Christian Marriage Counseling
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be
united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.”
: the legal union of two people of the
as husband and wife
Marriage is a sacred institution
that God established from the beginning of mankind. If you are
married or plan to be married, turn to the scriptures for important advice and
The institution of marriage can be traced to the
creation story. After God created Adam, He realized it was not
good for man to be alone and so He decided to make a helpmate
for him,1 and so He created Eve, the first woman.
It was precisely at this point in time—after God created
“woman”— that the first reference to marriage
appears in the
scriptures. God announced that the desire for “woman” would be for
and that her husband would rule over her.2 The use of
the term “husband” represents the first reference in the Bible
to the institution of marriage.
God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.
Subsequent scriptures lend further support to the
fact that it is God’s general plan for men and women to be
married—for children to grow up, leave their mothers and fathers, be
united in marriage, and become one flesh.3
However, this is not to say that all men
and women, without exception, must get married. For example, Jesus
acknowledged that some people might properly renounce marriage because of physical
limitations or because of their focus on the kingdom of heaven.4
The apostle Paul went even further; he advocated staying single for
life (like he was) if at all possible. However, he recommended that
men and women who could not control themselves should get married so
that they didn’t “burn with passion” or fall prey to sexual
Finally, Paul made another noteworthy recommendation regarding
marriage. He urged that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ you
should never marry anyone who is an unbeliever.7
reason a man will leave his father and mother and
be united to
his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
For some are
eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way
by men; and others have renounced
because of the kingdom of
. The one
this should accept it.
Now to the
unmarried and widows I say: It is good for
them to stay
unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot
themselves, they should marry, for it is
marry than to burn with passion.
(1 Corinthians 7:8-9)5
It is good
for man not to marry. But since there is so
immorality, each man should have his own wife,
woman her own husband.
(1 Corinthians 7:1-2)6
Do not be
yoked together with unbelievers
(2 Corinthians 6:14)7
Men, if you are blessed by finding a wife, you should be thankful. The Bible proclaims that he who has found a wife has found
“what is good” and will receive favor from the Lord.8 You
are to love your wife and sacrifice for her just as Christ loved the
church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy.9 You
are to provide for your wife and take care of her, just as you love
your own body and take care of it.10 You are to be
and treat her with respect,
and not be harsh with her.11
He who finds a wife finds what is good and
receives favor from the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the
church and gave himself up for her to make her holy.
Husbands ought to love their wives as
their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one
ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it,
just as Christ does the church.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate
live with your wives, and treat them with respect
as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the
gracious gift of life, so that nothing will
hinder your prayers.
(1 Peter 3:7)11
Now as the church submits to Christ,
so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ,
and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
(1 Corinthians 11:3)13
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Women, you were created to be a helpmate1 for your
husband and you are to submit to him in everything.12 This
may sound like a difficult task, but the scriptures
indicate that if your
husband is properly submissive to Jesus Christ, you can submit to
him with confidence.
Since God is the head of Jesus, when you submit to your husband it
is the same thing as submitting to the Lord.13,14
Wives, you are to dress modestly and not focus on “beauty” and
outward adornment; instead, you should focus on your “inner self”
and possess the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, “which
is of great worth in God’s sight.”15 You should be
clothed with “strength
and dignity” and take care
of your household and not be lazy.16 You should possess
a noble character,17 refrain from malicious talk,18 be
prudent (exercise good judgment and common sense),19 be
trustworthy in everything,18 and speak with wisdom and faithful instruction.16
should not come from outward adornment,
braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry
clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self,
beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of
great worth in God’s sight.
(1 Peter 3:3-4)15
clothed with strength
and dignity; she can laugh
at the days
to come. She speaks with wisdom,
instruction is on her tongue.
over the affairs of her household
and does not
eat of the bread of idleness.
A wife of
noble character is her husband’s crown,
disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
In the same
way, their wives are to be women worthy
not malicious talkers but temperate and
(1 Timothy 3:11)18
wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent
wife is from the