John and Sarah gazed into each other’s eyes, immersed in the joy of their wedding day. Like most couples, they dreamed their marriage would be lifelong – a sacred union filled with intimacy, laughter, and purpose.

But they knew challenges would come. Their pastor had wisely counseled them that no two people, though compatible, are without flaws.

Disagreements, conflicts, and even periods of distance or dullness could occur over the decades.

“How do we make this work?” John worried as he watched Sarah glide across the dance floor in her white gown. “I want us to be that still-in-love couple even when we’re old and gray.”

Sarah shared John’s desire for a marriage that would weather all seasons and grow richer over time. “There must be keys to keeping it strong,” she mused.

As it turns out, there are. Nested within the pages of the Bible, there’s hope for the long haul. By following certain biblical principles, John and Sarah – and any couple – can build a marriage that lasts.

On August 15th this year my lovely wife Fancie and I will be celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary. We have weathered many storms in the last 29 years.

We’ve come to the brink of separation and divorce a few times but the Word of God is the glue that has held us together.

We now enjoy a beautiful, blissful marriage. We even laugh at ourselves when we remember the misunderstandings we’ve had in the past.

In this post, I’ll share 5 biblical truths and principles that will help your marriage thrive.

1. Wait, Don’t Rush Into Marriage

Get To Know Your Partner Before Getting Married

The first key is: do not rush into marriage before you are ready.

In Matthew 19, religious leaders asked Jesus if divorce was permissible for any reason.

Jesus pointed them back to the beginning, to God’s original design of one man and one woman becoming “one flesh” in marriage.

Marriage is a weighty covenant before God. When the disciples heard Jesus’ answer they concluded that it was better not to marry than to enter marriage and divorce later (Matthew 19:8-10 NIV).

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

So take time to know your partner and pray before you get married. Don’t rush in based on feelings alone.

Build your relationship on biblical principles and really get to know your partner’s character and background before tying the knot.

Proverbs 19:2 (ESV) says:

“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”

Look beyond surface-level attraction and infatuation. Take time to see how your partner responds under pressure and reacts in challenging situations.

Seek wise counsel from mentors, pastors, or older married couples. Make sure your values align. Build a friendship first and foremost.

When you choose a marriage partner, you are also choosing a parenting partner. Look beyond the present and consider the types of values you want your future children to be raised with.

A rocky foundation will lead to a difficult marriage and home environment.

2. Become “Single” Before Marrying

Become "whole and complete" before getting married

This leads to the second principle: become “whole and complete” within yourself before you join your life to another’s in marriage.

Jesus emphasized in Matthew 19 that in the beginning, God created man and woman individually, in His image. God declared His creation “good”.

Work on developing your identity in Christ. Grow into the person God created you to be. Develop your gifts and talents.

Do not rely on your marital status for fulfillment or validation.

2 Corinthians 6:10 (NLT) says:

“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

Become “spiritually single”, knowing who you are and your inherent worth as God’s child.

Use your single years to pursue intimacy with Christ. Serve God passionately and develop your relationship skills through godly friendships.

Don’t idolize the marital experience. Learn to find joy and purpose, whether single or married.

Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV) says:

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Allow God to develop this mindset in you while you are single.

Marry from overflow, not a deficiency. Then you can love your spouse freely without dependence on what you “get” from them.

Get security and contentment in your relationship with Christ. Your wholeness is not contingent on your marital status.

3. Marriage Won’t Complete You

A Man Proposes

A third biblical principle for marriage is to understand that marriage will not resolve loneliness or complete you. It is not the missing piece to a happy life.

Only Jesus can fill the void in each of our hearts. Come to your marriage already complete in Him.

If you are struggling with insecurity, depression, or lack of identity, marriage will only magnify these issues.

Your spouse will never be able to fulfill you or meet all your emotional needs perfectly. Expect that now, and save yourself heartache down the road.

Lean on the unconditional love of Christ. Let Him affirm your worth.

1 John 4:9 (NIV) says:

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”

Find security in God.

4. Improve Yourself First

Improve Yourself First

The fourth principle for a successful marriage is to improve yourself before you choose a spouse.

Become the best version of yourself that you can be. Why? Because you marry who that person IS right now, not their future potential.

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) says:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

If you are “iron” that is dull, flimsy, and bent, marriage will not somehow transform you into steel. Expect to be stretched, but also be discerning.

Work through unresolved issues from your past before getting married. Deal with addictions, insecurity, and emotional baggage through counseling.

Become an emotionally healthy “good egg” before joining your life to another’s.

You can’t expect to suddenly resolve deep-seated problems just because you said: “I do”.

Do your personal growth work now. Don’t burden your partner with the task of “fixing” you.

5. God Joins You Together

Strong Foundation In A Christian Marriage

Finally, remember that it is God who ordains your marriage union. Jesus said in Matthew 19:6 (NIV):

“What God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Invite God to be at the center of your relationship from day one. Make your marriage a three-cord strand between you, your spouse, and Christ.

During good times and bad, cling to the promise that the Holy Spirit will empower you to fulfill your marital vows.

God can bring beauty even from brokenness when you submit to Him. Allow struggles to deepen your dependence on Him.

No matter what storms you may face – financial problems, lack of a child, infidelity, illness – trust that your marriage is holy and redeemable in God’s eyes.

He desires to reconcile and restore what’s been lost. Let Him renew your love.

Key Takeaways

  • Wait before rushing into marriage. Take time to truly know your partner.
  • Become spiritually “single” and complete in yourself before marrying.  
  • Marriage won’t simply complete you. It requires security in yourself first.
  • Keep God at the center of your marriage during good and bad seasons.
  • Work on individual growth before marriage.


Marriage is a blessing, but it also requires wisdom and vigilance. Apply biblical principles to help your marriage last for a lifetime.

Nurture singleness before marriage. Wait for the right partner. Become complete in Christ first.

Make spiritual development the foundation for your marriage. Keep God always at the center of your union.

When you follow God’s blueprint, you honor what He holds dear. A marriage rooted in Jesus Christ will bear fruit for generations to come.

May your marriage journey reflect His redeeming love.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the definition of marriage?

A. Marriage is a legally or socially recognized union between two individuals, typically featuring certain legal rights and responsibilities, emotional and physical intimacy, and often involving a ceremony or ritual.

Q. How long should you date before getting married? 

A. While there’s no magic timeline, spend at least 1-2 years focused on friendship and becoming well-acquainted before engagement. Avoid impulsive decisions.

Q. How can newlyweds adjust to married life? 

A. Give each other grace. It’s an adjustment merging two individuals into one life together. Communicate openly when challenges emerge. Take time to nurture your friendship.

Q. How can I have a successful marriage?

A. To have a successful marriage, it is important to follow certain biblical keys and principles. These include:

  • Biblical Teachings: Apply the teachings of the Bible and incorporate its principles into your marriage.
  • Love Your Spouse: Demonstrate love, patience, and kindness towards your spouse.
  • Understanding Each Other: Take the time to understand and appreciate each other’s needs, desires, and perspectives.
  • God’s Grace & Help: Rely on God’s grace and seek His help to overcome challenges and strengthen your marriage.

Q. Are there specific Bible verses about marriage?

A. Yes, there are Bible verses that talk about marriage. Three commonly referenced verses include:

  • 1 Corinthians 7:2: “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
  • Matthew 19:5-6: 5 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
  • Ephesians 5:22-33: These verses discuss the roles of husbands and wives and emphasize mutual love, respect, and submission.

Q. What are some keys to a healthy marriage?

A. Some keys to a healthy marriage include:

  • Good Communication: Open and honest communication is essential for a happy marriage.
  • Mutual Respect: Treat each other with respect and value each other’s opinions and feelings.
  • Shared Values: Having shared values, beliefs, and goals helps strengthen the bond between spouses.

Q. How can I strengthen my marriage?

A. To strengthen your marriage, consider:

  • Regular Bible Study: Engaging in Bible study together can deepen your faith and guide your marriage.
  • Focus on the Family: Prioritize your relationship and invest time and effort into nurturing your marriage.
  • Seek Counseling: If needed, seek the help of a Christian counselor who specializes in marriage and relationships.

Q. What are signs my marriage is in trouble? 

A. Frequent destructive conflicts. Emotional or physical distance/indifference. Control or manipulation.

Acting in selfishness. Pursuing outside relationships. Substance abuse or addiction. Abuse of any kind.

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