I’m thankful that God, who created marriage, has provided a guide for it. I’m thankful that in the pages of His Word we have (to make a travel analogy) a map that gives direction and help.
But it is my experience that many couples have too small of a map for their marriage trip. Let me explain.
If you were to ask most Christians which passages in Scripture give guidance in marriage, which ones do you think they’d mention?
Obviously, there’s Genesis 2 (as well the accounts in the Gospels of Jesus quoting from that passage). And, of course, there’s Ephesians 5 and its parallel in Colossians 3. They might add in 2 Peter 3 and 1 Corinthians 7. And if it’s during wedding season, they might think of 1 Corinthians 13 as well.
And, for multi-verse passages that directly address marriage, all of these would be correct.
But if these are the only passages that speak to marriage, we have a very small map to navigate the most significant human relationship of life.
Approaching the Bible like this would be like trying to take a trip from Los Angeles to New York with only a map of New York City. Is the map pertinent? Absolutely, but it doesn’t’ cover the whole trip.
The truth is, the entire Bible—not just a few passages—applies to marriage.The entire Bible—not just a few passages—applies to marriage Click To Tweet
Scripture isn’t organized like a topical encyclopedia.
You need a verse on marriage? Go to Genesis 2.
One on husbands loving their wives? Ephesians 5.
Something about love? Try 1 Corinthians 13.
It’s true that some passages are more specifically applied to marriage than others. But God made our lives more complex than can neatly fit into topical categories or single-city maps.
Marriage, in fact, is such an important topic that in over thirty-one years as pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, I preach on it almost every week. Of course, I don’t preach a sermon titled “How to Have a Good Marriage” every Sunday, but I doubt a week goes by when I don’t apply the truth of the passage I am preaching to husbands and wives.
For instance, this past Sunday, I preached from 1 John 4:9, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” Although this verse doesn’t even mention marriage, everything about a Christian marriage hangs on its truth.
With our church theme for this year being “By Grace,” we’ve looked at 2 Peter 3:18 throughout the year, “But grow in grace….” Again, this verse isn’t about marriage, but growth in grace can transform a marriage!
All of Scripture is like that because what makes someone a good Christian is the same as what makes someone a good spouse; and growing in marriage is very much related to growing in your walk with God. For a Christian who is married, you cannot separate the desire to grow in Christ and to grow in marriage.You cannot separate the desire to grow in Christ and to grow in marriage Click To Tweet
Sometimes I’m surprised at the marriage books I’ve read by Christian authors that don’t even mention Scripture. Or who simply give the Bible an occasional nod as a backup source for the point the author is trying to make. I’m not suggesting that common sense advice can’t help your marriage. But for a gospel-saturated marriage, we need a Scripture-saturated understanding of marriage.For a gospel-saturated marriage, we need a Scripture-saturated understanding of marriage. Click To Tweet
This is one of the reasons that Terrie and I recently wrote Are We There Yet? Marriage—A Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples.
We wanted to give couples a road map for marriage that is larger than just a few Bible passages or topics. We wanted to address truths about communication, finances, conflict resolution, busyness, personal growth, sanctification, purpose, and so much more.
This is not a book of superficial relationship hacks. It’s doesn’t give readers tricks to change their spouse. It’s practical, but it’s not manipulative. It’s Bible truth applied to your marriage relationship—a biblical guide to encourage you to grow in Christ as you grow in your marriage.
Every marriage is a journey, and none of us have arrived. But if we undertake this journey with a map that covers only a few of the destinations along the road, we’ll often become confused and may lose our way completely.
But if we, with an open heart, turn to God’s Word and ask His Spirit to lead us in its truth, we will find that God can give clarity and guidance for every aspect of the journey.
For more information on Are We There Yet? or to order, visit arewethereyetbook.com.