Five Elements of a Biblical Marriage


Dr. John Jackson discusses the components of a biblically designed marriage.

Here are five elements of a biblically designed marriage:

1.  A Biblical marriage is built to last

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).

Cars and consumer products all are designed with the notion of “planned obsolescence”. In other words, the manufacturers do not want them to last forever. But marriage is different. God’s design is for the family to have stability. In order for that to happen, we have to stay on the playing field…divorce not an option!

2.  A Biblical marriage is built on mutual submission

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). God has designed husbands and wives to be partners in a spiritual journey that enables each to strengthen, complement and support the other.

Research has shown that the average couple enjoys conversation with each other only 4 minutes per day…but that the television is on 23 hours a week. Husbands, your wife is not waiting for you to do what she says, but to hear her.

3.  A Biblical marriage is built with God’s specifications

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:22-27).

Biblical submission is not about enabling wrong or destructive behavior. It is about enabling right behavior…being willing to see God’s hand in the crucible of your lives. Contrary to much teaching and popularized misreading of this text, this passage is not about women being doormats. Rather, it is about women learning to trust their husbands (as an aside, nowhere in Scripture is the husband given the authority to “force” submission—it is either freely offered by the wife or it does not take place), and it is about husbands learning to give themselves up for their wives.

4.  A Biblical marriage is built with a “holy union"

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh… However each of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:31, 33).

In another place in this same passage, this is described as a “mystery”. But the truth is, marriage is a reflection of the union that God has with His people. We are to become one in mind, heart, and spirit. The unity that flows from a husband and wife who have learned to be “one” in Christ will protect the family from the regularly thrown spears of division and destruction that exist in our world.

5.  A Biblical marriage is built with sin protection

When we grow a Biblical marriage, we are growing a household that is walking with God. The Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit makes us sensitive and aware of sin. The more spiritually mature we become, the greater sensitivity we have not only to our actions, but to our words, and to our thoughts that are not pleasing to God.

“In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27).

When we sin and do nothing about it, we are literally allowing a toxic chemical to poison our air, our water, our food. Walking with God means noticing the darkness.

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (I John 1:7).

What Now?

1.  Commit yourself to God

“Therefore, since are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us” (Hebrews 12:1) This is our horizon point.

2.  Commit your marriage to God

Husbands and wives praying together. First thing you do with illness, struggle, anger... pray!

3.  Commit your spouse to God

God can change what you have never been able to!

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