There’s a lot about marriage in the bible. Sadly, most of it’s not easy to live out. We know of the sacrifice love takes. Think with me for a second: Is your marriage missing the spark it once had? Is it not as joyful as it used to be?
Our very own Kent Evans recently sat down with Brad Rhoads of Grace Marriage and they discussed three secrets most married couples miss for building joy, intimacy, and satisfaction in their marriage. The Scriptures they mention aren’t the verses you’ll hear read aloud at a wedding. What you’ll find in this post are principles from Scripture we should apply to our marriages on a daily basis.
“Be doers of the Word and not hearers only…if we’re hearers only, we deceive ourselves.” —James 1:22
Brad Rhoads of Grace Marriage was recently our guest interview over at Father On Purpose. If you or your church needs marriage help and resources, be sure to check out Grace Marriage. We’ve talked about marriage as the foundation — that you can’t separate being a godly dad from being a godly husband. Then, we talked about the gospel and how our marriages are a picture of how Christ loved the church. In this post, we want to get extra practical. Where do you start if you want to be a godly husband and dad?
Idea #1 Marriage in the Bible starts with grace.
If you understand grace as a theological concept only, but you don’t show it in your marriage on a daily basis—you’ve missed the gospel. So, what does grace look like in marriage? Brad gives a practical example from his own life. He points out his dear wife isn’t big on returning Redbox movies or library books. It used to drive him crazy. At some point, he realized he should “put her under grace”. Meaning, he stopped complaining about it and started taking the movies or books back. And, this is important, he stopped holding it against her.
The result? And this, he says, wasn’t because he nagged her all of the time, when he extended her grace, he ultimately created a better atmosphere, and his wife starting returning the movies and books. Why? Because, for those in Jesus, grace doesn’t make worse behavior but motivates better behavior. It’s not a free pass. It’s a beautiful thing when you’re just loved for who you are and it has nothing to do with what you do.
Idea #2 Date your wife > Where your treasure is your heart will be also.
The Gottman Institute found if you spend four-to-five hours of undistracted, one-on-one time per week with your spouse, you’ll be in the top three percent of martial satisfaction. Sadly, most couples don’t prioritize marriage and spend enough time.
Brad points out how it amazes him that people will say, “My spouse is the most important person to me in the world” but, they can’t find a few hours a week to go on a date. Hear us out, with parenting, we find four to five hours a week for practices and games. These same well-being people will say their marriage is more important. If marriage is more important, then why can’t we find time for it? Something’s amiss in the cosmos.
When a couple prioritizes dating, something special happens and they really love and enjoy each other. Kent points out in the full interview, that you can serve your wife out of duty, devotion, or delight. I love the honesty from Brad on this. He talks about his first year of marriage. He didn’t spend much time with his wife. Then, he started dating her once a week. He noticed, the longer he spent time with her, the more he was drawn to her and wanted to spend time with her.
Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The more time you spend with one another, the more time you’ll want to spend with each other. Most couples don’t date frequently because they don’t want to. They don’t delight in each other. If couples were having a blast together, they would find the time. To encourage you here, if you’re not finding the time now, try your best to start doing it consistently. It won’t take long for you to enjoy it and not want to miss it.
Idea #3 Prioritize daily > You reap what you sow.
Think consistently about what will bless your wife. It’s so easy to get caught in our own world—going through our work duties—that we don’t consider other people. What are the daily opportunities you can show your wife you are laying your life down for her, you serve her, you think of her.
When you lay down your life for your wife, and you really do sacrifice—you’ll find your wife doing the same. Brad shares on the interview how he wouldn’t be doing Grace Marriage ministry if it weren’t for his wife. He explains how he left his law practice scared to death to do marriage ministry. He recalls asking his wife numerous times, “Are you sure? Are you sure?” and her reply was, “Would you quit looking back and wasting both of our energy?” She laid down comfort and security—everything—all so he could do what he was called to do.
Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” If you are filled with grace, you date your wife consistently, and you prioritize daily, you’ll be amazed at what kind of wife you end up having.
Principles from marriage in the Bible: the mission
Mission 1: Find a characteristics from Scripture and tell your wife she meets that characteristic. Need help? Read Proverbs 31 for some ideas.
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