Making marriage last - what is the key?



Question: "Making marriage last - what is the key?"

Answer:
The Apostle Paul says that the wife is "bound" to her husband as long as he lives. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband" (Romans 7:2). The principle we can glean here is that someone has to die before the marriage bond is over. This is God's viewpoint and all too often it does not relate to the reality of marriage today. In our modern society marriage ends in divorce over 51% of the time. That means that over half of the couples that make the vow, "Till death do us part" do not last to that point.

So the question becomes, what can the married couple do to insure that their marriage is "till death do us part?" The first and most important issue is one of obedience to God and to His Word. This is a principle that should be in force in the life before the marriage and while the man and woman are still unattached. God says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed" (Amos 3:3)? For the born again believer this means not beginning a close relationship with anyone that is not also a believer. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness" (2 Corinthians 6:14)? If this one principle were followed, it would save a lot of heartache and suffering later in a marriage.

Another principle that would protect the longevity of a marriage is that the husband should obey God and love, honor, and protect his wife as he would his own body (Ephesians 5:25-31). The flip side of that is that the wife should obey God and submit to her own husband as "unto the LORD" (Ephesians 5:22). The marriage between a man and a woman is a spiritual picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ gave Himself for the church and He loves, honors and protects her as His "bride" (Revelation 19:7-9).

When God brought Eve to Adam in the first marriage, she was made from his "flesh and bone" (Genesis 2:31) and they became "one flesh" (Genesis 2:23-24). That is a concept that is lost in our modern society. Becoming one flesh means more than just a physical union. It means a meeting of the mind and soul to form one unit. This relationship goes far beyond sensual or emotional attraction and enters into the realm of the spiritual "oneness" that can only be found as both partners surrender to God and to each other. This is a relationship that is not made up of "me or my" but it is "us and our." This is one of the secrets to having a long lasting marriage. Making a marriage last until death parts one or the other is something that both partners have to make a priority. Solidifying one's vertical relationship with God goes a very long way to insuring that the horizontal relationship between a husband and wife is a lasting one and one that also glorifies the LORD.


Recommended Resource: Fit to Be Tied: Making Marriage Last a Lifetime by Bill Hybels.

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Making marriage last - what is the key?