Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking in which they were created. This statement is simply profound and true.
It’s also true that using something in a manner contradictory to its design often damages that tool or item. And in some cases the damage is irreparable.
Therefore, when sex and marriage are used in contradiction to God’s design, it results in pain.
Sexual intercourse–oxytocin–between people, or in the use of porn, the image on the screen. When a bond is created and torn apart, wounds result. It’s unavoidable. The variable is how severe those wounds will be. But make no mistake, there will be painful wounds, and they won’t heal overnight.
Establishing a Biblical Perspective
In the Bible, God gave us the foundation for marriage and the parameters in which we are to live as husbands and wives. He gives us these rules for our good and protection as well as great freedom to experience all the joy and riches He intends marriage to be.
These nine verses give us a solid footing to rebuild a damaged marriage. It is by no means exhaustive, but they are a great starting point.
1 – Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth […] God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’”
Man and woman had incredibly divine beginnings. Man and woman were created whole and unbroken. Notice here that God gave them authority to rule over the earth, not only the man.
2 – Genesis 2:18, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
In all that God had created, He said it was good. Yet Adam was without a suitable helper. It’s worth noting that Jesus Christ Himself uses the term “helper” to describe the Holy Spirit to the disciples as His crucifixion grew near.
Our wives are amongst a rare-few called “helper” (little h) in the Bible. We as men and husbands must be paying attention to this truth. We’ll explore this truth a bit more later.
3 – Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
The reason, revealed in verse 23, is because woman is “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” and by that design, marriage rejoins man and women as ‘one flesh’ as they were before the fall. God made it clear that we men are to leave all others and cling to our wives. It’s a subtle note of the sacrificialleadership we are to take responsibility for.
4 – Proverbs 31:10-11, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.”
The NIV phrases it a wife of “noble character.” In the original Greek, it means “valor, value, being able or to be desired.” And we as husbands are to trust this wife in the depths of our heart, mind, and soul, for her worth is “far above jewels.”
5 – 1 Corinthians 7:4-5, “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
God designed the sexual relationship in marriage for pleasure and procreation. He also designed it for our protection so that Satan may not tempt us to sin because we lack self-control. Sex outside of marriage opens the door for Satan to tempt us and draw us away from our God-given responsibilities as men.
6 – Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
This verse speaks of all Christ endured up to His crucifixion on the cross. Although completely innocent of any guilt, sin, or misbehaviors, He took our guilt, sin, and punishment upon Himself. In the context of this verse, to give ourselves up as Christ did means a ‘turning over’ of our self to and for our wives. Men, this doesn’t mean we’re never the guilty party, it means we have no excuse to treat our bride poorly if she’s having a rough day. In a word, it means sacrifice.
7 – Ephesians 5:28, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.”
This verse reemphasizes what Genesis 2:24 said, marriage makes us one flesh. And Christ’s love for His church provides a model for husbands to love their wives.
8 – Colossians 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
As husbands, we must ensure that our love for our wife, like Christ’s for His people, always puts her interests first. In particular, husbands must scrupulously avoid the temptation to resent her being the person she is, to become bitter or angry when she turns out to be, like him, a real human being, and not merely the projection of his own hopes or fantasies.
9 – 1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
This knowledge is beneficial to the husband-wife relationship: knowledge of God’s purposes and principles for marriage; knowledge of your wife’s desires, goals, and frustrations; knowledge of her strengths and weaknesses in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms; etc. A husband who lives according to such knowledge will greatly enrich his marriage relationship—yet such knowledge can only be gained through regular study of God’s Word and regular, unhurried private time spent together as husband and wife.
Husbands, You Have What It Takes
If your marriage is broken and feels beyond repair, know hope exists. God’s grace covers a multitude of sins and empowers us to live healthy, abundant lives with thriving marriages.
I’ve chosen to focus primarily on the verses that speak to the men as it relates to building or rebuilding a marriage. Men have the primary responsibility to lead and nourish the marriage and home spiritually. That does not mean that women and wives are without God-given responsibilities–it’s clear they are. By expanding the reading around nearly all of the verses in this article, you can see that.
For over half of our marriage, I did not understand the order that God ordained for marriage. The call of God for mutual submission and sacrifice on behalf of both husband and wife is part of that order. Never are our wives to be doormats or treated like property or servants. She is heir to the same Kingdom and family of Jesus Christ as any male child of God is.
Men, be mindful of whose daughter you married. She is the creation and daughter of the Most High King of kings. As such we need to be ever asking Christ to help us understand how He would have us treat His daughter, and then do so.