God created marriage as a bond between man and woman. He blessed the ideal in Eden with Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ further blessed it at Cana. It is hence a sacred institution. In marriage, the unity of the Trinity is reflected in the deep love between man and woman during the conjugal act with the creation of child; One love but three persons. When marriage is defiled, then God’s plan is defiled. Divorce, infidelity and disrespect of spouses degrade and reject the Divine plan of love found in the sacred vow.
Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes mutual respect is necessary for a healthy marriage. The sacred vocation and vow requires effort and respect on part of both the husband and wife. Yet like all relationships, a life long commitment can be difficult especially in modern society and its throw away mentality. Instead of fixing things, modern society looks to replace. Unfortunately, marriage is treated the same way.
Keeping something pure and maintaining it takes time, commitment and effort. It is critical for spouses to work with each other as a team towards a common end but it also involves mutual respect and handling anger, crisis, division, loss, and pain. The grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony fueled by the Holy Spirit can help couples reach this difficult goal but it takes prayer and a constant effort of consecrating one’s marriage to Christ. Christian Counselors, Pastors, Marriage Counselors and other therapists can help guide couples to a long and fulfilling marriage but many couples need additional help in identifying issues and conflict resolution. In identifying key aspects of a healthy relationship, the article, “Counseling Tips For A Healthy Relationship” by Henry Smith identifies four key elements. Smith points out respect, encouragement, listening and goodness to each other as key points. Regarding respect, he states,
“Respect between partners is an essential aspect of any healthy Christian marriage. Christian marriage counseling can provide valuable tips and advice on cultivating and maintaining respect. One important tip is always to consider each other’s feelings and emotions. Couples should open up lines of communication with one another, ask questions respectfully, be actively empathetic to each other’s points and perspectives, work together on issues, and trust each other’s judgment. ”
“Counseling Tips For A Healthy Relationship”. Henry Smith. March 22nd, 2023. TechBullion
To read the entire article, please click here
Obviously within Christian marriage, the first key is identifying the permanence of the institution. Individuals who are prepared in Pre-Cana or other Church services in marriage preparation can help individuals cherish their vow and the sacred nature of it. Secondly, Christian Counselors, Pastors and Marriage Counselors need to reinforce the illustration of Christ and the Church as a symbolic example of husband and wife. The husband loves his wife, as Christ loves the Church, even unto death, and the wife is obedient and respectful to the husband, as the Church is to Christ. With such a connection and mutual relationship, neither ever crosses any lines in regards to dominance, abuse, or ridicule. This creates a perfect harmony.
The fruits of a good relationship are children, stability, good example, fostering of the faith and glorification of God through one’s vocation. The union, even if children are never conceived, still provide the couple with intimacy, love, support and unity with each other.
One learns that all love, whether romantic, or that of family or friends is a love that is selfless. Love is hence patient and giving and exists for the happiness of the other. Love in marriage is no different. Love never fades but remains a constant. In looking to fulfill a more perfect marriage, couples need to look no farther than the love of St Joseph and Holy Mary. The Holy Family is the perfect example of love. St Joseph remains a role model for all husbands and fathers and Holy Mary remains a role model for all wives and mothers.
Characteristics of a Healthy Christian Marriage
A healthy Christian marriage is characterized by several key traits that are essential for building a strong and lasting relationship. These include:
A family that prayers together, stays together. Families and marriages that center around prayer, mass or church, or prayer before meals, strengthen the family together. It further protects the family from secular and demonic sources that will look to tear the family apart. The family as the building block of society is crucial to society’s success. Fostering the laws of God and a prayerful life and sending that message out to the world is one of the primary vocations within marriage. This is how the family itself becomes a discipleship and church within its own right. Hence families that have a strong devotion to God and pray together and create great change for the world and share Christ with it.
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and Christian marriage is no exception. A husband and wife should be able to trust each other completely, knowing that they are committed to each other and to God.
Effective communication is essential for building intimacy, resolving conflicts, and making important decisions together. Husbands and wives should be able to communicate openly and honestly with each other, expressing their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a respectful and loving manner.
Mutual respect is crucial for maintaining a healthy Christian marriage. Husbands and wives should treat each other with dignity, honor, and kindness, recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and valuing each other’s opinions and perspectives.
Love is the hallmark of a healthy Christian marriage. Husbands and wives should show love to each other in tangible ways, such as acts of service, quality time, and physical affection. They should also be committed to loving each other unconditionally, even in the face of challenges and difficulties.
Communication in a Christian Marriage
Communication is one of the most critical aspects of a healthy Christian marriage. Effective communication involves more than just talking and listening. It requires a willingness to understand each other’s perspectives, feelings, and needs, and a commitment to resolving conflicts in a loving and respectful manner.
One of the keys to effective communication in a Christian marriage is to create a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel heard and valued. This involves setting aside time for regular communication, listening attentively to each other, and avoiding criticism and defensiveness.
Another essential aspect of communication in a Christian marriage is prayer. Praying together can deepen intimacy, foster spiritual growth, and provide a sense of unity and purpose. It is also an opportunity to seek God’s guidance and wisdom in the decisions and challenges of life.
Financial Management in a Christian Marriage
Financial management is another critical aspect of a healthy Christian marriage. Money can be a significant source of conflict and stress in any relationship, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and stewardship.
One of the keys to financial management in a Christian marriage is to establish a shared vision and goals for money. This involves setting a budget, saving for the future, and giving generously to others. It also involves being transparent and accountable with each other about finances, avoiding debt, and making wise investments.
Another essential aspect of financial management in a Christian marriage is to seek God’s guidance and provision. Trusting in God’s provision can help reduce anxiety and stress about money and free up resources for more meaningful pursuits.
Conflict Resolution in a Christian Marriage
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, including Christian marriage. However, how couples handle conflict can make all the difference in the health and longevity of their relationship.
One of the keys to conflict resolution in a Christian marriage is to approach conflicts with a spirit of humility and grace. This involves seeking to understand each other’s perspectives, acknowledging each other’s feelings, and working together to find a solution that honors God and each other.
Another essential aspect of conflict resolution in a Christian marriage is forgiveness. Forgiveness involves letting go of past hurts, extending grace to each other, and seeking reconciliation and restoration. It is a powerful tool for healing and strengthening relationships.
Intimacy in a Christian Marriage
Intimacy is a vital aspect of a healthy Christian marriage. It involves more than just physical intimacy but also emotional, intellectual, and spiritual intimacy. Intimacy is a gift from God that is intended to be enjoyed and celebrated within the context of marriage.
One of the keys to intimacy in a Christian marriage is to prioritize time together. This involves setting aside time for regular date nights, weekend getaways, and other activities that promote closeness and connection.
Another essential aspect of intimacy in a Christian marriage is to be intentional about meeting each other’s needs. This involves being attentive to each other’s love languages, expressing physical affection, and creating a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel valued and cherished.
Roles and Responsibilities in a Christian Marriage
Roles and responsibilities are an essential aspect of a healthy Christian marriage. They provide structure, order, and clarity to the relationship and help each partner to fulfill their God-given purpose and calling.
One of the keys to roles and responsibilities in a Christian marriage is to understand and embrace each other’s unique strengths and gifts. This involves recognizing and respecting each other’s differences and working together to achieve common goals.
Another essential aspect of roles and responsibilities in a Christian marriage is to seek God’s guidance and wisdom. Praying together, studying God’s Word, and seeking the counsel of wise mentors can help couples discern their roles and responsibilities and fulfill them with joy and purpose.
Challenges and Solutions in a Christian Marriage
Christian marriage is not without its challenges. Couples may face a variety of issues, such as infidelity, addiction, infertility, and conflict with in-laws. However, with God’s help, these challenges can be overcome, and the marriage can become even stronger and more beautiful.
One of the keys to overcoming challenges in a Christian marriage is to seek God’s guidance and provision. Prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers can provide comfort, wisdom, and support during difficult times.
Another essential aspect of overcoming challenges in a Christian marriage is to seek professional help when needed. Christian counselors, pastors, and mentors can provide guidance, accountability, and practical tools for addressing specific issues and building a stronger marriage.
Conclusion: Striving for a Healthy and Godly Christian Marriage
In conclusion, a healthy Christian marriage is a beautiful and powerful testimony to God’s love and grace. It is built on a foundation of trust, communication, respect, and love, and reflects the image of Christ and the church. By following biblical principles and seeking God’s guidance, couples can build a marriage that honors God and fulfills their purpose and calling. May we all strive for healthy and godly Christian marriages that bring glory to God and bless our families and communities.
Christian Counselors can help couples find solutions and joy in their marriage. Christian Counselors usually are pastors or spiritual directors with an understanding of applying Christian and Biblical principles to real world problems. Christian Counselors can hence bring God back into someone’s marriage. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Christian Counselor.
“The 7 Commandments of Christian Marriage”. Ron Edmondson. March 20th, 2019. Crosswalk. Access here
“7 Important Responsibilities of a Christian Wife”. Lesli White. Beliefnet. Access here
“7 Marks of a Godly Husband”. Lesli White. Beliefnet. Access here
“Practical and Biblical Christian Marriage Advice”. Mary Fairchild. April 29th, 2019. Learn Religions. Access here