LOVE IN MARRIAGE
By David J. Riggs
A. God ordained marriage for the good of humanity. Gen. 2:18,
1. God wants husband and wife to be happy in the marriage
relationship. Eccl. 9:9
2. God hates divorce. Mal. 2:14-16
B. Thus, God wants marriage to be for life. He wants it to endure.
He wants it to be pleasant.
1. It behooves all who want to please God to work hard at
maintaining their marriages.
C. God has given specific instructions in His Word on the proper
behavior of husbands and wives.
1. Following those instructions assures us of a good
relationship here, and it also assures us of our eternal
D. Let's consider various passages on love and apply them to the
marriage relationship. See Chart #1 below.
I. "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Matt. 22:39
A. Rom. 13:8-9
1. Thus, every command that deals with our relationship with
other people can be summed up in - "Love thy neighbor as
2. See Chart #2 below on the word "neighbor."
a. My married companion meets all of these requirements.
Is there anyone in this whole world that's a closer
neighbor than a wife or husband?
3. The command says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
a. Eph. 5:28-33
b. Thus, love thy wife as thyself. Vs. 28
c. Love your wife as you love your own flesh. Vs. 29
d. In reality, the two become one flesh. Vs. 31
e. Vs. 33 - He repeats - "as himself."
(1) There are times when we don't like ourselves.
Perhaps when we get up in the morning, or when
we have done something wrong, but we get over
(2) There are times when we don't like our mates -
when they have done something wrong - but we
can get over it.
4. Titus 2:4 - Wives love your husbands.
a. Even when there are times when they are not very
lovable, we need to do our part in following God's
b. God did not say, "You love your spouse, when they
c. We must always do our part, even when we are not
loved and appreciated.
II. "Let brotherly love continue." Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 1:22
A. When a man is a Christian and a woman is a Christian, and they
are married, they have a special relationship.
1. Have you ever thought of this before? When both are
Christians, they have double responsibility to love each
B. Let's look at passages on brotherly love.
1. Rom. 12:9 - Husband and wife should have a love that is
genuine and real.
2. Rom. 12:10 - If that brother is also your husband, it has
3. Col. 3:12-14 - Love is at the top of the list. Find out what
love is and practice it.
4. Eph. 4:1-3 - We repeat: all of the basic principles which
apply to our relation to one another as brethren, apply in
5. Eph. 4:31-5:2 - Not walking in bitterness and hate, but in
love, even as Christ loved us.
6. 1 John 3:18 - Don't just love in speech. Some don't even do
that. They don't say, "I love you" or similar expressions.
a. We need to tell our brethren once in a while, "I love
you," "I appreciate you," "you've been an
encouragement," or "you're doing a good work."
b. If that sister is our wife, or that brother is our
husband, we need to express our appreciation even more
c. To extremes:
(1) Someone wrote a complaint to the "Dear Abby"
column: "In our community, there is a husband
and wife who begin early every morning screaming
to each other, 'Honey, I love you' and wake up the
(2) The wife asks, "Honey do you love me?" The
husband replies, "I told you once that I loved you,
and if I ever change my mind, I will let you know."
d. Love is not in word or speech only, but in deed and
truth. It is not enough just to say it. Words are cheap.
We need to show it.
7. John 13:34-35 - How many Christians have proved
otherwise, that they are not the Lord's disciples, by their
a. The greatest tragedy in a bad marriage is what it does to
b. It's hard enough to rear up faithful children in good
godly homes. However, when there is no love, the
probability of those children remaining faithful
Christians when they are older becomes almost
III. "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor." Rom. 13:10
A. Prov. 31:10-12
1. We do not do harm to our companions, but good. We do not
hurt them emotionally, verbally, physically, sexually, or in
any other way.
B. The following "Sweetheart Secrets" are copied from a church
bulletin. Author Unknown.
1. Compliments - Everyone likes to be complimented. Just a
comment such as, "You look especially nice in that
dress/suit" builds love.
2. Little remembrances - The husband goes to the store and
sees something that his wife would like, and he buys it for
her. One rose doesn't cost much, and can be appreciated as
much as a dozen.
3. Little surprises - the wife picks up the phone and is
delighted when her husband says, "Just thought we could meet
4. Little notes - We wrote letters when we were courting. Why
can we do it now?
5. Little phone calls - This is one of the easiest ways to do
something nice for your sweetheart. Just a quick, "I'm
thinking of you," or "I love you, honey" makes the day go
6. Anticipating a need and meeting it - When husband has
worked long hours, he does not need to come home to a
long list of things the wife wants him to do.
7. Withholding criticism - Sometimes it is what we don't say,
that expresses our love. It is not wise to "add insult to
injury" by severely criticizing the one who is already
hurting. We add to this list: "Forgiveness" - "He who covers
a transgression seeks love..." Prov. 17:9; 1 Pet. 4:8
C. What happens when you do good to others. Rom. 12:17-21
1. You may have heard about the woman in Alabama who sued
her husband for divorce. She told the judge she had nagged
and nagged the man, but couldn't get him to do right. The
judge asked the woman if she had tried the Bible principle
where it says to "heap coals of fire on his head." The woman
answered, "No, but I don't think it will work. I've already
tried boiling water, and that didn't do any good."
IV. "Love your enemy." Matt. 5:43-48; Luke 6:27
A. Someone might say, "What has this got to do with, "Love in
1. We've all seen situations where marriage partners have
2. It should not be that way, but sometimes it happens.
a. Efforts should be made that we do not become enemies.
Peace needs to be offered; a truce needs to be drawn.
(1) "The best way to get rid of enemies is to make
friends out of them."
3. What should you do when someday you realize that the
person next to you is your worst enemy, or when you see
that you are constantly at war with each other?
a. "Love your enemies."
(1) This goes against our natural inclination. We are
inclined to hate our enemies, but God wants us to
4. Luke 6:27-28 - Sometimes our mates do that - hate us,
spitefully use us.
a. But when they do, we do the opposite to them. This
makes us like God. Matt. 5:44-48
(1) God is good to His enemies. He sends the sun and
rain on them, in spite of their rebellion toward
A. God designed marriage for our good.
1. Anything worthwhile takes effort.
2. Let's work hard at making our marriages what they ought to
3. This is for our good. It makes for a better life here. It
builds toward our eternal welfare.
B. Have you obeyed the gospel in order to become a child of God?
1. Hear - John 6:44-45; Believe - Heb. 11:6; Repent - Acts
17:30; Confess - Rom. 10:9; Be baptized to put on Christ -
2. Have you confessed your faith in Christ, repented, and been
baptized for the remission of your sins?
C. If you are a Christian who has fallen into sin, why not repent
and return to God?
1. Repent and Pray. 1 John 1:9; Acts 8:22
Love In Marriage
"Love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matt. 22:39)
"Let brotherly love continue." (Heb. 13:1)
"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor." (Rom. 13:10)
"Love your enemy." (Matt. 5:43-48)
1. Geitoµn, lit., one living in the same land, denotes a neighbor,
always plural in the N.T., Luke 14:12; 15:6, 9; John 9:8.
2. Perioikos, an adjective, lit., dwelling around (peri, around,
oikos, a dwelling), is used as a noun in Luke 1:58, "neighbors."
3. Pleµsion, the neuter of the adjective pleµsios (from pelas, near),
is used as an adverb accompanied by the article, lit., 'the (one)
near;' hence, one's neighbor..."