Marriage (6 of 11) How Do I Achieve An Honorable Marriage?

How Do I Achieve An Honorable Marriage?

An honorable marriage is one that is respectable, upright and worthy of imitation. It is a marriage that strives to give God maximum glory. This can be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit and applying the powerful principle of love and respect.

The Power Of The Holy Spirit In Marriage

  • Achieving an honorable marriage starts with the same thing that it takes to live an honorable Christian life: the Holy Spirit. As believers, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This happens more than once and it takes place when we allow the Word of God (that the Holy Spirit inspired) to change who we are. We must read, study, meditate on and submit to it. We cannot do this on our own, so the Holy Spirit helps us in our understanding and, through the Word, fills us to walk in His ways—giving you the power to serve God, serve others and to serve your spouse.
    Ephesians 5:15-20; Colossians 3:16-17
  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit has a direct effect on your relationship with your spouse. The three immediate results to being filled with the Holy Spirit mentioned in Ephesians is: (1) Singing in public and private—to the Lord. This expresses our joy and reminds us of great Bible truths. (2) Giving thanks always and for everything—unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This helps us to keep the right focus and acknowledges our appreciation for God’s sovereignty in our lives. (3) Submitting to one another—in the fear of God. This is the new way that we as believers are to approach our relationships. Each of these will effect your marriage, but the way you understand and apply this new approach to your relationships will have the greatest effect. You are not to do anything through selfish ambition (strife) or conceit (vainglory), but in humility (lowliness of mind) you are to consider others better than yourself. You are not to just care about your own things and interests, but also on the things and interests of others. You are to let this mindset be in you, just like it was in Jesus. You don’t live for yourself but you live for others.
    Ephesians 5:21; Philippians 2:2-5; Romans 15:1-3
  • In marriage, you don’t live your yourself, but for your spouse. You have the obligation to bear his/her infirmities, to build him/her up and strengthen him/her, not focusing on pleasing yourself. Selfishness is the enemy of an honorable marriage. Selflessness is the friend of an honorable marriage.
  • In marriage, living a Spirit-filled life isn’t based on life circumstances or the happiness of your marriage, but since the object and motivation is God Himself, you can choose to live this way even in the hardest of situations. You ultimately live for God and he is the source of your joy and love.
    2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 5:1-5
  • As you are led by the Spirit, your regular way of life should be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. All of the following will grow up together as a single “fruit” of the Spirit in you and support an honorable marriage: Love—good, service and regard towards another because of their intrinsic value and giving up one’s rights for another; Joy—feelings of great pleasure and happiness based on knowing God; Peace—confidence in the sovereignty of God as you go through life’s changing circumstances; Longsuffering—patient endurance through hard times; Gentleness—being friendly, courteous, considerate and generous to others; Goodness—trying to be moral and honest at all times; Faith—faithful, loyal, constant, steadfast, reliable; Meekness—humble and gentle; Temperance—controlling yourself and making the right choices.
    Galatians 5:16-25

The Power Of Love And Respect In Marriage
Ephesians 5:33

  • In the same passage of Scripture that teaches us the spiritual framework for marriage and gives us the right perspective for marriage, holiness not happiness, the author ends the chapter with a verse that gets very practical saying, “Nevertheless”—meaning that even though God designed marriage so that we could picture the relationship between Jesus and the church, there was still a practical application to be made for how the conduct of marriage was to be carried out. The verse goes on to say: “let every one of you in particular”—meaning each married person is to treat their spouse in the following way: “love his wife even as himself”—the husband is called to unconditionally love his wife; “the wife see that she reverence her husband”—the wife is called to unconditionally respect her husband. To see this from another angle, the Bible is saying that a wife needs love and a husband needs respect. When each spouse chooses to see this need in their spouse’s life and commits to fulfilling it as in obedience to the Lord, then they are on the right track towards an honorable marriage.
  • Husbands are to give unconditional love and need unconditional respect. Unconditional love means that a husband chooses to love his wife with a love that is not subject to any conditions. It means that even though he needs respect from his wife, which makes loving her easier, he choose to love her even when he doesn’t get the respect he needs. To love your wife as yourself means that you are going to treat her like he would naturally treat himself—with great care and concern for whole being (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.). It goes so far that you are willing to forfeit your rights, privileges and even life for your wife’s benefit.
  • Wives are to give unconditional respect and need unconditional love. Unconditional respect means that a wife chooses to respect her husband with a respect that is not subject to any conditions. It means that even though she needs love from her husband, which makes respecting him easier, she choose to respect him even when she doesn’t get the love she needs. To reverence your husband means that your attitude towards your husband is to be one of respect—to understand and appreciate your husband for what he does right, how God has made him and treating Him a gracious and submissive manner even when he doesn’t have many achievements to point to.

Practical Wisdom, Good Judgment And Common Sense

  • Who is going to be first? As sinners, we often think that we will fulfill our side of the agreement when our spouse fulfills his/her side first. The problem is our spouse is thinking the same thing. Both sides are waiting on the other to do right first. So the Biblical call of living a Spirit-filled life and showing unconditional love or respect means that you go first.
  • Are you obeying God? Your spouse will let you down and do things that make you not want to “walk in the Spirit” or show love or respect towards them, but since this is a command from God we aren’t supposed to obey this based on feelings but on faith.

Review Questions

  • What does an honorable marriage mean?
  • What does the power of the Holy Spirit in marriage mean?
  • What is the new approach believer’s have towards their relationships?
  • What does the power of love and respect in marriage mean?
  • What does unconditional love and respect mean?

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