Most marriages could easily be improved by turning to the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) and His Message on the Plain (Luke 6:20ff). When a marriage has conflicts of money, then listen to Jesus, who said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). When it comes to time and attention, Jesus said, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). When there is need of forgiveness, Christ said, “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. […] Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:36-37). Therefore, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Let the light of Christ shine through you into your marriage.
If husbands do not apply Luke 6:31 to their responsibilities, men must understand that a scriptural marriage means loving his wife by honoring and nourishing her with a tender and warm affection (1 Pet. 3:7, Eph. 5:28-29). He must do this with understanding and without bitterness (Col. 3:19, 1 Pet. 3:7). Only in this way is he the Head of his wife. Likewise, women must also recognize that God’s ideal for marriage is for a wife to love and respect her husband by submitting to him as is fitting to the Lord (Eph. 5:22, 33, Col. 3:18, Tit. 2:4). Even when her husband is not obedient to the Word, let her trust the Lord and win her husband by her conduct (1 Pet. 3:1).
Lastly, honoring marriage includes the marriage bed being undefiled. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is to be honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” This is also addressed in Jesus’ message on the Mount. Christ defined adultery of the heart to be looking to lust, and He further defined adultery to include divorce and remarriage unless the divorce is for fornication (Matt. 5:27-32). One must honor marriage by respecting the marriage bed even if you are not married. The single person can also defile the marriage bed by sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:15-17). For those married, issues of intimacy need to be resolved (1 Cor. 7:1-9). Marital affections are due to each spouse. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband” (1 Cor. 7:3). “Do not deprive one another” (1 Cor. 7:5). Why? “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). “[I]f they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Cor. 7:9).