Eight Principles of a Christ-Centered Marriage by Jill Briscoe

Eight Principles of a Christ-Centered Marriage
Jill Briscoe
1 John 4:7-8, John 14:6  

The greatest need of every person is to know how to give love and receive it.

Just ask any psychologist. However, this relational art depends greatly on what you mean by the English word “love.” The Greek language has several words for love: eros, storge, philia, and agape. In much of the world, we worship eros—the sexual, sensual part of love. It’s the “feeling too big for words” part—the passionate, heady, romantic element. And so often, it’s how we determine if we’re satisfied with our marriage. This is far away from God’s original design for marriage ruled by His agape love. His idea was that all our human loves should be submitted to Himself to rule and fuel. If your marriage today isn’t characterized by unconditional, sacrificial agape love, don’t give up. God’s Word has the answer!

You see, marriage is precious to God because He created it. If we claim to love the Lord, then the things that are precious to Him should be precious to us, too! However, as I serve people around the world, I talk to many people whose marriages are falling apart. When things get tough, Christians too often make a spiritual 911 call to God and ask Him to send Christ to “fix” it and help get their love life back on track. But is that really all it’s about? I don’t think so. Thankfully, the Bible is a wonderful book on the subject and can teach us about God’s design for marriage. What is that design?

First of all, the Bible clearly teaches that God is the source of love and life (1 John 4:7-8 & John 14:6). Therefore, if we truly want a good “love life,” as God intended, our primary focus must be on our relationship with God. He is love and He is Life! The better our life with God is, the richer our marriages will be. I’d like to share with you eight principles that have been essential in my own and others’ marriages.

1. Learn what real love is

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor. 13:4-6)

When the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he painted a portrait of love with words. Jesus sat for that portrait. Put Jesus’ name in the text, and you will see what I mean. Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind, Jesus doesn’t boast, Jesus isn’t proud, Jesus knows how to forgive, Jesus is love! We are to love our spouse the way Jesus loves us, agape style. God’s love is not selfish! Selfishness kills a marriage!

So the way you learn to give agape love in life is by experiencing it through a relationship with Jesus. Loving others—with enduring, sacr ...

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