10 Principles for Marriage and Family Life

Sometimes my wife and I are asked to speak at couples events and family conferences. These opportunities have increased over the past few years. Speaking on topics related to marriage and family has never been comfortable for me for various reasons.

A few days ago a brain flurry (whether coffee-induced or Spirit-led I am not certain) produced a list of simple principles based on biblical truths related to family living. These reflect what I understand the Bible to teach as well as our personal experience. I believe these principles will become the framework for material I will present in the future on the topics of marriage and family. I have developed and continue to formulate speaking material on each of them. As opportunities come, I can prayerfully select which of them to highlight in various settings.

Of course they are not new, but always relevant. I think in fairly simple terms, so they are stated accordingly.

Here they are for your encouragement and further meditation. I may do additional posts on individual principles in the days ahead.

1. Oneness in marriage is essential to a strong, stable, persevering home.
Genesis 2:24
Matthew 19:3-6 
Ephesians 5:31-33                       
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
1 Peter 3:7 – “heirs together of the grace of life”

“The one flesh in marriage is not just a physical phenomenon, but a uniting of the totality of two personalities. In marriage, we are one flesh spiritually by vow, economically by sharing, logistically by adjusting time and agreeing on the disbursement of all life’s resources, experientially by trudging through the dark valleys and standing victoriously on the peaks of success, and sexually by the bonding of our bodies.”       Dr. Louis H. Evans, Mastering the New Testament Commentary quoted in Preparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey

2. Selfish desire produces sin, and sin divides people.
Genesis 3
James 4:1-6

3. God’s sovereign purpose in hard situations unfolds over time.
Genesis Chapters 37-50
Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

4. The home is a place of spiritual nurturing and growth.
Ephesians 5:25-29
Ephesians 6:4
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

5. Families grow through deep suffering and intense pain.
James 5:10-11

6. As a creation of God, marriage and family should be valued, honored, and protected.
Hebrews 13:4

7. Marriage and family are catalysts for progressive sanctification.
Ephesians 5:18, 21, 22-26 

8. Forgiveness and reconciliation are a regular practice in family life.
Ephesians 4:32 
Colossians 3:12-14

9. Each family member has God-prescribed relational mandates.
Ephesians 5:22-33
Ephesians 6:1-4 

10. Christ-like humility is the key to relational harmony.
Philippians 2:1-8

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