How to Cultivate a Godly Relationship as a Christian Couple
Truthfully, marriage is easier as a Christian couple because it is rooted in biblical precepts and sealed by a covenant, but it still takes intentionality and investment to make it great. Building a meaningful relationship grounded in faith starts with becoming conscious of God's love and grace, developing a foundation of fellowship and trust between two people, and allowing His Word to guide your journey together. Keep reading to see some practical steps you can apply to your marriage.
Nurture Open and Honest Communication
Open communication is one of the most important qualities in every successful relationship, especially for Christian couples. It takes time to build effective communication — learning to listen with compassion, express your needs clearly, and recognize each other's communication styles. Making an effort to communicate openly can help you understand each other better and create a stronger bond between you both. It's important to remember that you're one team and your goal should be to understand each other vs making a point.
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" - James 1:19
It can be very easy to get frustrated and angry during a conflict but we are called to be slow to anger and quick to listen. Understanding that we think differently and have different perspectives reminds us to truly listen to our partners. We should seek to understand what they're saying and WHY. Many times after we understand that, we see that we're actually not that far apart on what we're saying or it even opens our eyes to another perspective all-together.
Practice Forgiveness and Show Grace
Forgiveness can be an essential part of a Godly relationship. As Christians, we are called to forgive one another and show grace to those around us. When it comes to forgiving each other as a couple, recognize that you both have made mistakes and have areas in which you need God's grace. Make time to pray together, talk openly about what happened, and make efforts to move on in your relationship without hanging onto hurt or resentment.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32
Strengthen the Relationship Through Prayer and Discipleship
As a Christian couple, it’s important to practice and cultivate your relationship based on God's word. Develop a shared routine of scripture reading and prayer that you can do together on a daily basis. Use time in the Bible to study together and grow in understanding what it means to have a Godly relationship. This routine can help bring you closer spiritually as well as emotionally, creating a stronger foundation for your relationship as well as growing your faith as individuals.
When Zach and I were first dating, we used the app YouVersion to read together. It allows you to be on the same plan and add notes after you finished reading. This is a good option if you have different schedules and can't really study at the same time. If you can, I also recommend the Daily Grace Co His & Hers Bundles which are study books on different topics in the bible. Lastly, you can buy our Christian Notion Template and give access to your husband as well so you can share prayer requests, sermon notes, and bible notes together.
Strengthening your relationship through studying the bible together is a key way to cultivate a Godly relationship. Spend time praying together regularly and share Bible scriptures that are meaningful to you both. This can be an opportunity to learn more about each other’s thoughts and feelings as well as how you choose to apply the words of scripture in practice. Additionally, disciple your partner. Help them understand who they are in God, their role and purpose in life, as well as to equip them for difficult times. Encourage them to grow in their faith and be a source of support and guidance.
Dedicate Time to Developing a Strong Bond of Respect and Love
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:21-33
A relationship rooted in faith also requires respect and love between partners. In Ephesians 5 we learn about the different roles for a husband and for a wife. Husbands are called to love their wife and wives are called to respect their husband. Interestingly enough, when looking at worldly relationships, the lack of love & respect is what leads to pain and broken marriages.
Generally, women naturally love their husbands but it's harder for them to respect them. Think about the last fight you had with your husband. Did he feel respected in a decision OR did he feel questioned or belittled? Even if we think we see something "better" we are called to respect our husbands and not our own opinion. That's not to say we can't share how we feel but that we should do it in a gentle way and be selective when we do because it does tear down our husbands if we don't trust him in making decisions for us. The more you put that trust in him and respect, the better he'll become in that area because his confidence will grow.
As for the men, it's more natural for them to respect us than to love us. Love, being gentle, being intentional in showing us love in the way we need it (look up the 5 love languages), it not natural to most men. They have to intentionally be gentle and kind towards their wives which, in turn, makes the wife feel safe and when she feels safe, she respects him more. This is why husbands are called to do it first.
Since this goes against our sinful nature, it takes hard work and intentionality to do it. Reflect on how you treated each other often, and continue to work on improving your natural reaction to be righteous.
Live Out Your Shared Faith Together
How can you live our your shared faith together? By going to church together, sharing your ministries with one another, raising Godly children together, and intentionally bringing God in the middle of your life.
It's so easy to get distracted by daily tasks, or work, so we must be intentional on pausing and making sure we're on the right track (on our own and together). The only way to do that is by setting time aside to talk to one another about it and discuss family goals for the future that revolve around glorifying God. Maybe this is through your career (like launching a business together), or through your volunteer work (by deciding what to give or who to help together), or even sharing the things you struggle with on a daily basis so that your partner can pray for you and support you. In all of these the key is to come together as one, with Christ as the center.
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12