Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

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10 Signs You Married for the Wrong Reasons

10 Signs You Married for the Wrong Reasons

This is not a rallying cry for divorce, but it could be a wake-up call for your marriage. Many of us start down this road with visions of fairy tales in our heads and echoes of Mark 10:9, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate,” that ring fresh in our ears. God allows us to make mistakes, and it’s possible to marry the wrong person.

To determine whether we are enduring the difficult reality of married life or the consequences of bad decision-making skills when it comes to choosing a spouse, we must seek God’s counsel. Beyond daily prayer and study of the Word, professional counsel should be considered whenever a question regarding the stability of marriage arises. Christian counselors are people put in place as the healing hands of Jesus here on earth. Let's look at 10 signs you may have married for the wrong reasons.

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  • Broken heart in two wedding rings

    1. Adultery

    God warns us about adultery, and the consequences can be devastating. That doesn’t mean marriages that begin as a result of adultery or suffer from it can’t last until death do they part, but it sure does make it a lot harder than God intended it to be. 

    “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery” (Hebrews 13:4). 

    Even marriage that goes the way God intended it to be is hard! Succumbing to adultery may mean we married someone other than whom God intended for us. However, we serve a God of restoration and healing, even in the most undeserved and sinful of circumstances. 

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  • A stressed man covering his face, people who are uncertain about their faith are more likely to experience mental distress

    2. Impatience

    There is something stolen from marriage when sex comes first. In our society, it’s widely acceptable. Giving in to someone who can’t wait steals our own opportunity to patiently anticipate the one God has for us. It can be hard to believe He has someone set aside specifically for us, and too difficult to save sex for marriage even when we've found that person. Many of us don’t understand how valuable we are to God. When we settle for the “now,” we blindly give up the best-case scenario. 

    1 Corinthians 6:18-20 warns, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 

    Related Resource: Listen to our new, FREE podcast on marriage: Team Us. The best marriages have a teamwork mentality. Find practical, realistic ideas for strengthening your marriage. Listen to an episode here, and then head over to to check out all of our episodes:

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  • 3. Moved in Already

    3. Moved in Already

    Living together before marriage may steal the opportunity to gain independence before being linked for life. It’s important for individuals to be OK with who they are before becoming one with another. Knowing they are able to live together well before getting married is a comfort to many, but it's not necessary when we trust God has set aside a good match for us. 

    “Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything” (Colossians 2:8-10).

    No other person can ever complete us. Christ is the only one that is capable of filling our hearts.  

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  • money budget budgeting calculator new year resolution

    4. Financial Dependence

    Making the decision to marry based on someone’s income reveals the greed lurking in all of us. Or, the worry over security in this life. However, no income is guaranteed to last forever, and money is not the key to happiness. 

    “Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after” (1 Timothy 6:10). 

    Gifts and vacations can be romantic and fun! If we are blessed with people who care about us in that way, it’s not a bad thing. John 10:10 assures us that Jesus died so that we may live life to the fullest; however, financial gain shouldn’t be a requirement for who we are going to marry. 

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  • couple arguing, how to civil in an uncivil world

    5. Unresolved Conflict

    Saying yes to marriage simply because we can’t say no is not a good excuse to walk down the aisle. If there is conflict in a relationship before marriage, it will remain after the honeymoon. Counting on marriage to heal all wounds will only make them worse. 

    “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12 can be misunderstood to assume that human love symbolized by a wedding ring and vows can overcome anything, but it’s the love of God that has the power to overcome all. When two people seek God first, it’s His love that binds them together. If we’ve taken God’s Word out of context to fit our heart’s desire, instead of doing the work on our hearts with God, we run the risk of complicating our relationships.

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  • 6. Addiction and Abuse

    6. Addiction and Abuse

    “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). 

    God’s choice is never for us to be abused by our spouse. Sadly, many are caught in this cycle before the wedding day and beyond. Abuse is never what God has intended for us, but the beauty of our Savior promises anyone can be restored. Find the professional help needed, and leave any unsafe environment. 

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  • 7. For Approval

    7. For Approval

    Parents who choose to be uninvolved in their kin’s search for marital bliss forgo a huge sphere of influence. On the other hand, advice that squeezes the life right out of our children’s choices could potentially strangle their relationships.  

    Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right,” but if we study the context of this verse carefully, the NIV notes clarify, “In fellowship with the Lord and in obedience to him.” 

    Though the decision to marry shouldn’t be based solely on parental guidance, their counsel must be taken into consideration and then aligned with God’s Word. God puts us in our families for reasons we don’t always understand, but there is a reason, and if we seek His will we will end up choosing wisely. 

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  • chalk drawn heart disappearing - samson and delilah

    8. Different Morals

    Following Christ is hard, even when we’re surrounded by support. When we choose to share the most intimate spaces of our lives with someone who has differing morals and beliefs, it can strain a relationship. We shouldn't aim to change or convince someone to be the way we want them to be. Heart change is God's specialty. Even when we accept each other besides stark differences, drastically different lifestyles can make marriage a very difficult prospect. (As if it isn't already!)

    Although Paul was referring to the physical building of structures, he also used verses like 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to encourage Christians to make each other stronger in their faith. “ Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 

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  • work team leader conference

    9. Career Comes First

    A self-centered society breeds workaholics. Marriage and family take time, and we wrongly assume a person who puts their career first is going to allocate enough to be sufficiently involved. Spending time with spouses and children is an irreplaceable part of creating stability at home. When one person is constantly away, it puts an unfair amount of stress on the other to compensate.

    “God provides for His own. It is pointless to get up early, work hard, and go to bed late anxiously laboring for food to eat; for God provides for those He loves, even while they are sleeping” (Psalm 127:2).

    God is our provider, and He will never fail to give us what we need, and beyond.  

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  • 10. Lack of Spirituality

    10. Lack of Spirituality

    When a husband and wife seek God separately, they will find each other. Many marriages do not begin this way. Talk to a pastor or a marriage counselor. All hope is not lost, and it’s never too late to seek God first. His love for us remains the same. His desire for a relationship with each of us never fades. God alone knows the totality of our hearts, so it's important for both spouses to connect with God on their own and allow Him to minister in their marriage. 

    God does not abandon us. We complicate life for ourselves when we operate outside of His will, but He promises never to leave us. 

    Deuteronomy 31:6  promises, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side”, and it is true of Jesus today.

    Related Resource: Listen to our new, FREE podcast on marriage: Team Us. The best marriages have a teamwork mentality. Find practical, realistic ideas for strengthening your marriage. Listen to an episode here, and then head over to to check out all of our episodes:

    Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, “Mom” is the most important calling on her life, next to encouraging others to seek Him first … authentically. A writer, dance mom, substitute teacher, youth worship leader/teacher and Bible Study leader, she can often be found having some kind of an adventure in the small little lake town where she resides with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle.

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