10 Good Christian Marriage Rules

by David Peach on September 21, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

Here are ten good rules to help make your marriage stronger.

End the Day With a Clean Slate

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26 to not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Make it a goal to clear the air with your spouse on a daily basis. Fortunately, most days there will not be a need to clean the slate. For those days where tensions are high make an agreement with one another that you will work out your differences before going to bed.

Not 50-50

The Bible says that it is a man’s responsibility to love (Ephesians 5:25) and it is a woman’s responsibility to submit (Ephesians 5:22). If the husband will commit to love then it makes it much easier for the wife to submit. If the wife will submit, the husband will have less trouble loving her. The beautiful thing about this is that God does not say, “a man should love his wife if she will submit.” Or, “a woman should submit to her husband if he loves her.” Each spouse’s responsibility is independent of what the other one does.

When a couple looks at marriage as a 50-50 agreement then they will always play off of how the other treats them. However, when they see the marriage as their sole responsibility, then they will have a much stronger and happier marriage.

Keep Personal Problems Personal

Don’t share your marriage problems with your co-workers. If you are seeing a marriage counselor then it is important to be open and honest. But when chatting with your friends at the water cooler or the hair salon, you need to guard your negative words about your spouse. Long after the problem is resolved your friends will remember. They weren’t part of the healing process and therefore they won’t know how to forget.

Live Within Your Means

One of the major causes of divorce is money problems. Live with the money you have. Even though you think that expensive gift (that you can’t afford) will help endear your spouse to you, it more often than not will drive a wedge of insecurity in your relationship.

Divorce is Not an Option

Never enter a marriage with the thought that you can get divorced if things don’t work out. Regardless of your interpretation of the biblical passages dealing with divorce, you should make it a personal commitment to your spouse and to God that you will not consider divorce as an option. Enter the marriage with the understanding that you are making a solemn vow before God to your spouse that you will stay together until death separates you.

Guard Your Heart

Protect your eyes, ears and mind. Men, you need to learn to look away when your eyes are drawn to other women in an inappropriate way. Ladies, you may hear sweeter words from your co-worker than you do from your own husband. Remember to whom you made a promise to love—even when times are difficult.

Forget the Past

Isn’t it amazing how, all of a sudden, you can remember things from the past that you thought were forgotten when an argument arises between you and your spouse? Forget the wrong that he or she has done to you in the past and focus on the present and future.

Compliment in Word and Action

The word “compliment” can mean a couple of different things. First it can mean to say nice things to one another. It can also mean to do something that helps the other to be stronger or look better in the eyes of others. Both senses of the word compliment are important in a marriage.

Love One Another

Make a decision to love one another even if your spouse does not deserve your love.

Put God First

Most people who want to protect their marriage will say that their spouse is more important than their job. Unfortunately, it seems that people who are in ministry (pastors, missionaries, etc.) will say that in a list of priorities their wife is sometimes at the top of the list and sometimes their ministry is. If you put God at the top of your priority list, He will show you where your emphasis should be at any given time. If God is truly first, then the other priorities will fall into place.

Do you have any good rules in your marriage? Share them with us in the comments!

Resources:

The Holy Bible, King James Version

 



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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrae Palmer September 23, 2011 at 9:06 am

one thing i live by is to have fun with my wife, laughter is a good way to enjoy each others company and ease the tension and help each other relax and forget about the days activities

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P Dsouza September 24, 2011 at 5:35 am

The golden rule we follow is there is no yours and mine, there is only ours, all our bank accounts are shared and every decision that would require some thinking is done together, we both work so we simply follow save a sal, spend a sal system and it works out just fine. Also we make a conscious effort to not bird dog and nag each other ;)

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Pam September 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Excellent advice David! I especially like the 50/50 one. Sometimes we need to give 100%; and marriage is about “giving” not receiving. Thanks for this!

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joshua January 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

you must communicate every day, no secrets.

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Pam January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

AMEN!

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Judy April 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Never do anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse to do. Whether on a business trip, out with friends or together.

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Chell April 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Daily ask “Honey, can I do anything for you” and than do it. Usually the reply is a glass of tea or something equally simple but it always communicates that they are important to you and you have a willingness to please them. It is the simple things that you do everyday that make a marriage.

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Ashley August 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

Yes, i do this all day everyday for my husband.

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RachelandFred Gonzales May 9, 2012 at 1:45 am

Sometimes you have to be the first to say your sorry even when you feel your right. My husband isn’t one to say he is sorry, but his body language speaks volumes.

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Me May 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

I have been a good dedicated Christian wife to my emotionally abusive husband for close to 20 yrs now. I have given of myself so much to try and make him happy only to get mistreated or neglected in return. My husband is incredibly selfish and not committed to anything but himself.
He is a Christian but has slipped away from God. He said he’d try to get closer to him again but as with everything that requires work for him he quit. I have been so depressed and so miserable, so lonely for so long. When is it time to walk away?
God surely doesn’t want this kind of life and misery for me…:(

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Judy May 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Jimmy Evans- he is a minister who does marriage counseling. You can find him on Google. He and his wife have some great advice and videos. May help.

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Michelle May 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Ive been reading a book called Love &
Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I
Highly recommend it to any and all
Married couples. It’s been very helpful!
God bless!! ;)

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David Peach July 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

I am sorry I did not see your comment sooner. Let me suggest you use the contact link above and ask your question. Pam, one of our writers, might be able to help you with some decision making. In your email write that you would like the message forwarded to her.

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Christian man January 11, 2014 at 9:57 am

Continue to be a good dedicated Christian wife to your husband. I know it is hard due to his disposition, but this honors God. Remember in Galatians 6:9 it says “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I, too am in a troubled marriage. It is a long story, just know that God is with us – He will see us through. We just need to continue to lean on Him, coming to God boldly in prayer, asking Him to help us. Yes, it is hard work (showing acts of kindness to him when he emotionally hurts you), sometimes you feel like giving up, wondering if God is even listening to us. BUT HE IS!!!. My wife says she is a Christian. I hope she is. But she is having trouble submitting to me (perhaps because I have made it hard for her due to my inconsistent behavior towards her) I recognize there are things I have done that has hurt the marriage and have confessed that to God and to certain people. If we are to get any healing in this, we need to remember that confessing to the right people is one of the ways to experience healing in our marriages. James 5:16 says “Confess your fault one to another and pray for one another so you may be healed. The fervent effectual prayer of the righteous availeth much.”
I’ve been married over 19 years now dealing with this. Remember Hebrews 10:23 which says “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;
I hope this response to your comment was not too long and can be a ministry to you.

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Dove September 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Hello Me

I can certainly relate to you. My husband and I have been married for 17 years. It’s a second marriage for us both. We are senior citizens in our late 60′s. I feel as though I’m living a life of torment. Sorry for your situation, but glad to know I”m not the only person out there depressed and miserable.

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Suzanne May 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm

“Do unto others” really applies well here

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Sarah Caldwell June 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Spend time with your spouse doing things you both enjoy. Don’t come to dread spending time together because you associate it with talking about hard things. Speak well of your spouse to others when you have the opportunity, not as bragging, but as a way to focus yourself on his/her best qualities.

Find a way to celebrate your anniversary every year. That’s the day that a marriage was born and ignoring the date makes the event seem trivial.

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Cat July 8, 2012 at 1:31 am

Next time someone gets married, give them a plaque with 1 Corinthians 13 engraved on it! It is nice to place above your bed, or on a nightstand. It will be a constant reminder of Gods’ definition of Christian love, or Christian Charity as that is the word used in the King James Bible…Christian Charitys’ definition would be a combining of our currant definition of love combined with our understanding of true charity. In biblical days those concepts were inseparatable. This is how we are told to behave toward one another…its the bibles definition of Love and therefore, a recipe for a good marriage! I am now divorced…I lived with an abusive man for 14 yrs and only divorced when he filed so he could marry his new mistress. He was not truely saved…at one point he claimed to have found Christ on the battle field but never acted in any way as a Christian man. Even so, I know there were times that I would have behaved differantly if I had remembered this scripture better on a daily basis. If it is near your bed, you will be constantly reminded the importance of forgiveness and less likely to go to bed angry. You also will wake each day reminded of the attributes of true love and their importance to living a obedient Christian life which will reflect in your marriage. Even though I no longer am married, I now have it over my bed so that I remember how to treat others…esp those I care for!

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David Peach July 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

Great suggestion Cat. Thanks for commenting.

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andrew iroboinose September 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I need an answer to this question. Can a believer married to an unbeliever?

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David Peach September 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Yes, they CAN be married. The bigger question is, SHOULD they get married? I believe the answer is a resounding No. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 that Christians should not be yoked (or joined together) with an unbeliever. It is asking for unnecessary trouble.

There are so many other inequalities in a couple, adding a different belief systems is building a marriage on a very weak foundation.

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Cat September 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

Andrew…I agree with David that they probably shouldn’t get married. With that said however, if you already are married, it is not grounds for divorce…1Cor. 7:12-16 says, that we are not to divorce an unbelieving spouse because we know not whether we will be the ones who shall save them. If you divorce them they may never be saved but if you remain togather, they can learn from you and possibly eventually be saved.

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James November 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm

can i marriage a big girl according to my age. please any one tell me.

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Cat November 20, 2012 at 1:05 am

Hi James…Please clarify what you mean by “Big” girl? I would think it would be a referance to size but then you throw in your age. You need to clarify, size, or age! If you are referring to age, we would need to know your age and theirs.

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james November 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm

actually i am 24 year old and she 27 year old. can i marry her

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Cat November 28, 2012 at 1:50 am

Hi James…Sorry it took me so long to answer but I was hoping a minister on the site would answer this one. Since nobody else has, I am going to try to give you advice I wish somebody had given me! The bible does not restrict us from marrying people older than us to my knowledge. Besides, she is not that much older. Just remember that love is not always enough in this hard world. With that in mind, I would think the only three questions to ask yourselves should be, in order…1) Are you both truely saved Christians? It is important to have a marriage centered on God if you want it to last! You should make sure that you both are active in your church, pray togather, read your bible togather, and go to church togather whenever possible! This will lay a good foundation for your marriage especially in difficult times. 2) Are you both at the same level maturity wise? What I mean is that a woman in her late 20′s usually knows what she wants in way of family, kids, and career. Sometimes it takes men a little longer to want to get serious about these things. Are both are ready for a family and all that comes with marriage? 3) Do you both love each other enough to place the well being of the other over your own desires? If the answer is yes truthfully to all of these, then I would say, Get Married!

Good Luck and God Bless…Cat

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Wendy March 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

We was married for 24 years and spent most of our marriage strongly involved in church and church minstry. Sadly now divorced. I also know of distant friends from another church now sadly divorced after 12 years of marriage. Based on these two marriageS failing I want to say this: the BIG KEY to keeping a marriage after many years to remain on track, till death do us part is ‘COMMUNICATION AND COMPROMISE.’ You ‘MUST’ sit down ‘TOGETHER’ and communicate your HONEST feelings, problems, issues, differences etc on a ‘REGULAR BASIS’, forgiving one another in love ALWAYS. And also celebrate your successes TOGETHER.
We were a family that prayed together often, raised wonderful children in love (no compromise); a great example of a Godly christian family. But mine and my husbands relationship failed in the end, in that one area – ‘we never communicated enough’. We were great mind readers, very dangerous ground to live on.
Hope this helps someone.

steph December 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

My husband and I are both on our second marriage. when we met itwasgreat! he is a Christian man with great values. we dated for almost 2 years before getting married. my 1st marriage didn’t end well and I had to get an order of protection, which my current husband knew was an issue. the thing is I didn’t know that my husband had a drug problem. hewould go on a binge every 3to6 months. Well that is something he never told me. right before we got married gee left a couple of times but said it was stress and he didn’t know how to handle it. when we got married he promised that wasn’t the life for him and he was done. gee . Left me the first month we were married and then again a few months later and got a dui with probation and he went a while clean but then went off again. I told him I was done and he had to go because it wasn’t healthy for my kids to see this behavior. He went on his own and admitted himself to treatment. it’s been a year this past thanksgiving hewas clean which was awesome, but then he started letting things bother him and we found out his dad has cancer and they work together, plus holidays etc… Well he started telling me how I’m a people and friends pleaser, how I don’t make my kids turn off lights, how I’m double minded and selfish so he could justify leaving. I have a friend that was in an innerracial relationship and let them come stay with me before meeting ny husband and he has been going off on me for days about it. She was coming in town by herself and was staying with us but he chose that as his reason to get angry with me and leave. we have a blended family with 5 kids…what am I supposed to do at this point? allow him to continue to leave when he gets mad putting our family in hold and his dad and work in a bind? I know the bible is against divorce and I love him but can’t continue to deal with this. what do I do?

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David Peach March 15, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Steph, I am sorry for your situation. I suggest you seek counsel from your pastor and get help for both of you. Your husband is not treating you and your children in a proper way. He needs to know your feelings and what he is putting the family through. Also, I believe you could benefit from pastoral care and counseling to help you see how you may be able to help the situation.

Beyond that, you need someone of confidence to know what is going on. There may be physical abuse and legal issues that could arise in the future. Having a counselor that knows the situation can help you if those issues crop up.

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Mickey January 9, 2013 at 3:16 am

Always treat your spouse as you would want your son or daughter to be treated by his/her spouse.

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mimi January 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I’m in the 7 year of marriage.i was a fresh graduate from school when i married my husband.i had so much hope for the future and hoped together we could help each other achieve their dream.i got pregnant just after getting married so had to put my dream of further education on hold.i went through 9 months of pregnancy alone because my husband relocated to a different country.it was a difficult pregnancy and had to undergo c section because baby was too big.i had depression afterwards and lost contact with most of my friends.
We finally got together about 4 years ago snd had a 2nd baby.apart from helping with the kids occasionally,all he does during his spare time is sit behind his laptop and chat his friends on phone.the only time he notices me is when he wants sex.he no longer gives me presents on special occasions like he used during dating period and even when i get him a present he says its waste of money and asks me to return it to the shop for my money.we stopped going out about 3years ago because he is always busy with other things.i have spoken to him about it on numerous times that we need to spend time as a couple but he never listens.i have prayed about it over and over again but situation remains the same.what should i do? Is there something i’m not doing right?

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Robert February 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Mimi,
For a marriage to be all it can be, it must be based on God’s standard, dedicated to God, and lived out in a God-honoring way. Your comment says nothing about whether or not you and your husband are Christians or not, so I hope you are. Marriages have a hard enough time in this culture when they ARE based on God’s Word; however, if they are not based on His Word, they have even less of a chance. I will be praying for your marriage. Trust God and follow Him with all your heart.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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bobby March 13, 2013 at 8:42 am

Ive been married just over a year my wife has male friend that only cpmmunicate to her when im not around and they have caused us many atguments. We finally got passed the issues and moved on but recently ive found out she is back in contact and even meeting at least one of the van my marriage still work. Im in dispear.

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Robert March 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Bobby,
Marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman. The marriage is supposed to be dedicated to God. In this day and age, so many things threaten to tear marriages apart that it is a wonder any marriage not committed to God survives at all.
You and your wife need to commit your relationship to God and then to each other. I don’t know the details of what is going on, so I hesitate to be any more specific. All I can assure you of is God’s love and His strength…but you have to be committed to Him. I sure hope this helps and I will be praying for you, your wife, and your marriage.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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cALMAH March 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I have been married for 14 years when my husband decided to leave me for another woman. He left me with 4 children. I was shocked the first time I heard about his affairs with the other woman. It took me 4 years to get over the pain.
Now I am living happily with my 4 children. He only comes to deliver food on his pay week. He has moved on with his life. I am a Christian and know that God does not approved divorce. I have been alone for nearly 6 years now and feel that I need a companion to share my life with. What should I do?

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Sara April 29, 2013 at 9:53 am

Hi. I feel for your situation, and I wish you God’s peace and joy. I don’t know how qualified I am to offer solid advice, so I would suggest that you talk to a pastor about where you should start in looking for God’s partner for you. But I am sure God would not begrudge you finding a new spouse. Remember that you are not the one who broke your vow; God allows for divorce when the spouse has been unfaithful. So I don’t think you should feel like you shouldn’t find a true companion to share your life with. Just make sure you both are putting Christ first and are truly committed to each other and your children. I hope this helps. God bless you!

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David Peach April 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I appreciate what Sara said, you should talk with your pastor. He will be able to help you through this time. I think it is critical to attach yourself to a good church that can become a support network to you.

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dorothy April 4, 2013 at 10:47 am

I THANK GOD FOR THIS CHRISTAIN PLATFORM FOR MARRIAGE COUNSELLING.MY MARRIAGE IS 6 YEARS OLD,MY PROBLEM STARTED FROM THE FIRST DAY I MEET MY HUSBAND,I NOTICED THAT HE PUTS HIS FAMILY FIRST AND PREFERS THEM TO ANY OTHER PERSON.I THOUGHT HE WOULD AJUST THAT ONCE WE MARRY FULLY,BUT I WAS SO WRONG.IT GETS WORSE BY DAY TILL NOW,HE MADE ME A SLAVE TO HIS FAMILY.EVEN IN MY HOME,I DONT MATTER AND AM ALWAYS DISREGARDED ONCE IT CONCERNS HIS FAMILY.THERE IS NO ABUSIVE WORD HE HASNT USED ON ME,BUT SINCE WE MARRIED,HE HAS NEVER RAISED HIS VOICE OR GET ANGRY WITH ANY MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY.HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT HE DECIDED HE WILL NEVER SEE WRONG ABOUT ANY OF HIS FAMILY,EVEN WHEN THEY ARE WRONG.I AM SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING DIVORCE,COS I AM ALWAYS UNHAPPY AND THIS AFFECTS MY R\SHIP WITH GOD COS I AM A BORN AGAIN CHRISTAIN.I NEED URGENT HELP.

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David Peach April 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Dorothy, I am sorry you are going through this. Please find a church and a pastor who can give you good biblical counseling. Your situation may be only verbal abuse at this time, but it could turn to physical violence. You need to talk with a pastor who can help you know what to do and who can help provide protection and support if necessary.

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jason May 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Hello,

I have known my wife for about 6 years but we got married almost a year ago. The problem started from the day we met, I was not saved and she was a Christian that did not act like one. I came to Christ a few years ago when I turned 22 after my parents passed away tragically. I was not raised in a christian home by any means however I have gotten rid of all bad habbits except cigarettesvwhich I am trying to quit. My wife before we had married cheated on me twice and finally against my friends judgements i married her cause I loved her deeply. I took her son in and work, she started going to bible college last year and I pay and support her for that. The problem is I work, clean, cook, rub her feet, gave her a home, and try to he there any time I could but now im getting burnt out cause I can’t get any help! I get yelled out for not having enough time to spend with them or take care of 4 dogs (which are all hers too) and by theb time I clean their dirty dishes and kitchen and my own laundry, maybe fix a sprinkler or do some yard work I am exhausted. She says I am in emotionally available but I don’t feel that’s fair. We just don’t see eye to eye on anything. Even though we both believe and love Christ its her parenting that angers me. She says I am not a man and a bad father figure. I do not drink or anything like that, take the boy to baseball games and try to show him things but she babies him and now it has gotten so bad that if I tell him to help me clean dishes after dinner he will cry and my wife will fend for him and back him up in front of him saying I need to show love??? There is NO discipline at all. His cerfew is at 10 at night and he is9!!! My father was raised in Mississippi so there is an idea on my up bringing. She got pregnant at the age 16… I played college football. It is tearing apart our marriage and I have given it everything I have and am getting threatened divorce?! I have prayed for the angels to protect our marriage but its failing. She also cheated on me months after we first gotmarrmarried and blamed it on me… I have even seen her on dating sites. She feels she married me when she was un healthy so now that she is in bible college she is a saint and I am an un fit husband. And yes we both serve at our church together. I’m not perfect at all but I’m trying. Please someone give me some advice…. Thank you

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David Peach May 10, 2013 at 11:06 am

Jason, I am sad to hear about the difficulties with your marriage. It does encourage me that you are involved in church.

My advice is that you try to get some counselling help from your pastor. If he does not feel qualified to help you, then he can surely recommend someone to help.

I trust God will give clarity through the help your pastor can provide.

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Lisa July 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

What exactly does it mean to have a christ centered marriage?

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Donna February 26, 2014 at 8:48 am

I just found this website and have been reading some of the comments and suggestions
I’m 50 years old married 26 years my husband left me 10 months ago. We have five children together first marriage for both of us.
Early on in our marriage we became Christians and were baptized together but we always seem to have disagreements in trouble that we could never get around. For years the busyness of raising a family pretty much kept us together he was busy working I became a stay-at-home mom after we had our third child and from time to time we had such great strife between us as the kids got older they both? Or not we wanted to stay married.
Well we kept going but about 2006 things were so bad between us he moved out of our bedroom and started sleeping on the couch. that became the beginning of a standoff between us that the worse and worse over the years many breakups and reconciliations but as the kids got older and became teenagers and rebellious things got a lot worse.
He was angry and resentful at me I was angry and resentful at him we both spoke terrible things to each other and I was always afraid that he was going to leave me and he always said he would.
When push came to shove at times of crisis I would always begging not to leave me and I would turn to Jesus and the Bible and beg him to do the same but he would always tell me he’s just not why Matt and he really just didn’t want to wait for relationship anymore which greatly distressed and angered me.
We lived together but I was so alone for so long I did have an affair at one point because he told me to just go find someone else and he was not going to change his mind. And we had no physical intimacy between us for all those years.
When I came back to God in shame and ended the affair I asked him for his forgiveness and though he said that it wasn’t an issue he never offered or gave his forgiveness.
At this point our children enrolled enough to know what was going on and it became an issue in the home and I was the one with the Scarlet letter at that point held up for all to see.
In the meantime we had a lot of strife and turmoil with our children our oldest son on drugs and in jail now and present currently he was married his wife also on drugs we had custody of their children. Certain private situation with our oldest daughter who was in college and then our next son filled with rage and being bipolar and being rested and in jail several times and my husband working long hours to stay away from the home and the only family time we had centering around the sports of our youngest children.
When my husband first left I was sure he was having an affair he gave every sign and I was so angry and just weary of all of the abuse I stayed mad and let them go we didn’t talk for about a month solid.
For the past three or four months I’ve been immersed in the Lord and he has spoken to my heart and convicted me regarding my behavior in my marriage I have tried to discuss some of this with my husband but he has refused and says that he just wants to move on with what’s left of his life and he does not want to go backwards.
Remembering that he and I both once had a strong faith in God and believing as I do that God hates divorce and feeling as if our marriage could be saved if we were both willing to turn to the Lord, i’ve been praying for God to touch his heart and bring him back to himself.
I can imagine spending the rest of my life without him I’ve been with him more than half of my life and despite our differences I do still love him. I don’t think he loves me.
Financially I haven’t been faring very well on my own where I live where I’ve only been able to maintain a part-time job at minimum wage while he makes almost $70,000 a year in management of his job.
Regardless of what I might eventually get in the court of divorce I just can imagine actually going to court he has not bothered to file and he’s willing to just let things go on as they are without filing.
Either way were both in limbo at this point and I feel that there is a reason a deeper reason why he hasn’t filed which keeps me praying for godly reconciliation.
I have written him numerous times though he does not ignore me and I’ve asked him for forgiveness I have admitted my faults and humbled myself but he does not respond to me.
Needless to say I’ve been in quite a bit of turmoil trying to rely heavily on the Lord.
I suppose this is quite long and I don’t exactly have a question I wish my husband would except counseling or go to church or pray right now it’s just me doing all the praying. I’m very tired I guess I just felt like getting this off of my chest.

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Haley Vera April 29, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Hello. I read your tips and they’re great. I plan totranscribe them into my diary. I have a question though. I feel unloved because my husband is not affectionate and is brash/cynical. I love him. Adore him. I do for him. I allow him to follow his dream. I make requests of him rarely. Yet, when i ask for affection or investment in me, it yields nothing. Am i doing something wrong. My emotional needs are not being met and being a hormonal needy woman, i seek advise as towhat to do. I also often feel inadequate and try to push myself to do moreBecause if i was doingenough, hed love more freely. (My logic).

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Melanie June 1, 2014 at 8:32 pm

As I read a lot of these pain-filled comments about struggling marriages, one thing that is absolutely key to enduring a bad marriage is healthy boundaries! I am married to an alcoholic/addict and had zero boundaries. I enabled his abusive behavior and rescued him from every kind of natural consequence his drinking and drugging should have brought about. I codependently tried to fix our problems and change my husband, but that was impossible. I finally gave up in August of 2012 and took our 3 young children and moved out.

I did not feel God release me from this marriage, so I have been living separated from my husband for almost 2 years now. In that time, I joined Celebrate Recovery to learn healthy behaviors (not codependent enabling ones) and have been digging in deeply with God and Christian counsel to heal from the wounds of our past. Praise God my husband went into treatment for his addiction in October 2012, but was still prone to abusive behavior and words towards me. It has been a lot of ups and downs, but again, Praise God we both stuck with this marriage and didn’t divorce!

My husband has really made some huge changes and is truly living like a God-honoring man. My heart has been slowly healing and turning back towards my husband. God has given us both strength, courage and endurance to root out our character defects and put this marriage back on track. God is in the business of restoring what the locusts have eaten, and it’s become true in my own marriage. While my husband and I are not yet living together again, I can say that I am more hopeful now that I have ever been that I will have a reconciled marriage. Isaiah 43:18-19 says that we are to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

For those with struggling marriages, I encourage you to get healthy yourself. If you have poor boundaries (or none at all), you are contributing to the problems in your marriage. Healthy boundaries will not solve the issues, but they will stop you from enabling the abusive behavior of your spouse. For those living with serious abuse or infidelity issues, separation (without divorce) is not necessarily ungodly. It may be the exact crisis your spouse needs to feel the weight of their choices and the exact situation you need to feel and be safe. I strongly recommend Boundaries in Marriage by Drs. Cloud and Townsend as well as Love Must be Tough by Dobson. Both are great resources for dealing with struggling marriages from a Christian perspective.

But whatever you do, seek God’s will first and foremost. I wanted so badly so many times during this separation to just run to the nearest divorce lawyer! However, I did not feel that God had released me from this marriage, so I begrudgingly stuck with it. God has done an amazing work in my heart and in my husband’s life as well. Our marriage is stronger now than it has ever been and I am confident it will continue to grow and mature into the godly marriage we should have had all along. I pray this encourages someone who may otherwise leave a bad marriage. Work on yourself. Allow God to heal your heart and give you the strength and courage needed to develop and enforce healthy boundaries with your spouse. Your spouse’s response to your growth and change is their responsibility. You need only keep your side of the street clean and trust God to deal with them in whatever manner He sees fit. Praise Him that he redeemed my husband and we now have a chance to glorify Him in our marriage and family!

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Lekan July 7, 2014 at 1:21 am

Coming across this article, and of course this website is worth more than a piece of Gold. When I get married, I can see where and where not to go, and what to do per time. God bless you all.

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Roz July 23, 2014 at 3:14 am

I have a question. Is there a difference in opinion about divorce if you were never married in the eyes of god in a Christian ceremony? I married my husband and ultimately did not listen to the counsel of god closely enough. He was not a christian and I am not sure if I would class myself as saved as my belief is not that strong. Though I have always believed marriage is sacred, due to my husbands abuse and drug and alcohol issues I cannot be with him. I never wanted to get a divorce ever but I now don’t want to be associated with him as he is going to go to prison. If I had been joined with him by god I wouldn’t consider divorce but wonder if our marriage is lesser as it was only a legal thing not spiritual? In this case would it be ok to divorce?

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Jack Wellman July 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

Thank you Roz for your question. Whether you were married in a civil ceremony, by a justice of the peace or in a church by a minister, if you are legally married, you are married in the eyes of God? Even so, if this many is abusing and has abused you and since this is a criminal act and deserves to be punished by the law and God wants us to obey the laws of the land and so(Rom 13). Have you spoken with your own pastor about this? That is the first thing you should do. Talk to him, in you haven’t already, and if not, why not?

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Roz July 23, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Thank you for clarifying this for me. I will be going to speak with my pastor very soon, as I have been putting it off for fear of what might be the response.

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Juan September 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm

The names that you call your spouse is what determines how you feel and will feel about your spouse.

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