Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Four Principles of a Vibrant Marriage

A Christian man doesn’t fail on purpose.  And I don’t believe most men get married thinking, “I can’t wait to get divorced.”

So, how do we build our marriage on a solid foundation and teach other men to do the same?

What I want to share with you are key principles for a vibrant marriage.

Husbands and wives need to live by them.  But God calls the husband to take the lead.  Everything rises and falls on leadership!

Most of what I am about to share is based on Marriage on the Rock by Jimmy Evans.

Each principle is centered on Genesis 2:24-25 which reads, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

This is appropriate because God made marriage.  Let’s take a look at the four principles.

Principle of Priority
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother…”
In other words only God comes before your wife.  All other ties should have been loosened or relinquished so your wife should never feel jealous.
Her jealousy is legitimate when something else threatens the relationship or takes priority. Remember that God is “jealous” for his people when they go after idols.
There is a great scene in Spider-Man 3 where Peter and Aunt May are discussing marriage.  Aunt May asks Peter, “A man needs to put his wife before himself. Can you do that, Peter?”

Wow!  Even this comic book come to life hits us right between the eyes with the principle of priority!
Of course Peter says yes but throughout the movie he becomes self-absorbed, obsessed with revenge, and then completely alienates Mary Jane.  You don’t have to go to the movies to see this story play out around you.

Principle of Pursuit
“…and shall cleave unto his wife…”
When is the last time you gave your wife a surprise gift?  Do you still enjoy “date night” together?
Most Christian men don’t go around cussing at their wives.  But that doesn’t mean they shower their wives with love.  There are two kinds of sin; sins of commission (what we do wrong) and sins of omission (failing to do right).

The principle of pursuit is a reminder to take initiative and do what is right to keep the passion alive in the marriage.  One of the first things husbands stop doing is dating, romancing and “pursuing” their wives. Whether it’s complacency, life changes or taking her for granted, a lot of husbands stop pursuing their wives. When we become cold the marriage goes cold.  As goes the leader so goes the organization or the marriage.  If you want to keep waking up next to your wife then you need to “cleave” or pursue her with great energy.  

Marriage is work. But the “work” that counts is the stuff we did BEFORE we got married.  This also sets us up to be creative and to experience constant renewal.  We have to pursue our wives with tender words, loving touch and intentionally find ways to put a smile on her face.

Principle of Possession
“…and they shall be one flesh…”
I have plenty of personal and private time.  But I don’t have any secrets.  Nor is there a time when my wife doesn’t know where I am and with who. Our lives are interdependent and their isn’t anything I own that she can’t have.  My wallet and the bills are “ours.”  The children are “ours.”  The Bible makes it clear that even our bodies belong to each other.

Christian men should have private time with the Lord, personal space in the home and regular time to hang out with brothers.  But my time, talent and treasures belong to the commonwealth of the marriage.  The principle of possession makes it clear that the single life is dead.

Principle of Purity
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
This principle affirms the need for purity of speech and actions.  Anything built on a lie has a terminal condition.  Lies eventually come to light and every sinful secret hurts the relationship spiritually before it’s exposed. How?  Secrets are a doorway for the enemy who is liar and accuser.

Trust is the hardest thing to earn and the easiest thing to lose.  And once trust is lost it takes a miracle to regain.  To have pure motivation toward our wives is the same as loving our wives as Christ loves the church.  Christ Jesus loves the church sacrificially, redemptively and unconditionally.

As Jimmy Evans teaches in his book, if we violate any one of these principles we hurt the marriage.  If we violate two or more, our marriage can end in divorce.

But living by these principles create a safe, happy and blessed condition called holy matrimony.

Please feel free post your thoughts or ask your questions below.

Be blessed,

Minister Onorio


  1. Great read. Every now and then we men need to be reminded how big of a role we have. It's not easy by any chance. Jimmy Evans has also a Cd series called our secret paradise. 6 key aspects of marriage and how to maintain them. 1. how to have a lasting marriage. 2. a successful marriage 3. being best friends 4. having a serpent free marriage 5. sexually fulfillment in marriage. 6. finding paradise in marriage. I have them on my Ipod. He tells from his own experience early on in his marriage with Karen.

  2. This is excellent on point and on time...taking these steps will not only fireproof your marriage but foolproof your relationship with your wife -


  3. @Rome: Thank you for sharing. Sounds like you have a teaching series on your hands there with those points? I'm looking forward to that!!

    @JAM: Thank you for sharing and very well said! That can preach! Have you seen Fireproof the movie or the book?

  4. No doubt.I seen fireproof as well. As a matter of fact a friend suggested i watch it before i got married


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