When both the husband and wife each, individually, commit themselves to an obedient, close, growing relationship with God, then to a selfless, caring, committed relationship with each other, their marriage can last.
Second Corinthians 6:14–15 says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?" Marrying another Christian goes a long way in making a marriage last. Most importantly, believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, so each spouse will have the Holy Spirit's help in making their relationship strong. Believers should also hold to the same biblical values. For example, both should seek to love the other with the agape love of God and be willing and quick to forgive.
The Bible offers married people much advice. Even more, God tells us we can ask Him for wisdom and He will provide it (James 1:5). Studying the Bible together and praying together for your marriage, as well as doing these things alone and with larger groups of believers, are vital to a lasting marriage.
Ephesians 5 tells married people to selflessly serve one another. The husband should follow God and love, honor, and protect his wife (Ephesians 5:25–33) and the wife should follow God and submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22–24, 33).
Every marriage benefits from spending time together; voicing admiration and love for one another; serving one another; giving gifts (material and immaterial) to one another; showing kindness, forgiveness, affection, and understanding; and liberally demonstrating love in the way the other spouse best receives it (his or her "love language").
God instituted "oneness" in the first marriage, that between Adam and Eve. He said they became "one flesh" (Genesis 2:23–24). This means more than the physical bonding; it includes a oneness of mind and purpose. This type of unity is possible and much enhanced when both people in a marriage take their marriage vows before God seriously.
All couples will experience degrees of trouble and rough going. During these times, it is important to communicate clearly, to avoid manipulation or making threats (for example, using the threat of divorce for shock value), and to commit to finding resolution. Fight for your marriage together. If one spouse "wins" and the other "loses," both have lost. Husband and wife should also be willing to get help from others when needed—for example, a godly older Christian couple, pastor, or Christian marriage counselor.
Prayer is always essential, and even more important during times of hardship. Pray for your marriage and for your own heart to be malleable to God's guidance. Trust that God will hear and guide. Remain committed to your marriage and willing to work toward healing and restoration. When both spouses are seeking God and willing to humbly serve the other, a marriage can last.
Much of the selflessness God calls us to in marriage can be found in many good, solid, long-lasting marriages. What often sets a marriage of two Christians apart from others, is that both the husband and wife funnel their commitment to each other through their vows and relationship with God.
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