Keys to a Good and Godly Marriage

Along with others in my leadership network, I’m concerned about what seems to be an upsurge in the number of couples in crisis. In an effort to move pro actively, I’ve been developing a list of key ingredients for a good and godly marriage. Thus far I’ve come up with the following:

1. Spiritual center
2. Personal integrity
3. Marital fidelity
4. Christian love
5. Mutual submission
6. Spiritual harmony
7. Effective communication
8. Active faith
9. Family support

What other qualities would you add to this list?


About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Family, marriage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Keys to a Good and Godly Marriage

  1. balibuddy says:

    Nice blog, Just drop to say hello from the other side of the world, cheers!

  2. Greg England says:

    A commitment to the sabbath principle of rest. In my opinion every couple needs to build into their relationship time for rest and relaxation … time for just having fun together … to prevent burnout and overextension of time and energy.

    [Very good, Greg. I appreciate you adding this to our list. -bill]

  3. Kathy says:

    Now you’ve done it, Bill; writing on a subject in which I simply have no experience of triumph. Did you really have to show up my Achilles heal this way?

    Seriously, how I wish there had been more help to couples when I fell into the morass of marital failure. So here I am, defeated by the concept of a “good & Godly marriage” – having not experienced the first two keys, therefore doomed to failure.

    Thank you for bring up this subject. Our marriages and our children by extension, are being pounded by the enemy and accuser. Keep shining that Light of God’s truth for marriage. Darkness will be defeated!

    In the Light of God’s love, grace and mercy


    [You’re welcome, dear Kathy. We are doing our best to launch a pro active response to the attacks on families here on the local level. Lord willing, I’ll write more about this in the weeks ahead. -bill]

  4. Donna says:

    I think communication has to be stressed and restressed, and must be coupled with genuine interest in each others lives. It seems that many of the failures I see come from people looking for someone to “listen” to them, and to appreciate them.

    [Thanks for addding this to our list, Donna. I agree. It seems that we do have a tendency to take for granted those who are closest to us. -bill]

  5. Neva says:

    I think a realistic view of self is important. If I have an elevated opinion of myself, I mistreat and use my spouse, always putting my needs above theirs. If I am lacking in self-esteem, I tend to be needy and smothering. When partners can see themselves the way God sees them, they can better complete the roles and tasks of marriage.


    [Yes, Neva! Thanks for adding this to the discussion. Given the fact that there are so many wounded people walking into marriage, we may need to add an additional module (building healthy self-esteem) to our premarital counseling. Thank you for you continued prayers on our behalf. May God you continue to experience an abundance of God’s richest blessings in your life! -bill]

  6. cwinwc says:

    Greg took one of mine –
    The need to make time to have fun with each other.

    Spiritual Focus – This may not be different than “Spiritual Center.” It does seem that that couple who have a collected “SF” enjoy life more and seem to be able to weather the storms of life because their commitment extends beyond themselves.

    [Do you think Greg ever sleeps? Yes, SF and SC are one in the same. I’m thinking in terms of the spokes on a wheel. Everything must revolve around Him! Blessings, -bill]

  7. Pingback: What Causes Marriage Meltdowns? « SPIRITUAL OASIS Blog

  8. Nicole says:

    I’m not one for reading the various “remedy” books for Christians, but I will say that EVERYone, single and married, should read Dr. Emerson Eggrich’s beautifully simplistic book Love and Respect. Scripturally perfect, exposing the innate differences of male and female thinking and responses and needs–well, I’d been married for over 30 years when I read it, and it was powerful and meaningful.

    We can say we need to communicate, but men and women don’t always hear each other the same because of their differences in basic thoughts, concepts, and needs. Love and Respect helps individuals and couples learn HOW to communicate.

    And I have to add if you’re not willing to go to the mat for your mate in prayer–and even fasting–regularly and in times of crisis, the odds of your marriage improving are unlikely.

    [Thanks for the book recommendation. My library contains more than 100 books on marriage and family, but I’ve not read this one. I was thinking that prayer would be covered in the category of “active faith.” Upon reflection, though, I’m inclined to think it should definitely be prominent on this list. Blessings to you and yours, -bill]

  9. Very good list, Bill. I don’t think I can think of anything else to add to the list – except maybe mutual physical love and affection?

    God bless you,

    [Yes. Emily. A relationship specialist I’m familiar with asserts that letting the romance fade leads to all sorts of problems for married couples. Hope all is well for you. Blessings, -bill]

  10. Dianna says:

    This is a good thing you are doing – a question – what about for those who think they have everything on the list – dated 4 years, did every thing right – only to realize after marriage that their mate was only acting and personal integrity means nothing at all to them – and neither does spiritual anything or faith – they knew what it would take to get me to marry and acted accordingly – how does one go about avoiding this type of situation?

    Just a note – even my pastor and close friends believed the act.

    Okay – so I am a lousy judge of character! 🙂

    [My heart goes out to you, Dianna. Perhaps this is covered under the idea of personal integrity. In this Nintendo world in which we live, we must remind one another over-and-over that life is not a game, huh?]

  11. Rachel says:

    Saying “Thank you” every day for the little things that your spouse does selflessly for your benefit because they truly adore you. Let them know how much they are appreciated! 🙂

    The Lord put this on my heart in my own marriage, because I am truly blessed with a loving husband who puts my needs and wants above his own. He is always putting me first, and it is so easy to take that for granted.

    [Yes, Rachel. Good thought! Please tell the big guy he remains in my prayers. Love you guys, -bill]

  12. Charlie says:

    Bill _ Good list — One that my wife often tells you couples is — use the mountaintops to get through the valleys and don’t run the first timeyou hit a valley.

    By that she means — being committed to sticking it out through the problems that will occur. I think this can be wrapped up in the “leave & cleave” principle. Too many enter with escape hatches — if it gets tough I’ll go home to Mom or I’ll run to my friends. But if we understand that working through the valleys draws us closer and makes it easier the next time — we will stay and “fight for our relationship” (not fight each other).

    All the other things you mention are important and it is difficult to say what is “most important” (i.e air, water or food most important to keeping on living — depends on the timing — but we need them all)

    God Bless

    [Thanks for this comment, Charlie. I really like your perspective in the last section! Blessings, -bill]

  13. Steve says:

    I would add accountability. This goes with a heart to heart relationship where you can tell the other person your struggles and your needs and get the other person to hold you accountable. This is especially a problem in financial and sexual matters.


    [Point well taken, Steve. It seems to me that this also calls for a level of intimacy that many couples don’t share…or, at least, they drift away from over time. -bill]

  14. Tim says:

    I agree with Steve about accountability, but with it comes Honest Forgiveness (maybe under your Christian love) — I think too often the claim is “I forgive you” only the rekindle the blame when it is needed to prove a point or to justify ones present deeds.

    [You are probably correct about this falling under the category of Christian love, especially if we let 1 Corinthians 13 guide us down this path. However, you are probably correct to single this out as a vital part of building healthy relationships. Thanks, brother. -bill]

  15. Royce says:


    What a great thought provoking post and the comments thus far are excellent too.

    Of course all of us know couples who have had, or are having struggles in their relationships, and some of us have ourselves.

    In my view, not enough emphasis is placed on the initial commitment required to make a life long relationship what it must be to survive. Couples “fall in love” and marry for that reason. What utter folly! First, most of them have no idea what love is. What it is not is a mixture of some warm, fuzzy feeling, sexual attraction, and the enticement of the wedding itself.

    We should teach our young people to find someone who shares their ideals and faith, get to know them well enough that they can make a thoughtful, informed decision, and then decide if they can commit to that person for life without exception. If the proper level of commitment is reached separation and divorce are never options except in the most extreme circumstances.

    The purpose of wedding vows is to make a number of promises to each other. They should be fully understood and given with the utmost reverence and determination. Every marriage should be a “covenant” marriage.

    The reason our children’s marriages are failing is that we have done a poor job of teaching them what is really important in life.

    His peace,
    Royce Ogle

    [You are, in my estimation, right on target in observing that every marriage should be a “covenant” marriage! I appreciate you underscoring this, Royce. Blessings, -bill]

  16. Keith Davis says:

    Leaning to compromise. Giving into the needs of others is a basic principle of Christianity. “Consider the needs of others above the needs of yourself.” That is certainly true of marriage–a life-long compromise.

    Great blog brother.

    [Thanks for bring this to light, Keith. This is extremely difficult to do without having the mind of Christ. I’m getting the impression from many of the comments that this is the main thing. Blessing, -bill]

  17. Bonnie Anderson says:

    Just a few thoughts that I have after observing my peers for 30 some odd years of marriage and listening to their conversations (complaints) about their marriages.

    1) a commitment to the person rather than a commitment to the marriage – people change through the years – it is easy to say “this is not the man (or woman) I married” – a commitment to the marriage allows both partners to work through their differences for the betterment of the marriage

    2) this one is generally a “woman” thing – putting their children before their husbands. I have many friends who really think that their children are the most important things in their lives and they will tell you that. A marriage cannot be healthy when the husband has to take second place every day to the children. (Of course I am not talking about sick children ,etc. – just everyday life)

    3) failure to follow the “golden rule” – treating your spouse as you would like to be treated – rather than punishing your spouse for some real or imagined hurt you feel they have dealt you

    Just a few of my thoughts on the subject…bonnie

    [These are such good thoughts, Bonnie. Thank you for sharing them with us. I especially appreciate your inclusion of #2. It’s likely there are several things like this for both men and women to be cautious about. Blessings, -bill]

  18. "Maggie" says:

    Fun came to my mind first, as Greg insinuated. So many times we’ve been bogged down by stress for too long and just need to remember what it’s like to have fun and truly let our hair down and just enjoy some crazy time being alone. Having child care for those times is crucial. Without grandparents, young people struggle. In the holiday season, I sat down during worship one Sunday and an elderly lady behind me laid her hand on my head and said, “I’m watching your kids for you this week so that you can shop. I won’t take no for an answer, and I don’t care if they are a little sick. Go.”

    I cried. I still tear up writing it. Blessed relief. A big thank you to those who see a need and bless!

  19. "Maggie" says:

    PS: I still have grandparents and am blessed in that way…but, sometimes seasons lend them unavailable for whatever natural reasons.

  20. EMMANUEL K. TSEGAH says:

    Every good and Godly marriage should have its solid foundation on the word of truth. Couples need to stay focused to God and see every difficult moments as a means to prepare the them for a sustainable marriage life. Bible says that for this reason a man shall leave the parents and be clive to his wife. Cliving can mean having the same bank account, tithing according to each couples salary, making a uniform decision, fellowshiping in the same faith of Church, sharing the same bed, having morning devotion and quiet time together before the day’s work, and give hope and comfort to each other in time of need. Don’t forget that if the source of the marriage (God) is neglected, divorce could be the next alternative. stay blessed

  21. SYLVIE says:

    Remembering that we are on the journey and on the walk he will see different things that you will and plus been him a man and you a woman wow makes it for a very interesting combination.
    The triangle (some see it as a theory) well now from experience believe it is a fact.
    As you both give priority to God both will grow closer to the Lord and remember it is a proces.
    Like we like to say in this country it took us time to get into this mess well it takes GOD’s grace and mercy to get out of it.
    But can I say it for you ladies out there it is worthy on the intimacy level (SATISFACTION GUARANTYyyy)
    No desapointement with God!
    The grass is not greener on the other side if anything every farmer know that the manure goes in the ground well covered (had to learn that the hard way) so you will be a head on this one and water the grass for a lush field .
    there will be beautiful bugs coming along don’t fret keep the greatest farmer by prayers and supplications with an eye on the grass and the bugs.
    You will be tested .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s