7 Questions Answered by Couples Striving for a Godly Marriage

There have been many interpretations of God’s plan for marriage come to light since the beginning of time. Since the New Covenant was established, it was made so clear in scripture that God’s intentions for marriage is for one woman and one man for life. Marriage is between two humans, and so unfortunately some spouses are abusive and some are unfaithful. Marriages do end and that not only hurts people but also God. When most couples say their vows, their intentions are to stay together for a lifetime.

Some people enter the marriage covenant abruptly without properly preparing themselves. Others enter the lifelong commitment without knowing themselves or their now spouse enough. And then there are couples who make the commitment based on the lust they have for their mate, not the love.

Thankfully many couples come in with all the right premarital counseling, the right intentions to have a God centered marriage, and fully knowing their spouse…but with even all of this, many do not follow through. Getting married is the simple part. Planning a wedding is nothing compared to being intentional daily to be what you need to be as a wife or husband. Staying married is the challenging part. Constantly choosing one another, being completely selfless in order to support each other while still taking care of your own personal needs, and  balancing work and play are just a few of the qualities one must have to be a Godly spouse for a lifetime.

I have personally noticed a trend of couples not staying committed to the commitment. Many couples are even choosing to not fully commit to marriage while enjoying the benefits that God purposed for marriage.

I want to place focus on those couples who have already made the commitment to be married for life…a life they will live together for Christ. I want to focus on sharing their advice on what they are currently doing to keep their marriage fun, focused, and fruitful.

To the spouse feels like you are the only one trying, you are not alone.

To the spouse that feels like you are not enough, you are not alone.

To the spouse that feels like you have messed up too much, you are not alone.

To the spouse that feels like you are too far apart, you are not alone.

To the spouse who lives in fear that this is what it will always be like, you are not alone.

AddieZAlana0346eYou are not alone, because others feel the same way. You are not alone because God hears your cries. You can have hope, because others have overcome it. You are not alone, because Christ died to bring you salvation. God is The Healer of more than just diseases. God can fix a broken marriage and mend a hurting heart.

I have used my Instagram platform to address 7 questions (so far) that I feel could benefit other married couples committed to a God centered marriage. Receiving these responses have been so beneficial to me thus far by encouraging me to be more intentional in choosing my husband, Tyler, each day.

Day 1 Question: What do you do to make your marriage more God centered?

  • We pray together every night. We always specifically pray for our relationship.
  • We try to read our Bibles at the same time every night to bring us intentionally together in God; I tell my husband I am praying for him and ask if I can pray for anything specific; say every day reasons why we are thankful for our marriage and each other!  
  • Openly communicating with each other about what they say/do when it may come across wrong. Helping each other think through whether or not it is a godly decision/one that represents Christ and His attitude. It will hurt your pride when your spouse speaks up over something you said/did, but we’ve told each other they have permission to say what needs to be said-because at the end of the day we are representing Christ and we want it to be an accurate representation, as much as possible. 
  • We pray together every morning. It may be on the phone, it may be in person, but we always pray together in the mornings at some point. 

Day 2 Question: What is your favorite “little thing” that your spouse does?

  • He ALWAYS hugs me as soon as he comes home from work, no matter how crummy his day was.
  • My husband works 12 hour days. He rubs my feet and back every night. I don’t deserve him.
  • I love it when my husband lets me sleep in on Saturday mornings and gets our daughter dresses and fed! It seems so small, but it’s greatly appreciated. Also, his “I love you” texts he sends while he is at work always puts a smile on my face. 
  • He always makes sure I get my coffee in the morning. It might be because he knows I can’t have a conversation without it, but it helps get my day started.
  • He cleans the house for me when I work weekends. Seems insignificant, but when you work 12 hour shifts it’s amazing to come home to a clean house. 
  • He washes dishes!! I have a really weak stomach, so I can’t handle cold leftover food or old food that’s been sitting on plates. So he washes all the dishes no matter how long they’ve been there.
  • My husband will make the bed, because he knows how much I love getting into a “fresh” bed.
  • He never leaves the house without kissing me.
  • My husband tells me I look beautiful every single day. I might be in pajamas with spit up stains, unwashed hair, and morning breath, but he is going to tell me I look beautiful….even when I don’t. And the thing is, he makes me believe it!! Even though I know I can’t possibly be attractive at that moment!! Mommin’ takes a lot of self-care time away.
  • My husband always washes the dishes! He knows how much I hate it and so he does it almost every single time! 🙂
  • He makes our bed in the mornings. 

Day 3 Question: What did you do to prepare for marriage as a couple?

  • We went to premarital counseling. It was so helpful to go through all of the topics together with someone we trusted. It makes all the difference!
  • As soon as we got engaged, we immediately opened up a joint bank account and deposited about 75% of each paycheck into the account. So, when we got married, we had a nice savings built up. This was amazing because we were living of a very, very small amount of money from his preaching job when we got married. Fun fact: we did not touch any of the money we had saved up pre-marriage until this past November when my car died and we had to get a new one!
  • We went to pre-engagement counseling instead of premarital! It focused on the exact same things, but without the pressure of an engagement and wedding dates looming over our heads. We wanted to take every problem head-on with time. honesty, acknowledgement, and prayer. We also saved money until it hurt wayyyy before we got married. We wanted to have a solid savings account to lessen the financial strains from the beginning. That savings enabled us to move without a financial burden and built on our nest egg. We went without for a long time, but it was so worth it. 
  • We just stayed true to our values we were raised on. But knew God was in the forefront no matter what.
  • Premarital counseling. It’s an absolute must. And not just a preacher. Use a licensed counselor (who might also be a preacher). Personal opinion, but it helped to be evaluated as a couple psychologically.
  • We talked about realistic expectations….like house cleaning, for example: I don’t mind folding clothes, but I hate putting them away. He doesn’t mind doing that.

Day 4 Question: What’s your process to make big life decisions as a Godly couple?

  • We pray about the decision separately and then together! Usually, we’ll have a coffee date or go on a long walk and talk about our thoughts, our prayers, and how the decision can be made. We encourage each other to trust God will lead us in the decisions we make!
  • Pro/Con white paper. We write it down and weigh out the pros and cons on whatever the choices are. 
  • We discuss it, write it down (pros/cons), pray over it, and give ourselves a set time we come back and talk about it again.

Day 5 Question: What do you do to continue to intentionally and fiercely date your spouse?

  • We act like it’s our first date each date we take.
  • This one is hard since the baby got here. We try to pick out a movie on Netflix to save for later in the week, to anticipate. We normally get ice cream and sit and watch something together. Really its just planing and anticipating something. Doesn’t matter what. 
  • Now that our twins are here, we are still working on this! Usually we wait until both babies are down for the night, and we eat ice cream and watch Andy Griffith. Good for the marriage….not our weight!
  • We Netflix and chill!! We also try to go on an adventure a few times a month!
  • Well since we just got married, we are still in that phase where everything seems like a date. But I love nights when he just asks me to watch a movie with him and we just cuddle up on the couch. 

Day 6 Question: If you could give advice to a couple about to enter the marriage relationship, what would you say?

  • Date! Keep dating always, no matter what it takes!
  • Read good books together. We read out loud when we are traveling so we can discuss them.
  • Enjoy everything you go through in the present time. Soak it all in. Because one day you’ll look back and say “remember when….those were great times” Also—-keep God first in all you do!
  • Learning to be selfless is hard-SO hard- but necessary for marriage to work. It’s a learned habit that you still have to choose each day!
  • It will BY FAR be the hardest things you have ever done. If you are blessed to have kids, for most people, that love comes naturally. No matter how many times our kids hurt, disappoint, or offend us when they are young, we always just love them no matter what. With a spouse, it’s different. It’s a choice you make everyday. There will be days you like them and days you might look in the mirror and thing, “What have we done? Do we even have anything in common anymore?” There will be HIGH highs and LOW lows. What a lot of people don’t tell you is that when you stick through the lows, the highs become much sweeter. Some seasons will be much easier, fun, and new. Some seasons will feel stale.  IT IS NORMAL, but that doesn’t mean you just accept it and don’t do anything about it. You continuously fight to be the best you can be together. Marriage is not 50/50. It is 100/100. Sometimes you have to pick up the slack for your partner, and that’s okay. But I really believe that to make it work the best, God wants 100% of the best you can do from both the husband and wife. Also as weird as it might sound, I don’t believe God created marriage for us. Do we get perks from it, pleasure from it? Yes. Husbands get a help-meat, wives get a protector, both spouses get strength and a place to share a physical desire. But the ultimate purpose of marriage was to further God’s kingdom. So if your ultimate plan for marrying someone is for them to make you happy….ACK (insert buzzer sound). Happiness can’t come from another human, that void can only be filled by God and it’s something most people work their entire lives to figure out. So understand that you’ll have happiness (and sadness), but the purpose of your marriage isn’t about you or him, its about HIM. 
  • The small things are the killers. You discuss and agree on a lot of big things, but you didn’t realize he leaves his towel in the floor, puts toilet paper on backwards, and likes sleeping on the same side of the bed you do. Communicate about all these little things. Those are the things that become big fights over time. 
  • BE KIND! Kindness matters in friendships, work relationships, etc. and it is SO important in a marriage. Kindness fills each other’s love tank instead of depleting it. A lot of things can be solved if each person is kind in speech, attitude, and actions! 
  • (The small things) Some of our biggest arguments when we first got married were over him always leaving his clothes on the floor beside our hamper and the fact that I always sleep in the middle of the bed no matter how big it is!
  • COMMUNICATE!!!!! Being open with each other makes things so much easier! And never go to bed angry. Even if you have to stay up later than you want, talk it out. A lot can happen during the 8 (or probably 5-6) hours you are asleep.
  • Never forget you are on the same team.  If a problem comes up, frame it in a way that you’re both working toward a solution together instead of being against each other. 
  • Be slow to anger and quick to forgive. The longer you let something frag on the harder it is to forgive and let it go. Communication is a huge thing. If something makes you upset, then tell them. Don’t pout around hoping they’ll just know what they did because men will never just know.
  • Remember to have fun!!! Go and do and play! You work so hard to start your life and build up your bank account but having fun with your spouse will mean so much more than whatever number is in your account. And once kids come (speaking from experience) it’s hard to go, do, and play! Enjoy each other and have a blast!
  • That everyday you are not gonna like each other, even though you love each other!!! In the bad moments, remember they are human too and you are in this together!!! Some days you will not remember why you married them, and other days you will see every good thing in them. You are in this TOGETHER!!!
  • Don’t give up!!

Day 7 Question: How do you serve your spouse and your family like Christ served the church?

  • I had to really think about this one. I believe this has to do start with being selfless. Now, I am NOT selfless all the time. I am human. I am an emotional woman. I am definitely not always selfless; however, I should be. I am constantly working on that and praying to be more selfless–not just in my marriage, but also in my other relationships. I am not saying to let anyone run over you, but when you put God first, other people automatically become second. It isn’t about me and what I want. It is about pleasing God and bringing Him glory by putting others above myself. That’s why he died for us. He put God first and us second. When each spouse is working to be selfless, their marriage thrives. Again, we are human and don’t get this right all the time, but I truly believe all the other godly things in marriage grow from selflessness. That’s where is starts.
  • We seek to keep each other pure! Purity is often synonymous with sexual purity, in Christian minds, but it reaches far beyond that in marriage. From movies to books to speaking or people in your work environment, we strive to keep filling our lives and minds with purity. 
  • I try to love them and try to remember that it is an honor to serve them, not a duty or a drudgery. I try to do for them the things no one else wants to do. But, at the same time teach them in a way they can understand because I know I won’t always be here for them physically and in person. 

WOW! Isn’t it a blessing to learn from other couples who are fighting against the devil each day to sustain a marriage that resembles the way Christ loved the church? How awesome would it be to hear what works for other married couples more often? Sometimes the truth hurts and it steps on our toes. I feel like we find it easier to air our dirty laundry instead of encourage others with our personal war story! (Our war against the devil.) We chose to complain about what our mate doesn’t do rather than praise what they are already doing. We focus too much on the let downs, and not enough on the pick me ups.

My goal is try to implement at least one of these ideas/actions that I have learned from my survey each day as I try to be a more Christ-like bride to my sweet Tyler.

A huge”thank you” to all who shared how you and your spouse are nurturing your marriage in a way God is proud of. I would love to collect more insight for each of these questions from other couples who are pursuing a Godly marriage.

Click here to participate.

Sincerely,

A Wife (in progress)

 

Jud Davis Photography

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