Honoring Marriage


The Apostle Paul issued a directive to husbands and wives when he wrote, “Let marriage be held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV). But what does it mean to honor marriage?

One of the most popular songs from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music is "My Favorite Things."

In the movie, Maria and the Von Trapp children sing the cheerful lyrics — “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” — to fill their minds with things they love during a scary thunderstorm.

Likewise, when you face busy times or difficult seasons, it’s important to remember your favorite things about your marriage.

The Apostle Paul gave us a similar directive when he wrote, “Let marriage be held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV). But what does it mean to honor marriage?

The word honor means to highly value something — to appreciate it, cherish it and recognize it as a priceless treasure.

One of the most powerful ways to strengthen your marriage is to be reminded of your favorite things — the things that you love, value, appreciate and cherish about your relationship. Make a list of what you love about your marriage — your favorite things. See how many you can come up with. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Having fun and laughing together
  • Loving someone with all my heart
  • Enjoying the synergy between us — we are able to do so much more together than we could do alone
  • Sharing affection for each other
  • Pursuing God together
  • Being real and authentic
  • Raising our children together
  • Being challenged to become a better person
  • Making memories together
  • Sharing inside jokes
  • Pursuing dreams
  • Having someone to celebrate with
  • Sharing the deepest levels of intimacy and connection — sex
  • Knowing someone deeply and being deeply known by another
  • Serving together
  • Being with my best friend
  • Sharing life’s responsibilities
  • Being on a grand adventure together
  • Being part of a team
  • Feeling safe and secure

Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (ESV). A treasured marriage will be marked by a wholehearted commitment to each other.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word wholehearted as "marked by complete earnest commitment." Complete. Earnest. These are the type of words that I want to define my own marriage. I'm convinced that a wholehearted commitment to marriage starts by recognizing its incredible value. Commitment — fully and earnestly investing your whole heart — flows out of what you treasure. In other words, you will only invest completely in what you esteem.

Another powerful way to honor marriage is by encouraging other couples to keep their marriages strong. Not only is marriage the cornerstone of our society, it is essential for healthy families and foundational for healthy churches. The reality is that you cannot have a healthy church with a long-lasting ministry if you don't have couples with healthy, vibrant and growing marriages.

by Dr. Greg Smalley


Does your church have plans for Valentines Day? If not, Focus on the Family has created a weekend experience based on Hebrews 13:4 to help your entire church body — married couples, singles, youth and children — do something to honor marriage. This special churchwide celebration contains everything you need, including a fun date-night event on DVD that features several hilarious Christian comedians. For more information on how you can host your own Honoring Marriage Event, go to www.honoringmarriage2016.com.

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