another. Encourage each other.
Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Marriage, says, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” Focus on the Family continues, “A marriage between a husband and wife is not about them, but about God, and how running after Him, and taking the focus off of ourselves, gives us the abundant marriage He wants for us.”
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:25-33