Ten Reasonable Biblical Expectations for Marriage
From A Celebration of Sex: A Christian Couple's Manual by Dr. Douglas E. Rosenau (Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers:1994)
1. Each of us will have a partner and soul mate offering unconditional love, understanding, and support. We will be best friends.
- The LORD GOD said, "It is not good that man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18 NKJV)
- Husbands, ... dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife. ... All of you be of one mind (1 Peter 3:7-8 NKJV)
- Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. ... No one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it.... And the two will become one flesh (Eph. 5:28-29 NIV)
- A friend loves at all times,
and a brother [mate] is born for adversity...
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 17:17; 18:24 NIV)
- Love is patient.... It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.... It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Cor. 13:4-5, 7 NIV)
2. Neither of us will expect the other to meet all needs or take sole responsibility for personal happiness. We will give each other space to breathe.
- Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12-13 NKJV)
- Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load (Gal. 6:4-5 NIV)
3. We will leave our fathers and mothers and create a new, independent, special family unit.
- For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh (Eph. 5:21 NIV)
4. We will have one healthy fight a week. Confrontations around our unmet personal needs will be believed and not dismissed.
- Correct, rebuke, and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction (2 Tim. 4:2 NIV)
- Speak the truth in love.... Therefore putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor."... Do not let the sun go down on your wrath (Eph. 4:15, 25-26 NKJV)
- For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (2 Cor. 7:8 NKJV)
- Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12:11 NKJV)
- Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently (Gal. 6:1 NIV)
- Exhort one another daily...lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13 NKJV)
- Make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather healed.... [Look] carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled (Heb. 12:13, 15 NKJV)
5. We will take regular vacations and honeymoons throughout our marriage as we mend and enhance intimacy.
- There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven...
a time to tear down and a time to build...
a time to mourn and a time to dance...
a time to search ad a time to give up...
a time to tear and a time to mend (Eccl. 3:1, 3, 4, 6, 7 NIV)
- When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife (Deut. 24:5 NKJV)
6. We will use credit carefully as we become wise stewards of our finances.
- Owe no one anything except to love one another (Rom. 13:8 NKJV)
- Then he who had received the five talent went and traded with them, and make another five talents. ... His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter the joy of your lord" (Matt. 25:16, 21 NKJV)
7. My mate will be faithful and committed to me.
- You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14 NKJV)
8. Either of us will be able to initiate marriage counseling and the other will be willing to go.
- A scoffer does not love one who corrects him,
Nor will he go to the wise (Prov. 15:12 NKJV)
- The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness (Prov. 15:14 NKJV)
- He who heeds the word wisely will find good (Prov. 16:20 NKJV)
The sweetness of man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel (Prov. 27:9 NKJV)
9. We will have regular, satisfying sexual interaction.
- The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other (1 Cor. 7:3-5 NIV)
10. We will enjoy a spiritual life together with prayer and Bible study.
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach (James 1:5 NKJV)
- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church...cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Eph. 5:25-26 NIV)
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. ... Continue earnestly in prayer (Col. 3:16; 4:2 NKJV)