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Christian Marriage

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Many experts have described what makes a healthy marriage. While some are helpful, most define marriage from a secular perspective of 1+1=2, and the information is about how each person can get their needs met or make their family successful in the world. A Christian marriage is defined by God, in the Bible, and the perspective is 1+1=1, (Genesis 2:24) the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. He wants both husband and wife to be fulfilled, but more importantly, He wants them together to be a team for Christ...loving others and spreading the Good News, starting with their own family. This true cleaving of man and wife depends on each person having a personal relationship with Christ and a shared commitment to keep Him at the center of their marriage. So very simply, a healthy marriage is one that stays together and has Christ as the leader.
STEPS TO A HEALTHY MARRIAGE (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Peter 3:18):
  • First you assess how well your marriage matches God's expectations.
  •        10 Keys to a Healthy Marriage.
           Try the Marriage Assessment Tool                  Healthy Communication Skills

  • Next develop a plan (sample) to make any changes necessary to be truly IN Christ.
  • Then you re-assess to see how you're doing, then revise the plan, re-assess, and so on.
    Once you have an idea of the areas you would like to work on, develop a plan of action for your growth in the faith.

    Try this sample plan.

    Make sure you are solid in your personal relationship with Jesus first.

    Try this Life IN Christ Assessment.

    Marriage IN Christ: 10 Keys to a Healthy Marriage

    • IN-tentional daily commitment to Christ and to stay married.
    • First, and most critical, commit your marriage to Jesus. Without His divine love and healing power, it is incredibly difficult to weather tough times. Second, commit to stay together no matter what. Without this, it is easy to give yourselves an out when the going gets rough. Reconfirm this commitment to each other and in daily prayers.
    • IN-stall structure that supports healthy relating.
    • We put planning and infrastructure into our work and leave our marriage/family up to the waves of daily life. Success depends on a family structure with defined roles, healthy communication patterns and lifestyle structure (schedule, budget, emergency plans). Without these, we fall into human behavior that is often self-preserving and dysfunctional for relationships.
    • IN-tegrate all aspects of your marriage into one Christian view.
    • Define your marriage view. You have two choices, Christ's view or the world's. Christ's view of marriage is defined in scripture (Gen 2:24; Matt 19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12; Eph 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7), but not popular in the world. It is difficult to be fully devoted to Christian marriage as it involves giving up self, tireless forgiveness and no escape. And the world view involves independence, taking care of "me" and an easy way out. We try to live a little in both views which gives Satan (the ruler of this world) a foot in the door. Once he gets a toehold, his mission is to destroy the marriage. No matter how hard, line your marriage up with God's description.
    • IN-corporate ways to show your love for each other every day.
    • Love is action and action speaks louder than words. Just saying the words does not convey the message. Take time to learn what your spouse values as loving acts then do them regardless of what you think of them. Ask your spouse what they would like from you.
    • IN-still the value that a healthy marriage determines the health of the family.
    • The function (or dysfunction) of the family is directly related to the health of the marital relationship. All relationships stem from this one. It is easy for couples to get wrapped up in their own relationship issues and needs and lose sight of the fact that it is not about them. It is about being a team for Christ to spread the Word, starting with their family. Children's destructive behavior is a communication to the outside that their is a problem with the family. When intervening with a hurting family, no matter who is acting out, family therapists will begin with assessing and healing the marriage.
    • IN-spect yourselves and your relationship every day in some way.
    • Since we are human and fall short of the glory of God, we have to take stock in how we are doing as a fully devoted follower of Christ and in our marriage. Proactive assessment is key to preventing the build up of resentment and hard feelings. (2 Cor 13:5; 2 Peter 3:18)
    • IN-volve yourselves in a church family.
    • Our church family is our extended family, critical in readying us for battle with Satan, in providing refuge from the world and rejuvenating us for more battle. In this family, we receive encouragement, instruction and chastisement when needed. Involvement in this family is a major support for our marriage.
    • IN-fluence your children and younger couples with mentoring and modeling.
    • Your primary mission field is in your home. Here you can make a difference for Christ every day. Showing your children a team for Christ; modeling loving each other, offering a loving home focused on serving others. Take time to invest in younger couples who need help building their team. (Titus 2:1-7)
    • IN-spire others with stories about how Christ is alive in your marriage.
    • The most powerful witness for Christ is your testimony. (John 4:39;1 Peter 3:15,16) Give glory to God for your marriage and the journey He has you on.
    • IN-filtrate the world with the message that God hates divorce and heals marriages.
    • It is very difficult for couples to ignore the world's message that divorce is an acceptable way to escape marriage and preserve self. Couples in turmoil are bombarded with that message. Whenever possible, tell them Christ's message about marriage, that He hates divorce and if asked, He will take the lead and heal any marriage.
    Genesis 2:24 NIV A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

    Matthew 19:3-12 NIV 3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" 4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'" 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." 7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" 8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." 10 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." 11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

    Mark 10:2-12 NIV 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3 "What did Moses command you?" he replied. 4 They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." 5 "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. 6 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." 10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

    Eph 5:22-33 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

    1 Peter 3:1-7 1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward?arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. A Word to Husbands 7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

    2 Corinthians 13:5 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you?unless, of course, you fail the test?

    2 Peter 3:18 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

    Ephesians 2:19-21 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

    Titus 2:1-7 1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

    John 4:39 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."

    1 Peter 3:15,16 1 5But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

    A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
                  Genesis 2:24 NKJV



    18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
                                 Genesis 2:18 NKJV

    22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church? 30 for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband..
               Ephesians 5:22-33 NKJV

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