Putting God first in marriage rests upon the relationship each person, individually, has with God. A true Christian has given his life and his will over to God to serve Him. As Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me,” Matthew 16:24. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “not as I will, but as you will,” Matthew 26:39. If both spouses in the marriage are joyfully and faithfully trying to obey God’s will, then both will conform their behaviors to God’s word.
So, how might a couple honor God’s will through their marriage? Colossians 3:18,19 explain that wives need to respect their husbands and husbands need to love their wives. This doesn’t mean that men should be bossy and controlling in the marriage relationship. Husbands are to gently, tenderly love their wives as Christ loves His church! Wives naturally want to please their husbands. So, men appreciate and thank your dear wives for all they do for you.
The direction God gives to wives is to be submissive or respectful of their husbands. The husband is the head of the marriage just as Christ is the head of the church. Believers don’t argue with Jesus. But we may discuss and reason together (Isaiah 1:18). Yet, in the end, Christians honor Jesus’ headship. In like manner, wives should honor their husbands’ headships.These are wise directions from God.
Practically, couples need to pray together daily. If possible, hold hands and bow your heads together at the end of each day. Ask God to show you His will when making life decisions. Go to church and study the Bible as a couple. Support each other in service activities. Remember, whatever you do, “do all to the glory of God.”
Being thankful for your spouse is the fun part of marriage. Showing appreciation may be done with little gifts, eating out, helping with chores, giving words of praise or thankfulness, and engaging in physical intimacy. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, The Secret to Love that Lasts offers many beautiful suggestions as to how to communicate love and appreciation to your spouse.
When a couple puts God first by following His will, love will grow.