Some Marriage Principles

Here are some principles from Scripture to help us aim to become the man or woman God intendes us to be. These are by no means complete, but I thought they might be helpful.


Is it ok to marry?

·          Marriage is to be honored. (Hebrews 13:4)

·         A wife is a good thing; marriage pleases God (Proverbs 18:22).

·         It is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Timothy 5:11).


Is it ok to not marry?

·         Some renounce marriage for the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:12).

·         False teachers forbid people to marry (1 Timothy 4:1-3). 

·         The unmarried can be fully devoted to worshiping God (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).

·         It is good to be unmarried, but better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7).


Finding a spouse:

·         God can help you find a mate, but it should be from God’s chosen people, not unbelievers (Genesis 24; Ezra 9:12; Nehemiah 10:30; 1 Corinthians 7:39).


Who should a believer marry?

·         A believer should only marry another believer – not unbelievers (Ezra 9:12; Nehemiah 10:30; 1 Corinthians 7:39).


What happens when people first marry?

·         When a man and a woman marry, they are to leave their families of birth and come together, as one flesh (Genesis 2:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:10;1 Timothy 5:8).

·         The first year of marriage is very important (Deuteronomy 24:5). 

·         Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it (Psalm 127:1).


What are the roles of men and women?

·         God created man to work and woman to be help him (Gen. 2:7-24). 

·         A wife should be diligent in her tasks, not be idle, be charitable, care for her family, feeds and clothes those in her home, manages her household, faithfully teach, and love God (Proverbs 31:10-31).

·         Parents are to teach their children (Proverbs 6:20).

·         Men are to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance (Titus 2:2).

·         Women are to love their husband and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  (Titus 2:4).


Submission, authority and respect in marriage:

·         Woman was put under the authority of man, because of Eve was led astray and led Adam astray (Gen. 3). 

·         A wife should submit herself to her husband so if he is not a believer, her behavior will win him over (1 Peter 3:1-6).

·         Husbands and wives should submit to each other, but the husband is the head of the family (Ephesians 5:20-33).

·         A wife should respect her husband and yield herself to the authority of her husband out of reverence to the Lord (Ephesians 5:21-23, Col. 3:18).

·         A husband and wife have become one flesh, so the husband should love his wife as if she were himself and care for her for the Christ cared for the Church (Ephesians 5:25- 33, Col. 3:19—–*).

·         God, both the Father and His son Christ, should be the model husbands model their lives after (Isaiah 54:5; 62:5; Jeremiah 3:14; 31:32).

·         A husband should respect his wife, and be considerate of her so nothing will hinder their prayers (1 Peter 3:7).



·         Accept one another (Romans 15:7).

·         Love one another (John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11).

·         Be devoted in brotherly love to one another (Romans 12:10).

·         Honor one another above one’s self (Romans 12:10).

·         Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8).

·         Be hospitable to believers (1 Peter 4:9).

·         Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3).

·         Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

·         Be humble with one another (1 Peter 5:5).

·         Bear with each other and forgive one another (Colossians 3:13).

·         Teach and admonish one another with wisdom (Colossians 3:16).

·         Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13).

·         Encourage one another to love and good deeds and to meeting with believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).

·         Do no judge or slander someone (James 4:11).

·         Always do good and not bad (Gal 6:7-10).

·        Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32) 

·    The wife is entitled to at least food, clothes and love – specifically sex (Exodus 21:10-11; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; 1 Corinthians 7:33-34; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11


·         Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10).

·         Love is sincere (Romans 12:9).

·         If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love (Romans 14:15).

·         Love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1).

·         Without love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

·         Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

·         Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:14).

·         Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13)

·         The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

·         Men are to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance (Titus 2:2).

·         Women are to teach the younger to love their husband and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  (Titus 2:4).

·         Love should be shown in ones actions rather than give it lip service (1 John 3:18)


Personal Character and Responsibility:

·         We are responsible if we do something that makes our spouse jealous (Numbers 15). 

·         A foolish son causes his parents misery (Proverbs 19:13).

·         A patient man calms a quarrel. (Proverbs 15:8)

·         A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. (Proverbs 12:16) NIV

·         A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (Proverbs 15:18)

·         An argumentative spouse will eat away at the other partner, but a self-disciplined spouse is a gift from the Lord (Proverbs 19:13-14; 21:9, 19; 25:24; 27:15).

·         A wife of noble character builds a man up, but a disgraceful one eats away at him (Proverbs 12:4).

·         A wife of noble character is one who is trustworthy, brings good to her husband, is diligent in her tasks, is not idle, is wise, is charitable, cares for her family, feeds and clothes those in her home, manages her household, faithfully teaches, is strong and dignified, causes others to respect to her husband, is praised by her children and husband, loves God (Proverbs 31:10-31).

·         A wife should have an inner beauty, and be filled with a gentle and quiet spirit, pure and reverent of God (1 Peter 3:1-5). 

·         A husband and wife have become one flesh, so the husband should love his wife as if she were himself and care for her for the Christ cared for the Church, sacrificially (Ephesians 5:25- 32).

·         Do not allow your spouse to draw you away from worshiping God (Deuteronomy 13:6-10).

·         Do not let your spouse cause you to wrong the Lord (Acts 5:1-10).

·         Do not follow sinners (Proverbs 1:10,15; 28:7; Psalms 1:1).

·         Each partner should be sympathetic, compassionate, loving, humble and repay insult or injury with blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9).

·         We are to imitate God (Ephesians 5:1).

·         We reap what we sow – we should do good things and not bad (Gal 6:7-10).

·         Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness, and peace (1 Tim 6:11, 2 Tim 2:22).

·         God gives believers a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7).



·         The sins of the parents are visited upon the third and fourth generations (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9).



·         Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint (Proverbs 23:4).

·        Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but wisdom is more preferred (Proverbs Ecclesiastes 7:12).

·         Do not steal (Leviticus 19:11).

·     Men should work to support their family (Genesis 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10)


Should we seek advice?

·         When you stop listening to advice, you will stray from the Word of Knowledge (Proverbs 19:27)

·         Seek counsel from God (Psalms 16:7; 25:4-5; 27:11; 32:8; 34:11; 119:66; Judges 13:18).

·         He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers (Proverbs 19:8).

·         The wise in heart accept counsel (Proverbs 10:8).

·         Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).

·         He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20).

·         The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice (Proverbs 12:15).

·         Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise (Proverbs 19:20).


Older family members:

·         Families should care for the elders among them; if there is no family, or they are unable or unwilling to care for the elders, then the church should (1 Timothy 5:1-16). 

·         Older folks should teach the younger to do what is good (Titus 2:2-6).

·         The older women should teach the younger women to love their husbands and children and to submit themselves to their husbands’ authority so no one will malign the Word of God (Titus 2:3-4).


Sex outside of marriage:

·         If you are engaged, you are considered married in terms of availability (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

·         Do not covet someone else’s spouse (Deuteronomy 5:21).

·         Do not commit adultery (Genesis 20:1-7; Deuteronomy 5:18; Hebrews 13:4)

·         Wisdom, discretion, and discipline will help protect you from adultery (Proverbs 2:12-28; 5; 6:20-35; 7:4-5)

·         A spouse who sleeps around is not a good thing (Proverbs 23:26-27).

·         Incest (sex between people who are related, other than husband and wife) is wrong (Leviticus 20:11-20; Deuteronomy 27:20-23; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).


Sex inside of marriage:

·         The Bible states two reasons for sex: to have children (Genesis 4:1; Jeremiah 29:6) and to prevent sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

·         Each spouse must fulfill their marital duties, unless both sides agree to wait for an agreed upon time so they can pray (Exodus 21:10-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5).



·         The Bible teaches that children should be created within marriage (Genesis 4:1; Jeremiah 29:6).

·         God can help a couple become pregnant (Genesis 25:21).

·         Children should do what their fathers command and mothers teach; discipline teaches the way to life (Proverbs 1:8; 6:20-23).

·         Children should obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-4, Col. 3:20).

·         A foolish son causes his parents misery (Proverbs 19:13).

·         Children are to be disciplined by their parents (Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13; 29:15).

·         Parents are not to exasperate their children or make them bitter, otherwise they will become discouraged (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

·         Parents are to teach God’s word in everything (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7).

·         Parents are to teach about how God is praiseworthy (Psalm 78:2-7).

·         Parents are to train a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6).



·         Those who love to learn accept being disciplined; those who hate to be corrected lack intelligence (Proverbs 12:1).

·         God disciplines us just as a father disciplines his children (Deuteronomy 8:5; Proverbs 3:11-12; Psalms 94:12; Hebrews 12:10).

·         God wants children of His believers to be disciplined (Deuteronomy 21:18 – 21).

·         Parents who love their children will discipline them (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 29:15-17).

·         Parents must teach children the ways of God (Deuteronomy 4:9; 11:19).

·         He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise (Proverbs 15:31).

·         Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

·         Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die (Proverbs 23:13).

·         The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother (Proverbs 29:15).

·         Children are to obey their parents in everything, because it pleases God (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20).



·         God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

·         Anyone who divorces, causes the one being left to become an adulterer, as well as the one who marries the divorced person (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:1-3).

·         Believers should not separate, but especially should not divorce (1 Corinthians 7:9-11).

·         Believers should not divorce an unbelieving spouse, but it is ok if an unbelieving spouse divorces the believer (1 Corinthians 7:12-15).

·        No one should abandon his wife (Exodus 21:10-11)



·         Marriage is a temporal institution, so it is ok for widows to remarry (Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-36; Romans 7:1-3).

·         Young windows should marry (1 Timothy 5:11-14).


8 Responses

  1. I like your points under the heading of divorce and remarriage.

    Leslie McFall has an interesting way to deal with the so-called exception clause in Matthew 19:9 that some hold allows for divorce and remarriage in the case of marriage unfaithfulness.

    He has written a 43 page paper that reviews the changes in the Greek made by Erasmus that effect the way Matthew 19:9 has been translated. I reviewed McFall’s paper at Except For Fornication Clause of Matthew 19:9. I would love to hear some feedback on this position.

    I also have list of good conservative articles on the subject of Divorce and Remarriage.

  2. Hi More Christ Like.

    I read your review of McFall’s paper and the discussion regarding whether Christ provided an exception for not divorcing, based upon whether there is a ει in the original text.

    I am not convinced either way, which is why I did not discuss it in this post. I think it could legitimately be read either way – obviously God intended it to be read only one way. I think Mt 5:32 tells us of an exception. I think this exception might be what is discussed is Mt 19:9, but it is unclear.

  3. Since the response I wrote on your article is still awaiting moderation, I thought I would respond here, on my blog entry:

    I’m not convinced the removal of ει changes the actual meaning of the text, especially since there is no verb in the phrase in question.

    For instance, I could say “You kids can play outside when it rains, NOT floods, and have fun.” Or I could say “You kids can play outside when it rains, except when it floods, and have fun.”

    The meaning is the same.

    As for Mark 10:11 and Matthew 19:9 not being in agreement with each other – I disagree. When two people report the same thing, one will include details the other leaves out. This does not mean they contradict each other. For example, I could tell two of my children, “You can not go outside, except to take the trash out, until I come home.” One child might recount this to his sister (who never takes out the trash) as, “Dad said we can not go outside until he comes home”. The second child could recount this to his other sibling (who DOES occasionally take out the trash) as, “Dad said we can not go outside, except to take the trash out, until he comes home.’ Both are correct, but one is more accurate in the details, and this accuracy enhances understanding. But it does not change the overall meaning of the message.

    In this case under discussion, the audience of Mark would not know of the ‘not for pornea’, but this does not mean the qualifier was not present when stated by Jesus.

  4. Nice site. Thanks a lot. Keep up the good works you have begun.

  5. An excellent article regarding marriage and divorce by David-Instone-Brewer (although I disagree with the use of neglect or abuse as a valid reason for divorce) can be found here:, as well as some rebuttals.

  6. […] article contains certain principles of marriage that could help you. If you can find a series about marriage […]

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