Biblical marriage: How Christians should treat their spouses

(Reuters/Michael Buholzer)A groom puts a wedding ring on his bride.

Wedding is a much-awaited life event, but wedding and marriage are two different things. What does the Bible say about marriage?

Wedding is just the beginning of marriage. It is just the start of a life-long commitment to someone. Marriage, on the other hand, is a lifetime pledge of love and loyalty to one's spouse. That is why wedding vows usually include the words "Till death do we part." Marriage is also a covenant between two people and God, who wants every marriage to succeed.

All married couples wish that their marriages will go smoothly. However, there is no academic curriculum for being a good husband or wife. Problems may come along the way, but God has provided the answers to marital issues.

The Gospel teaches spouses to love each other the right way. These are some passages in the Bible that could explain how spouses should treat each other:

Husbands should treat their wives fairly and as their equal. "The same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7)

Spouse is the best ally, next to God, but more than anyone. Some marriages fail because the couple let their parents and friends interfere with their marital life. "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." (Genesis 2:24)

Wife should respect and submit to her husband. "In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over." (1 Peter 3:1)

The Bible also tells spouses to value and appreciate each other. "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life." (Proverbs 31:10-11)

God also wants husbands to love and pursue their wives, as if they are still in the stage of courting. "My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!" (Song of Solomon 5:10)

The Bible tells spouses to cooperate in establishing discipline within the family. "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord."  (Ephesians 6:4)

Husbands must be faithful to their wives, and vice versa. "I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look with lust at a young woman." (Job 31:1)

There is no perfect marriage, but if God is in the center of the relationship, every marital issue can be resolved.

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