Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about a happy marriage is shared by all spouses. We all want contentment and satisfaction in our relationships. Well, maybe there are some unfortunate folks who want a miserable relationship. Pity them.
We are told from Scripture that the relationship with our spouse is to include love, respect, understanding, honor, harmony, sympathetic kindness, etc. (cf. 1 Peter 3:1-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18, 19).
In other studies, I have presented biblical teaching about what the relationship should look like in a Christian marriage. (link) In this study, I offer 11 principles that will bring about that happy marriage in a practical way.
Maybe you can get your spouse to go over these principles with you, and together you can think of even more ways to apply the principles. Don’t you want a happy marriage? I know that you do.
A constant drip (or steam) of criticism and nagging of your spouse will certainly make for a miserable, tension filled marriage. It will grow contempt, anger, and resentment in both your hearts. A happy marriage is not filled with negativity. Criticism leads to contempt, and then to blaming the other for anything and everything. The next step is refusing to speak. Finally, there is misery – and maybe separation and divorce.
A happy marriage involves genuine encouragement and appreciation for your spouse. This principle of a happy marriage is the medicine to cure criticism and nagging. If you don’t feel like encouraging your spouse, start by just saying the words and putting a smile on your face. You will be amazed at the response, and after awhile it will become natural for you.
The wise man said, “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). This verse is in the context of sex, but you can enjoy your spouse in every way – just like they are. Your spouse is who they are, their personality is set.
Do not try to remake or change your spouse into something other than what God has designed them to be. But do help them grow in their Christian faith. Let God work in their lives, and give them freedom to grow in God’s timing and power.
Whatever you do, don’t marry someone with the idea of changing them after you have married them. That will not make for a happy marriage.
Be a Happy Person
Ephesians 5:22-33 deals with Christian marriage. However, the passage starts in verse 18. There it says to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which results in a thankful, nice, happy, humble heart attitude. Being a cranky grouch does not encourage a happy marriage. People don’t like to be around unhappy, grumpy, negative, gripping people. Be a happy and kind person, pleasant in your attitude to them.
Love Your Spouse
Love your spouse, cherish, and respect them. Forgive them, and don’t hold resentment and grudges against them. Look for the good in your spouse, don’t focus on their faults. Look out for their best interests. Defend them. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 explains how to love.
The Albanian-born Roman Catholic Missionary once wrote, “Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.”
Notice and appreciate the little things your spouse does. Don’t be lost in your world and ignore them. It takes time and effort to develop a happy marriage. You must notice and take their interests into consideration. Paul wrote, “but the one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided” (1 Corinthians 7:33, 34).
Like the old cowboy proverb: your wife’s heart is like a campfire. If you don’t tend to it regularly, it will go cold.
Be Courteous, Kind, Patient
Often when we are courting our spouse we are one type of person. We put our best foot forward, open doors, say kindly sweet things, and are patient and tolerant of things that may irritate. Sadly, when the honeymoon is over, we forget these characteristics.
We think that now that we got ‘em, we can act our own gruff way. Irritation, indifference, impoliteness, and rudeness can become a way of life. A happy marriage is a courteous relationship.
Include your spouse in your dreams and life. Don’t shut them out of your world. Genuinely be interested in their dreams, desires, goals, and life. Help them fulfill God’s design and purpose for their lives. Don’t mock or ridicule their hopes and dreams, but listen, share, and celebrate their world. Sometimes it just is a matter of sitting down and talking with and listening to each other – getting reacquainted.
This is an important issue. Paul wrote, “But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband…Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:2, 3, 5).
Talk with each other on how to make the experience satisfactory for both. Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage. Husbands should not be selfish and think only of their own pleasure. Most of all, if you want to keep your marriage intact, don’t cheat on you spouse. That is sin. When cheating happens, trust leaves, and rarely does it return.
Take care of your spouse. Support them. Pray for them. One common problem is that some husbands refuse to work and support their wife and family. A wife needs security and a home to take care of. However, it is fine for a wife to work (cf. Proverbs 31:10-31). In some cultures, like America, both spouses sometimes must work to pay the bills. However, it causes problems if she is required to support the entire family as a way of life.
Paul wrote, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worst than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). But, to apply some grace, sometimes the husband is injured, cannot find work, and the family falls on hard times. In those cases, the family must do what it can to survive and get back on its feet.
Important and Special
Consider and treat your spouse as the most special and important person in your life. Some say that a person’s most important need is to feel special and important. Tell your spouse such, and by your actions demonstrate how important they are to you. Reassure them often. Treat your spouse the same way as when you were courting them.
With these 11 tips on a happy marriage, Esmie and I wish you a very delightful life experience with your spouse.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. On a happy marriage scale of 1-10, how would you rate your marriage?
2. Would your spouse rate your relationship as a happy marriage? Where would they rate it on the 1-10 scale?
3. To maintain your happy marriage, pick 4 of the tips, and list two practical ways for each tip for
how to apply it to your marriage.
4. Ask and discuss with your spouse which 3 tips they would like you to implement,
and how they would like you put them into practice.
5. To encourage a happy marriage, write a short paragraph on how you would go
about applying 1 Peter 3:8, 9 to your marriage.
6. To maintain your happy marriage, how would you apply Ephesians 5:18ff?
7. Ask your spouse how to improve your sex life. Listen to what they say.
8. How would you apply Colossians 3:18, 19 to a happy marriage?
9. Do you think a happy marriage is important to Christ? Explain.
10. What stands out to you the most about this study? Explain.
To give towards this ministry, click the DONATE button below and follow the prompts. You do NOT need a PayPal account to give. Newman Ministries International, Inc. is a registered non-profit organization 501(c)3, and your gifts are tax deductible as the law allows.