6 Essential Ingredients for a Godly Marriage

Looking to build a marriage that’s godly, reverent, and lasting? We’ve assembled a list of six important attributes for you from scripture that you and your fiance can meditate on and discuss as you plan your wedding–or that you and your spouse can focus on in your day-to-day married life.

Of course, the greatest of all ingredients for a godly marriage is love, but the following list details some of the other important qualities the Bible tells us we need in order to have a happy, harmonious, lifelong marriage. These qualities come from love, and they’re just as important to your marriage as the warm fuzzies you feel for one another.

1. Faithfulness

When we say our vows at the altar, we promise to be faithful to one another for as long as we live. Loyalty to our spouse is the foundation of trust in our marriage; when loyalty and faithfulness disappear, so does that trust. And once broken, trust is difficult to re-establish.

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:9 (New International Version)

2. Honor

Merriam-Webster defines honor as “high respect; esteem.” It’s next-level respect, and as married couples, we’re meant to give the highest regard to one another. We show honor in the way we speak to each other, the way we behave, and the way we conduct ourselves both in and out of the home.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 (NIV)

3. Humility

Pride and arrogance have no place in a harmonious marriage; instead, we’re meant to be humble and unassuming; we shouldn’t jump to worst-case conclusions about one another, and we must always be ready to step up and admit when we’re wrong. Humility means not pushing our opinions on one another (even when we’re right), and giving our spouse the floor when we might really want it ourselves.

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3(NIV)

4. Patience

It can be a challenge to be patient with one another, especially when it comes to the inevitable personality clashes we have with our spouses from time to time. But the scriptures urge us to exercise patience, and to show kindness when we’re feeling irritated with one another. It’s one of the many attributes that helps us keep the peace in our marriages.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

5. Understanding

Because a marriage consists of two very different people merging their lives and creating a home together, it’s important for us to try to understand each other–especially when our spouse is hardest to understand. Practicing empathy–the art of stepping into your spouse’s shoes and seeing situations from his or her angle–will help you as you work daily to understand one another.

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.” – 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)

6. Unity

In a marriage, husbands and wives are on the same team–two people who have chosen to be joined together as one. Unity doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything or have all the same preferences, likes, and dislikes; instead, it means sticking together in spite of your differences. It’s a conscious decision to work together to reach consensus, compromising when necessary as you make decisions together, both big and small.

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

Is there another attribute we didn’t include that you’d like to discuss? Let us know in the comments section below.

14 Comments

  • Laura S says:

    Love all these, they are good reminders. Need to work on humility

  • Rose Gaetjen says:

    These are so important. A good reminder and to keep them before us every day. A good marriage is hard work!!

  • Heather says:

    What do we do when one of the spouses has been unfaithful? If my husband and I are working towards restoration but I am having a hard time trusting him and have lost the security of his loyalty how do we/I heal?

    • Melissa says:

      Going through the same thing. Never more pain in my life. My husband chose to pack up and leave while my daughter and I were at her ballgame. He already had divorce papers ready and has since sent them to me. Now he wants to go to counseling. I feel God’s urging to pray for him, but even God isn’t asking me to trust. He’ll have to prove, with God’s help, that he has truly repented. I am choosing not to get my hopes up until God speaks to my heart and tells me it’s ok to give it a try. Until then, pray and ALLOW God to speak the truths into your life that you need to grow closer to Him. Throughout this whole ordeal I have learned that my absolute trust and hope is in God alone-just the way He designed it to be.

      • Heather says:

        It seems like an easy idea but I have been struggling with trusting God as well. My husband had an affair with my adopted sister who is 10 years younger than me (I’m 28) while I was in my third trimester and while I was in the hospital having our second child. I suspected something was not right the moment (i found out later the exact moment) things started with them and so I did what I always do and threw myself into Gods word and prayer and I keep asking why he would let something like this happen when that’s exactly what I was praying against and when there were so many ways to stop them or allow them to get caught-she was driving up from her college an hour away in the middle of the night and they would be together downstairs watching me on my 2 year olds baby monitor to make sure I was asleep and he was using a weekly poker game as a cover for driving down to her college in the middle of the week and they took advantage of me being in the hospital for two nights because I had a 10lb baby and they wanted to keep me an extra night. After A LOT of prayer and a genuine show of remorse on my husbands part (my sister is still saying that it’s not a big deal and I should just put my big girl panties on and get over it) my husband and I agreed to move towards restoration (my son is now 9 months old) but the trusting and the deep feelings of betrayal and disloyalty are like huugeee weights on my heart.

      • Rick says:

        Melissa,
        you said a mouthful of truth. Sometimes we put our trust in people even our spouse not realizing that non of us are perfect people. I am not excusing what happen, but applauding your revelation that God must be the ultimate to trust in. Especially through such an ordeal!! Praying that you hear clearly and follow the direction of the Lord!!! Praying that you Husband truly repents and is willing to go the long haul to rebuild the trust. I know because it took me over 18 years to do so with my spouse. I am glad with God’s help I went that route. It was worth it.!!!!

  • Larry Hayward says:

    If your spouse has been unfaithful, re-establishing trust is not your responsibility – it is your spouse’s . . . and that can only happen over a period of time, if the words and behavior of your spouse earn it. Your responsibility is to forgive, which is not easy to do. However, forgiveness is more of a decision than it is a feeling.

  • Fran Wakefield says:

    This is an opportune reminder for me that a marriage isn’t a once for all living happily ever after. It’s a commitment/ covenant for life for both of us. After 49 1/2 years, we are still working to keep our marriage strong. The enemy is like a roaring lion seeking anyone he can devour. (1Peter 5:8NLT)
    I think an essential addition to this list is comminication. Taking the time to talk about everything. It takes two to tangle so no matter what, each has a responsibility to make the marriage work. Thank you Les & Leslie, for these important reminders.

  • Marie Sharpe says:

    Beautifully written. I enjoyed reading this article.

    Marie

  • Barb says:

    HI Do you (Les and Leslie) have any stats about divorce rates of couples who pray together? I thought you had an amazing statistic about the divorce rate being 1 in 1000 or better, when couples pray together regularly. If you do you could send the reference of the study done?

  • TJ miller says:

    Hi, I have played the blame game for a long time I have blamed my wife for my depression I have and have had! I scared her and lost trust by making her think I was going to hurt myself. I was running from God and he has really got ahold of me! I am in the best I have ever been with God!! My wife has asked me to move my out and she is thinking of divorce. I have been working so hard on myself praying now she has giving a list of things I have to do before she will even consider reconciliation. I have said I sinned against her and asked for forgiveness. I have changed so much and she won’t even talk to me! We have had communication issues our whole marriage 15 years! There has been a lot of hurt on both sides! Any suggestions

    • Lisa R says:

      Kudos to running TO GOD this time TJ! Sounds like allot of hurt & emotional beatings that left some battle scars for you both. Best suggestion is continue to heal & build up yourself with love from God & dose of humility needs to keep you grounded. Pray how God can show you what you need to do to make amends & show your change. Obey. Listen to your wife’s needs & hurts & carry forward in love as God helps win all battles. He knows your hurts, pains & the plans He has for you. Deep Trust & Faith as nothing is impossible if your heart is aligned. Keep asking for prayer & answers will come. Blessings

  • Dave Deur says:

    Great insight! I believe Humility is the foundation for the rest.

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