There are two reasons I would have searched out, “Bible verses about love and marriage,” earlier in my life. One, I was knee-deep in a fight and needed a Bible verse to back me up. Two, I was struggling in my marriage and wanted to know what God had to say about it.
After all these years of mentoring and coaching wives through difficult seasons of marriage I've found most of us fit into one of those two and these scriptures can help.
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What Does God Say About Love and Marriage
The truth is, God says a lot about love and marriage. If we come to the Bible with the right heart we can walk away from The Word with tools and encouragement to help us succeed in relationships.
What do I mean by, “With the right heart?”
In scenario one, when I used to come search Scripture tying to find ways God backed up my side of a fight, I wasn't coming with the right heart. I was forcing God into my box. Now, to be fair, I know the Bible well and I was sure I was right and God agreed. Win-win right? Wrong!
The problem with wanting the Bible to take my side about love or marriage issues is that it misunderstands my role as a Christian and a wife, the Bible, and God on a foundational level.
God is love
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 ESV
God is also patient, kind, and quick to forgive
“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8 ESV
We see repeatedly that God is not about winning arguments, but rather serving and putting others first.
“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Matthew 20:28 NIV
When I was hyper-focused on winning a fight in my relationship I lost so much more than I realized.
To better understand what God says about love and marriage we have to look into these Bible verses about love and marriage from a heart that is teachable and fully surrendered to whatever God says.
If what God says is on my side, great, but if it is not on my side, that has to be okay too and I have to be willing to change.
What is Marriage to God
When looking at Bible verses about love and marriage, first we have to understand what marriage is to God. Right from the beginning, God had a plan for human relationships.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18 NASB)
We needed help and God created us perfectly to heal each other.
“The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”” (Genesis 2:22-24 NASB)
Without a fancy gown or a big cake, God married the first couple right in the Garden of Eden. Can't you just imagine it? The freshness of creation, bold colors, exotic smells, a host of animals in attendance. It must have been amazing.
God's Design for Marriage
God instituted marriage and designed it right from the beginning. He had a plan and set firm boundaries surrounding marriage.
“And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6 NASB)
Marriage was created to be between two people; one man and one woman for a lifetime.
Why did God set the boundaries? He loves us and wanted to protect us. Sadly, we see walls and bars where God set guardrails. As a divorced woman, believe me I can attest to how painful it is to go against God's plan, even having Biblical grounds for the divorce.
Divorce hurts. God wanted to spare us that pain. Hence the boundaries. I believe most of God's, “No's,” are actually set in place to spare us from pain. He just loves us that much!
A Reflection of Something Bigger
Marriage was also designed to be a reflection of something bigger. Over and over the Bible compares God to the groom and us to the bride. He uses this metaphor to help us understand His love for us and how our sin destroys that relationship in the same way adultery destroys a marriage.
“For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the Lord of armies;” Isaiah 54:5 NASB
“I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.” Jeremiah 2:2 ESV
“You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4 AMP
Marriage is a beautiful commitment. When digging into scriptures about love and marriage you will come to see it as a gift and a blessing, even when going through difficult seasons.
Bible Verses About Love and Marriage
What do we know so far? God is love. He is patient and forging. God designed marriage to point others back to their need for a relationship with Him.
With that foundation in place, you can see that there are more Bible verses about love and marriage than we could ever digest in one sitting.
To help us narrow our focus for today, let's look at the most frequent topics that come up when working with wives trying to fix their marriage.
Bible Verses About Wanting to Get Married
Actually, can we just be very honest to start? Many women who come to me needing help with their relationship are not actually married. We live in a culture where it is perfectly acceptable to live together. Why even bother getting married, most think?
Marriage is hard work and divorce hurts. I get it as I have lived on both sides of the coin. The problem is that God doesn't change with the times. He designed marriage and set the boundaries that we so lightly ignore.
God created us for joy and pleasure and marriage is the vehicle where those things come together in a holy way.
“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5 NASB)
Remember earlier from Genesis, God created a woman to help the man because it wasn't good for him to be alone? Marriage is the glue that sticks you together – theoretically.
Bible Verses About Trust in Marriage
This leads us to the problem many of us have faced with wanting to get married. Trust.
I don't know your story, but I bet you have one. A story where you were hurt and struggled to trust people with your heart again.
Marriage is a big leap of faith and trust in another human being. Big.
A lifetime of broken hearts, abuse and abandonment litter my past. Trust does not come easily.
The truth is, if I'm completely honest, that until about a decade ago I didn't even fully trust God. He had, after all, allowed all the hurt in my past. If I couldn't trust God, I certainly couldn't trust another person completely.
Let's be clear, the Bible does not call us to blindly trust any other human being. Nope, we are only ever told to trust God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 ESV
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4 ESV
That's right, God doesn't say we have to always trust other people, we just have to trust Him.
Can we admit that is just hard sometimes? Especially when He says all the fun we want to have with our man is on the other side of marriage?
Not judging or preaching (I've messed up on this issue too) just pointing out the facts. It's something to pray long and hard about as you continue to seek His will for your life.
If the Bible doesn't say trust is at the heart of marriage, what does it say?
- Respect is key for a happy husband.
- Love is key for a happy wife.
Let me pause for a moment to point out that trust is important, it's just not at the top of the list of Bible verses. If trust has been broken, whether through abuse, infidelity, lying, or any other hurt, seek help, stay safe, and set firm boundaries.
Bible Verses About Love and Marriage And Respect
Respect, unlike trust, is not an earned thing. We are told to respect many kinds of people in scripture and rarely is it tied to being deserved. The idea of earned respect is a modern idea that conflicts with scripture.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body… ” (Ephesians 5:22-23 NASB)
Something pivotal about understanding respect in marriage is that it is not the only relationship God commands respect. The word subject or submitting is often interchangeable with respect. Let's look at it for a moment.
Bible Verses about Submission in Marriage
Christians are to submit to God.
“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29 NASB
Christians are to submit to the authorities God placed in your life.
“Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1 NASB
Wives submit to your husband and to God.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22 NASB
Husbands submit to wives.
“”In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives.” 1 Peter 3:7 ESV
Youth submit to your elders and parents and God.
“You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NASB
Submission, or showing respect to others, is supposed to be a normal part of the Christian lifestyle. It isn't something just commanded of wives, but of every single Believer.
Bible Verses about Love in Marriage
Respect is a key in marriage when looking at Bible verses about love and marriage. Love is also high on the list of priorities in marriage according to Scripture.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:24-33 NASB)
The problem with love in marriage –
Cultural love and biblical love differ.
Cultural love is a feeling that comes and goes. If your marriage is based solely on that feeling you are in trouble.
Biblical love is a choice. We get a picture of what Biblical love is in 1 Corinthians 13.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB)
A 1 Corinthians 13 love is really a love for all believers, but no other relationship tests these characteristics of love like marriage. Can I get an amen?!?!?
Marriage teaches you how to love as a choice of your will, every day, no matter what life throws at you! That kind of love can last a lifetime!
Bible Verses About Love and Marriage Problems
We've seen that love and respect in marriage are key, now we can take a look at the problems that often arise in marriage. These are the verses I turn to in prayer when marriage problems come into our world. They are inevitable, but God's Word speaks to them directly and we can find ways to victory.
These are just a few of the issues that come up over and over again in my own marriage. If there is something missing and you are searching for a verse to pray through, drop a comment and I'd be glad to help you search.
An Argumentative Nature
When we choose to focus on unity, the contentiousness and argumentative nature lessen. That is why these two verses are my go-to for focusing on this marital problem.
“It is better to live on a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Proverbs 21:9 NASB
“”Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV
Anger and Self Righteousness
We all get angry from time to time. When something comes up that stirs anger these are the verses I cling to. Honestly, these verses help with anger in marriage an in other areas of my life. It's crazy how quickly anger rears its head!
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” Ephesians 4:26 NASB
“”Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ESV
Something interesting about being in a relationship is that from time to time our words are unkind. We get frustrated or irritable and just spew out ugliness. These verses help with those situations whether it is a one off situation or a habit.
“Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 NASB
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:20 ESV
Bitterness -Refusing to Forgive
Forgiveness is a critical piece in any relationship. These verses are ones I turn to over and over again to focus on the need to forgive. Somehow the topic of forgiveness is one of the hardest to apply. It has been my habit, in tough seasons, to tape these verse to my mirror and pray through them daily.
“All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB
“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 NASB
Not Putting God First
It may seem like a churchy thing to say, but it is true that when we put God first in our lives our relationships go so much better. When it's hard to focus on the Lord, I turn to these verses.
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37 NASB
“You will keep him in peace whose mind is fixed on You because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
Getting into a good Bible study is a great way to work on this issue as well!
Not Loving Yourself (making it difficult to love others)
The Bible tells us clearly that we are to love God and love others, but if you look closely at the second command Jesus gave you will see it.
“The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:39 NASB
You have to love yourself to love your neighbor. To love the neighbor like you love yourself only works if you love yourself. Yes, self-care is in the Bible!
Wrong Expectations & Selfishness
Often selfishness and unrealistic expectations slip into love and marriage and must be addressed head-on. We are called to expect much of God, but we have to be careful to not expect from others what we are expecting from God.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”Matthew 6:33 NASB
Selfishness often stems from that same place. This is the verse I turn to when I see the signs of this sin in my life.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves;” Philippians 2:3 NASB
Bible Verses About Blessings In Marriage
I want to finish our time together reminding you that God designed marriage as a blessing. There are so many blessings in a marriage that are gifts from God. Here are just a few.
The Blessing of Children in Marriage
Children are a blessing of marriage. True, children do not require marriage, but when marriage comes first there is far less stress and drama. You have someone to share all the joys and burdens of parenting and it is a blessing in itself!
“God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:28 NASB)
Sexual intimacy is a blessing in marriage. Again, this is something we often jump ahead of God about, but when we honor God with our body, blessing is there. There are many Bible verses about love and marriage and sexual intimacy.
“Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19 NASB)
When that trust is broken through infidelity, God promises to deal with the issue (even if it's the other side of eternity) which is a blessing that comforts me having faced this:
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4 NASB)
The Blessing of Faithful Companionship in marriage
Companionship is something we don't think about needing until we are a bit older, but it is a blessing of marriage. Having someone who knows you, chose you, and stays, brings joy. There is something to be said for familiarity and contentment.
“An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.” (Proverbs 12:4 NASB)
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” (Proverbs 31:10 NASB)
I know those verses are specific to wives, but I've never known God to be sexist. If he said it of wives it can certainly be true of husbands. An excellent husband is a crown and a jewel to his wife!
That faithful companionship is a blessing that comes with time but is worth the work!
I don't know what led you to this article. Were you hoping to find a Bible verse to use to win the argument once and for all? I hope you saw that the approach of winning the battle will ultimately lose the war.
Years ago, when I shifted from using the Bible as a weapon to win arguments to using it as a weapon to fight the real war, everything began to change in my life and marriage.
The truth is, there is a real enemy of your marriage. He would like nothing more than to keep you fighting and bickering about things, completely ignoring him.
When you begin using these Bible verses about love and marriage as a way to know God more and love your spouse more like God loves you, you will begin winning.
No, it's not an easy shift. Yes, it will take time to change patterns. Ultimately, you will be so happy you decided to change.
Which of these verses most encouraged you today?
in HIM, Tiffany