What is Marriage to GOD? (Hint: Serious Business)

Marriage is a very interesting subject of which there are diverse ideas, reasons, and consequences. The answers you receive often depend on whether you speak to a secular or religious professional. However, it is one of the most misunderstood social contracts (concepts) and definitely misinterpreted from a godly perspective.

Sadly, many people marry for the wrong reasons. (money, security, status, sex, physical attraction, companionship, and many, sadly, for control. From a religious standpoint, many people marry so they are not in sexual sin (bad reason) because of Paul’s statement “ Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 8:9) Forgetting the seriousness of marriage to God, many either forget to read or ignore the very next verse “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” (1 Corinthians 10) As you can see humans (including myself) have made a mockery of what God intended as teaching humans to love and serve each other unconditionally! A mockery of marriage as God intended! I find the following very sage advice:

1 Corinthians 7:26-28 “Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

In my experience, people often decide to marry because of what they feel the other person offers them. This is the opposite of marriage as conceived/ created by God. Most people are selfish, so they get into situations for personal gain or control, not because they have this burning desire to serve another person with their whole heart and soul. If we are to be honest, few people actually know HOW to love properly or receive true love even if it is/was given to them on a silver platter. This creates a lot of pain, discouragement, lack of self-esteem, and disappointment. God means for all of us to (1) Serve Him first and (2) Live a life of joy and happiness (Jeremiah 29:11)

Before performing a marriage ceremony (regardless of age and number of past marriages) I require people to attend marriage discussions with me. I use the word discussions because I am not counseling them so much as asking many pertinent questions about why they want to get married, what they see as possible pitfalls and I ask each man and woman separately, but in front of each other “what is a husband/wife to you.” You might be surprised how diverse the answers are from each other’s perceptions and expectations. Dating (when people are trying to please each other) is FAR DIFFERENT from marriage where they expect their partner to play a pre-conceived role. I try to start discussions and give the couple “homework” to try and resolve these issues prior to marriage, but usually, the love-struck couple decides their love will conquer all and go ahead and marry before resolving their issues. This, I can assure you, usually ends in misery for all involved.

Believe it or not, most people do not learn from age, previous marriages, and bad experiences, but rather look for external reasons for past failures, rather than their part in the dissolution of the marriage. In fact, the chance of a marriage surviving decreases exponentially based on the number of marriages, age difference (when we become more opinionated and set in our ways), and how our needs change as we age.

Silver divorces (after retirement) are on the rise. Likely because if things aren’t that great when you are apart a lot of the time, they become impossible when forced to be together all the time. Humorously (or not)  many retired men I speak to working a part-time job say that their wives said that in order to save their marriage, they needed to get out of the house and out from underfoot!

Although one would think the more marriages, the more experience and desire to succeed would equal success, but that isn’t a good statistic either. First marriages still hover in the 45-50% lifetime success rate, (success doesn’t necessarily mean happiness) while third marriages drop to a 73% FAILURE rate and a 4th marriage has a 90% failure rate. Why? Because most people remarry without considering the reasons for failure of their last marriage(s). They get tired of the bar scene or being alone and want companionship, but not servitude as the Bible demands. To me, the most surprising thing is that people do not COMMUNICATE effectively in subsequent marriages. One would think if you must communicate at work, with other family members, and in social situations, you would realize a successful marriage requires good, open communication, compromise, and agreement.

These are all good reasons to build a long-term, fulfilling relationship with another person before making a lifelong commitment. Having lots of common interests and goals is very important too. In Biblical times, men herded and protected the family from outside threats, while the women, cooked, cleaned, cared for the children, and often grew food after drew water from wells. Very definitive and needed actions to make a family work. In today’s diverse society and choices, it is easy to forget the responsibility of each person, therefore try to go willy-nilly into a relationship with no structure, joint goals, or the ability to listen to each other’s needs, wants, and goals.

The following VERY LONG pages are going to be Confessions for Wives and Confessions for Husbands from my 40-Day Fast from Wrong Thinking Book. I pray you have time to read the verses and my comments to see what God expects from us and it may possibly highlight why so many people are unhappy and/or going through the motions in their marriage. I once heard from a popular Christian marriage counselor that “marriage is either heaven or hell.” I agree.

Hopefully, this sermon will help you understand and improve your quality of life moving forward. Marriage is normally extremely difficult and only those who seek God’s Words and ways have a chance at happiness. God bless and Amen.


Remember that success in marriage is not to hold your partner accountable for what God requires of them, but for YOU to do what God requires of you. I love Joyce Meyer’s stories about how she prayed God would change her husband Dave, but as it turned out, she was the one with the bad behavior and damaged soul. Although it will be tempting to read the “confessions" for your spouse in order to change their behavior, (see husband next subject), you need to read both sets of scriptures in the light of what God intends: that each spouse honor, love, respect and cherish each other. Love each other as Christ loves the church!


    1. Proverbs 12:4 – An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. (A devoted and loving wife is priceless, but a disrespectful and argumentative wife will destroy her husband’s soul and self-respect)
    2. Proverbs 19:14 – Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. (A good wife is a special gift from our heavenly Father, whereas our material inheritance [which is far less valuable] comes from our earthly Father. Husbands, do not value material things over the gem that God gave you as your wife)
    3. Proverbs 31:10-12 -- Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. (A faithful wife brings peace to her husband)
    4. Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. (Women, always speak without anger and malice for it will glorify God, strengthen your husband, and bring peace to your family. YOU be the example!)
    5. 1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (Jesus paid a high price for you; act like it by being godly and righteous in His eyes)
    6. 1 Corinthians 7:3 – Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. (Treat each other with love and reverence)
    7. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (Without love, we have nothing!)
    8. Ephesians 5:33 – Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Mutual sacrifice and love)
    9. 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 15-18 – (11) Therefore encourage and build each other up. (15-18) See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (Marriage often becomes a game of “payback” in which neither partner wins, versus a commitment to building each other up and looking out for the best interests of your partner. This results in BOTH partners winning. How is your marriage living up to God’s expectations? More importantly; are YOU doing what He expects? Do not render evil for evil and if there are problems, follow God’s advice and pray, pray, pray!)  -- Note Peter 3:1-5 below, # 12
  1. 1 Tim 3:11 – Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. (Do not talk bad about your husband, but focus on his good qualities)
  2. Titus 2:4-5 – That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (If you want to honor God, then you must abide by the scriptures that discuss how a wife is to treat her husband. If you fail to do so, you are dishonoring God’s wishes and making null His Word)
  3. 1 Peter 3:1-5 – Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. (This is a difficult task for even the kindest and most patient wife. It is difficult to continue to follow God’s requirements, especially if our husbands seem to be materialistic and full of paganism. However, God knowing the differences between men and women, has put the burden upon the woman to do what is right in His eyes and your obedience will become an example for your husband to [hopefully] follow. He specifically states NOT to do it in WORD, but in action. He knows men and the last thing they want is to be nagged or lectured by a self-righteous wife. SHOW your husband what God expects and if he still fails to live up to God’s standards, then at least you know you have done God justice and made Him proud of you. Remember, your actions are trying to PLEASE GOD, not yourself and definitely not other humans)
  4. 1 John 3:18 -- My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (Actions ALWAYS speak louder than words…what are your actions telling your spouse and God? Refer back to my dissertation directly above!)



I highly recommend you read the intro into “Confessions for Wives” prior to studying this scripture. Although it may seem unfair, God EXPECTS the man to LEAD his family in the ways of unconditional love, righteousness, following God, and being the example of strength through love. What I mean by that is many people try to show strength through domination, manipulation, and even violence. Those are the acts of a WEAK man, not one who is empowered by God to lead his wife and family. A man is supposed to cherish his wife and be respectful at all times. Man was not given the “lead” role to take advantage of his wife by being a bully or making her his slave, but rather he is supposed to love her more than himself and treat her with continual kindness. Dominion does not mean to dominate, but to have enough wisdom to love, cherish, respect, and be willing to sacrifice your life for her.

  1. Joshua 24:15 – And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Know what God expects from you as the head of your family and make an oath to serve Him and your family instead of yourself!)
  2. Proverbs 3:3 – Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart… (Approach your wife with God’s mercy and grace. Write His requirements on your heart and follow where He leads. Do not let your ego or selfishness override God’s directions for your marriage)
  3. Ecclesiastes 9:9 – Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.(God recognizes that vanity is a problem for humans. Do not let your vanity rule, but allow God to rule—be a role model)
  4. Mark 10:6-9 – But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male and female.' '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 then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Marriage is forever. Every marriage experiences problems, but if you follow God’s ordination for marriage, both the man and woman will live a satisfying life with each other. We are to help, not hinder our spouse)
  5. Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.(God expects you to treat your spouse as He promises to treat you. Are you in God’s will or are you letting your own selfish desires block the promises God has for your marriage?)
  6. Ephesians 5:25-28 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. (Be willing to sacrifice…even your life…for your wife, just as Christ sacrificed His life for us. You are to withhold nothing and give everything!)
  7. Colossians 3:8-10 – But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. (The “old man” is a symbol of our sinful selves before being baptized. Here God tells us that if you have truly shed the old man, then your actions will be that of a “new” man who is filled with wisdom and has a heart full of desire to serve and please God. So repent and change that of the “old” and let your actions glorify God, your wife, and your family. The “new” should be seen in you)
  8. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (Love is everything!)
  9. Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Lust/Self-gratification is also considered adultery and defiles your marriage bed. It is especially damaging when fantasy is preferred over being intimate with your spouse. Pornography is a disease; don’t let it kill you! God says “NO”)
  10. Matthew 5:28 -- But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (God’s definition of adultery)
  11. James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
  12. 1 Peter 3:7 -- Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (Remember, your wife is extremely emotionally vulnerable. Be conscious of your words and actions. Try to understand her emotions and need for love. This will open the door for God to answer your prayers.)


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Love, hugs, and blessings, Lisa ><>

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