What is off limits in a Christian marriage


Marriage is an institution ordained by God, and for Christians, it holds a special significance. As believers, we look to the Bible as our guide for all aspects of life, including our marriages. It provides us with timeless principles and guidelines to ensure a healthy and God-honoring union. In this article, we will explore what is off-limits in a Christian marriage, drawing wisdom from the scriptures.

  1. Adultery

“But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Hebrews 13:4).

The condemnation of adultery in the Bible is explicit and can be found in both the Old and New Testaments. Adultery is viewed as a violation of the sanctity of marriage, and Jesus himself emphasized the importance of marital fidelity. In reaffirming the significance of marriage, Jesus taught that adultery not only breaks the trust between spouses but also undermines the commitment and faithfulness that are foundational to a Christian marriage.

Throughout the Bible, adultery is depicted as a grave sin with serious consequences. It is seen as a betrayal, not only of the spouse but also of God’s commandments. The act of adultery hinders one’s spiritual relationship with God, as it involves a breach of trust and a failure to uphold the principles of faithfulness and integrity.

The repercussions of adultery can extend beyond the immediate marital bond. It can lead to a breakdown of trust, emotional trauma, and immense pain for both spouses and any children involved. The presence of adultery in a marriage often results in significant problems and challenges, such as resentment, shattered self-esteem, and the erosion of the foundational pillars of love and trust.

One of the reasons why marriages encounter difficulties can be traced back to the devastating consequences of adultery. It is a betrayal that strikes at the core of a relationship, leaving lasting scars that may be difficult to heal. Adultery often occurs when individuals believe that their actions are hidden from view, forgetting that God sees all things. However, the Bible teaches that nothing is concealed from God, and the consequences of such actions are far-reaching.

For those who adhere to Christian beliefs, fidelity and commitment are regarded as essential components of a successful and fulfilling marriage. Adultery is viewed as a violation of these principles and a disruption of the divine plan for marriage. It is a detour from the path of righteousness and can hinder the spiritual growth and well-being of those involved.

The Bible explicitly condemns adultery in both the Old and New Testaments. The act of adultery undermines the marital bond, compromises faithfulness to one’s spouse, and hinders the spiritual relationship with God. Its presence in a marriage can lead to significant problems and challenges, impacting not only the individuals involved but also the overall well-being of the relationship. The Bible’s teachings on adultery serve as a reminder of the importance of trust, fidelity, and commitment within the institution of marriage.

  1. Abuse and mistreatment

Ephesians 5:22-25: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

In the context of Christian marriage, the foundation is rooted in love, respect, and mutual submission. The Bible provides guidance for husbands to love their wives sacrificially, emulating the love that Christ displayed for the church. Similarly, it encourages wives to submit to their husbands in a manner that aligns with their submission to the Lord. However, it is important to note that these passages do not serve as justification or endorsement for abuse or mistreatment in any form.

Abuse, whether physical, emotional, or verbal, stands in direct opposition to the biblical principles of love, compassion, and respect. Such behavior is incompatible with the teachings of Christianity and the essence of a Christian marriage. The Bible emphasizes the importance of treating one another with kindness, gentleness, and understanding, fostering an environment of love and support within the marital relationship.

While it is true that no marriage is without its challenges and conflicts, it is our ability to navigate these differences in a manner that reflects Christ’s character that sets Christian marriages apart. Rather than resorting to abuse or mistreatment, Christian couples are called to demonstrate forgiveness, patience, and empathy. By embracing these qualities, spouses can work together to resolve conflicts while maintaining the principles of love and respect that form the foundation of their union.

It is important for individuals in Christian marriages to recognize that abuse and mistreatment have no place within the context of their relationship. Instead, they should actively seek to create an atmosphere of acceptance, support, and understanding, mirroring the love and grace shown by Christ.

Christian marriage is built on the pillars of love, respect, and mutual submission. The Bible provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of spouses within the marital relationship, with an emphasis on sacrificial love and submission. However, it is important to understand that these teachings in no way endorse or excuse abuse or mistreatment. Christian marriages should be characterized by love, compassion, and respect, and any form of abuse or mistreatment goes against the biblical principles of marriage. It is our responsibility as Christians to manage conflicts and differences in a Christ-like manner, fostering an environment of love, forgiveness, and understanding within our marriages.

  1. Dishonesty and deception

Proverbs 12:22: “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”
Ephesians 4:25: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

Trust is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage. It is a fundamental cornerstone that holds the relationship together, fostering love, intimacy, and security. In order to maintain trust, honesty and transparency are essential traits that must be practiced by both partners.

For Christians, the Bible serves as a guide for their lives, including their marriages. It encourages believers to communicate truth with love and warns against deceit and dishonesty. In the context of a Christian marriage, it is expected that both spouses demonstrate openness, truthfulness, and accountability towards one another, reflecting the values and teachings of their faith.

However, there are instances where transparency becomes an issue within Christian marriages. One common scenario is when a husband or wife restricts access to their phone or finances. This can lead to feelings of suspicion and doubt, eroding the trust that is vital for a healthy relationship.

For example, a husband may question his wife’s desire to use his phone, wondering if she has something to hide. His inquiry might be fueled by a lack of transparency in their communication or previous incidents that have damaged trust. Similarly, a wife might express her intention to lend money to her husband with interest, adhering to the biblical principle of unity in marriage. However, this act may raise concerns about financial transparency and equitable decision-making within the relationship.

In such situations, open and honest communication becomes important. Both partners need to express their concerns, fears, and expectations in a non-confrontational manner. They should strive to understand each other’s perspective and work towards finding a solution that promotes trust and transparency.

Trust is the foundation of a robust and flourishing marriage. For Christian couples, honesty and transparency are essential components in building and maintaining trust. When issues surrounding transparency arise, open and compassionate communication is key. By seeking guidance and support from their faith community, couples can navigate these challenges and foster a relationship grounded in trust, love, and shared spiritual values.

  1. Neglecting spiritual growth

Ephesians 5:21, Colossians 3:16

In a Christian marriage, the pursuit of spiritual growth should be a top priority for both individuals and the couple as a whole. Neglecting this aspect can result in a growing distance between spouses and hinder their ability to grow together in their faith.

The Bible provides guidance on how couples can prioritize their spiritual development. It emphasizes the importance of prayer, studying God’s Word, and actively participating in fellowship with other believers. These practices not only deepen one’s relationship with God but also strengthen the bond between husband and wife.

Prayer is a powerful tool that allows couples to communicate with God together. By engaging in prayer as a couple, they invite God into their marriage, seeking His guidance, strength, and wisdom. Praying together fosters intimacy and unity, as they share their hopes, dreams, and concerns with each other and with God.

Studying God’s Word as a couple allows them to grow in knowledge and understanding of their faith. By exploring the Scriptures together, they can gain insights, engage in meaningful discussions, and apply biblical principles to their daily lives. This shared journey of learning creates a sense of unity and mutual growth, as they encourage and challenge each other to live according to God’s Word.

Active participation in fellowship with other believers provides a supportive community for the couple. Engaging in worship services, Bible studies, and other Christian activities alongside like-minded individuals strengthens their faith and provides opportunities for spiritual growth. It also allows them to learn from the experiences and wisdom of others, fostering a sense of belonging and accountability.

By prioritizing spiritual growth individually and as a couple, Christian marriages can thrive. As they seek God together, pray, study His Word, and participate in fellowship, they deepen their relationship with God and with each other. This shared spiritual journey not only strengthens their bond but also equips them to face the challenges of life and navigate their marriage according to biblical principles.

Read also: How to be a good Christian wife


In a Christian marriage, certain boundaries are set by God to protect the sanctity and well-being of the union. Adultery, intimacy immorality, abuse, dishonesty, and neglecting spiritual growth are all off-limits according to the teachings of the Bible. By adhering to these principles, couples can cultivate a strong, loving, and God-honoring relationship. It is essential to seek God’s guidance, rely on His strength, and always strive to live out the values and principles found in His Word.
As Christians, may we continuously seek His wisdom, pray for His grace, and rely on His love to navigate the complexities of marriage, always striving to honor Him in all we do.

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