The Bible has changed my life and my marriage. Seriously. Depending on where you are on your faith journey, you may look at the Bible (as I do) as a love letter from God filled with inspiration and instruction for life OR perhaps you just see it as an antiquated, outdated relic. Regardless of your current faith (or lack of faith), I’d encourage you to read the ten verses below, because they’ve had a tremendous impact on my life and I believe they could provide some encouragement to you as well.
I challenge you to apply the timeless wisdom of these ten verses below and see what happens. You might be amazed at just how practical and relevant the Bible is for marriage and for every other aspect of life as well.
As a quick disclaimer, these aren’t the ONLY ten verses of Scripture that have shaped my marriage or impacted my life and they’re probably not even the top ten, but these are a few of the MANY that have had a tremendous impact. In no particular order…
1. “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
This verse is pretty straightforward. We tend to overcomplicate our relationships, but if we’ll just love each other deeply, truly, selflessly and wholeheartedly, love tends to overpower the imperfections and flaws we all have.
2. “Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.“ (Genesis 2:25)
I love the idea of a “naked marriage”! God’s original design for marriage was perfect and it included a lot of naked time which not only points to the sexual aspect of a marriage relationship but also the “nakedness” that needs to happen on an emotional and spiritual level. Nakedness represents transparency, honesty, vulnerability and an atmosphere of seeing someone for who they are and still accepting them completely. That’s vital in marriage. For more on this, check out our online course on sex and intimacy for married couples.
3. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
You don’t have to read too many magazine covers or watch Hollywood news very long to realize the world’s standards for marriage are pretty messed up. Over 30 million married individuals were recently “outed” for looking for an affair partner on the hacked “Ashley Madison” website. This verse reminds me that my life and my marriage can’t be based on the world’s standards. We need to allow God’s word to transform our minds and shape our thinking.
4. “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.” (Proverbs 6:32)
The Bible has a LOT to say about adultery because it causes so much pain and wreckage. This particular verse points out that adultery doesn’t just hurt the person who has been “cheated on” but it also causes great harm to the person who does the cheating. NOBODY wins with an affair.
5. “I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
This is one of Jesus’ teaching about adultery and he raises the standard to include “mental infidelity.” Our motives, our thoughts and our fantasies matter. We need to be mentally monogamous as well as physically monogamous. This is such a high standard and it removes the option for destructive (yet common) things like porn in a marriage.
6. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6)
This clearly isn’t just good marriage advice, but this applies to all parts of life. God doesn’t want us going through life worried and anxious. He wants to give us peace. For more on this, check out Jimmy’s great post on the root cause of worry, anxiety, and fear.
7. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
“Submission” is a controversial word in Christian circles, but this verse gives a clear and potent challenge for us to serve one other out of reverence and respect for Christ Himself. When a husband and wife will place the needs and desires of his/her spouse ahead of their own, the marriage will thrive.
8. “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her” (Ephesians 5:25)
This may be the most challenging verse in the Bible for a husband, because Jesus set such a high standard. He literally gave his life in a torturous death for His bride (the church) and then calls us to love our wives with that same level of devotion. I want to love Ashley the way Jesus loves His church. Husbands, if we’ll do our best to follow this ONE verse of scripture, our marriages could be radically transformed in the process!
9. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
This is just one small verse from the “Love Chapter” (1 Corinthians 13), but this short verse is power-packed with practical application for marriage. Love is patient and kind so be patient and kind with your spouse. Love is not jealous or proud, so be humble and selfless with your spouse. It sounds so simple, and yet our selfish nature makes it so complicated. Simply love and serve each other and your marriage will transform before your eyes!
10. “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Kindness and forgiveness. Imagine what marriages could look like if we simply made it a daily priority to show kindness and forgiveness to each other!