Intersection of Life and Faith

The Top 20 Marriage Articles of 2017

  • Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff
  • 2018 11 Jan
The Top 20 Marriage Articles of 2017

Crosswalk.com is dedicated to providing biblically sound marriage content for our readers. Every day it is our prayer that you and your spouse will be encouraged by what you read on our site, and that our articles bring you closer to Christ and to one another.

We brought you hundreds of new marriage pieces throughout the year, but these were the articles that best captured your attention in 2017.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mark 10:7-9 ESV)

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/jjneff

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    From the article:

    "'My boyfriend is jealous. He gets furious when I won’t dump my friends and spend all of my free time with him,' the weeping woman shared with me. 'I was so thrilled to have a devoted boyfriend that I ignored the warning signs of abuse. I convinced myself that he loved me, and that things would get better with time. I was wrong—completely wrong.'

    "After 25 years of ministry, I frequently hear this cry from men and women who are in bad relationships. Christians often believe that domestic violence, abuse, and manipulation don’t occur within the church, but nothing could be further from the truth."

    Read 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    19. 10 Things Every Husband Should be Doing for His Wife

    From the article: 

    "Most women crave affection outside of the bedroom. In the beginning of your marriage, you probably didn’t even have to think about holding her hand or rubbing her back. The longer we’re married, the more absent our touches can become. Jobs, kids, and financial stress can take priority over focusing on one another.  

    "But even though life gets busy, her need to feel loved by you hasn’t changed. Look at it from her side—the day you married her, she became off-limits to every other man. Any affection she receives only comes from you. That’s a privilege, not a chore. She’s yours to take care of and love. You get her in ways no one else can have her. Don’t withhold something she needs; make touching her a priority. An unexpected hug can be worth a thousand I-love-you’s. Try it and see."

    Read 10 Things Every Husband Should be Doing for His Wife in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Unsplash.com/PhotobyAlvinMahmudov

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    18. 9 Things Your Wife Hates about Church

    From the article:

    "Many of us don’t cook as well as we’d like, sew, or feel called to homeschool. Many wives don’t flourish in situations that require massive amounts of patience and prayer when left alone with tiny humans either. We owe serious “thank you’s” to the women who do, but it’s okay that not all of us fall into those categories. Whether we mean to our not, Christian women are stereotyped.

    "Church can get cliquey based on the types of interests and skills that we publicly applaud. Wives would feel accepted, and more likely to engage in church life, if they could simply be themselves. Pushing us into preconceived notions of wife and motherhood is a dead end road for everybody involved, because it’s a missed opportunity to unleash unique creativity within the congregation."

    Read 9 Things Your Wife Hates about Church in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    17. 10 Myths about Sex You Heard in Church

    From the article:

    "A number of couples have told me that this is the advice they got in premarital counseling: 'Sex? You’ll work that when you get married' or, 'Sex is pretty straightforward.' It’s unfortunate that too many pastors and counselors overlooked an opportunity to share God’s design for sexual intimacy in marriage and to leave the door open in case a couple needs to return for assistance.

    "Because the truth is that sex can be a struggle for many married couples. Among the potential issues are physical challenges, emotional baggage, difficulty switching from purity to passion, or a mismatch in libidos.

    "Just being Christian doesn’t mean that everything will work swimmingly. But being Christian means that God has answers and His community of believers should be there to help. We must reach out to struggling couples in compassionate, concrete ways to help them find godly answers and to embrace healthy, holy intimacy."

    Read 10 Myths about Sex You Heard in Church in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    16. 10 Signs You're Dating Your Future Spouse

    From the article:

    "One of the best feelings in life is knowing that there’s someone who values your happiness above his own. Being in a relationship where you both seek ways to make the other happy is a great way to increase selflessly serving one another. In the end, we each just love seeing one another enjoying life.

    "If this isn’t your relationship: It’s a pretty big red flag if each other’s happiness isn’t a priority in your relationship. It’s even more of a red flag if caring about the other’s happiness is one-sided. It creates an unhealthy balance in the relationship that can leave one person seriously hurt."

    Read 10 Signs You're Dating Your Future Spouse in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/Yasin Emir Akbas

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    15. 10 Warning Signs You're Not Meant to Say 'I Do'

    From the article:

    "Marriage is not designed to completely satisfy. God has not designed “the One” for each of us to discover in this life; nowhere in Scripture do we see the concept of a soulmate articulated - it’s rooted in Greek mythology. Marriage, while a beautiful picture of God’s love for the church and a powerful way to make disciples, is not an end-all-be-all. And it certainly will not solve the spiritual issues of loneliness, purposelessness, fear, or depression.

    "If you’re looking for marriage and a spouse to complete you, don’t get married! Marriage is an altar of sacrifice above all else. It is where we commit to love 100% just as Christ loved the church. There are many personal benefits we receive when we do marriage God’s way, but entering it with a selfish mindset destroys the foundation right from the beginning.

    "Don’t say 'I do' until you’ve put your hope in the only One who can complete you: Jesus Christ."

    Read 10 Warning Signs You're Not Meant to Say 'I Do' in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/AntonioGuillem

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    14. Wives, This 'Harmless' Sin Isn't So Harmless

    From the article:

    "I was a youth pastor for 10 years and in those 10 years, there was a passage of Scripture I got to know relatively well when speaking to young people about godly relationships:

    "'But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' (Matthew 5:28 NLT)

    "This is full on. And it's in red so they are the words of Jesus. If you look at someone with lust, it is sin. If you see a hot guy and your mind begins to wonder what it would be like to touch said specimen, that’s lust. Sin."

    Read Wives, This 'Harmless' Sin Isn't So Harmless in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/luckyraccoon

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    13. 10 Statements That Will Change Your Marriage (For Better or For Worse)

    From the article:

    "When you get married, you’re looking for the 'magic words' that will propel you and your spouse into marital bliss. You’ve watched a lot of romantic comedies, and you’re waiting to hear 'You had me at...' or 'I’d die for you.' Instead, you hear 'Why can’t you—' and 'You should have—.' Arguments spin out of control from what seem to be simple conversations, like who forgot to put gas in the car or who left milk on the counter.

    "The reality of married life is that we all settle into negative and positive communication. Both kinds of communication change a marriage, for either bad or good. Both can set you on a high-speed chase toward either disappointment or satisfaction.

    "Proverbs 12:18 warns, 'The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.'"

    Read 10 Statements That Will Change Your Marriage (For Better or For Worse) in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    12. 5 Signs the Man You're Dating is Not Your Future Spouse

    From the article:

    "... with soothing words, he attempts to invade the boundaries you clearly established more than once. Yet time and time again he insists, whispering he’ll love you forever hoping you’ll give in. Caution: that’s his testosterone talking, not a man of integrity who values and respects you. That’s when Satan goes into action repeating, 'You’ll lose him if you don’t give in.' False. You’ll only lose your own integrity and gain the heartache that disobedience brings.

    "Time to assess: Should you fail in this area, God will forgive when you ask. He will grant you renewed clarity and peace. And with confidence, you can declare: 'If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.' (Psalm 66:17-18)"

    Read 5 Signs the Man You're Dating is Not Your Future Spouse in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/stock-eye

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    11. 10 Critical Questions to Consider in Marriage Counseling

    From the article:

    "Does the couple read the Bible together on a regular basis?

    “'For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart' (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)."

    Read 10 Critical Questions to Consider in Marriage Counseling in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    10. 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Wife

    From the article:

    “'What did you do all day?'

    "This is a big no, no! Some women stay home to take care of the kiddos while the husband goes to work, or perhaps works from home. I beg you to please never come home and ask your wife what she’s been doing all day. Maybe the house isn’t perfect or dinner is a bit late, but I promise you that any woman staying home to care for the family, whether that be with kids or a stay-at-home job, is not bored or sitting around the house all day."

    Read 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Wife in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/SIphotography

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    9. 10 Ways a Man Makes His Wife Feel Ugly without Saying a Thing

    From the article: 

    "For every married man who does a double-take at the beach or repeatedly glances at the hottie on aisle five, there’s a married woman who feels undesirable and inadequate. Eventually she’ll believe she’s not good enough. And with a steady diet of checking-out the ladies, her husband will come to believe that about her as well. 

    "Since gawking at women in public can easily lead to gawking in private, a man must check himself before a marital affair or addiction to porn ruins his life—'for anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart' (Matthew 5:28)."

    Read 10 Ways a Man Makes His Wife Feel Ugly without Saying a Thing in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    8. 10 Things Every Wife Should be Doing for Her Husband

    From the article:

    "There’s a time to ask questions, and then there’s a time to be there. If you’re paying attention, you’ll know how to differentiate the two. Sometimes talking makes it worse. Sometimes he just can’t tell you what’s going on or what he needs. Sometimes life just gets too hard.

    "Don’t beg him for what you need. Pray.

    "Don’t argue with him over and over. Pray.

    "Don’t nag him to do what you feel is right. Pray.

    "And don’t give up. Ever. Just pray." 

    Read 10 Things Every Wife Should be Doing for Her Husband in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/nandyphotos

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    7. 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband

    From the article:

    "Recent studies suggest that the “nagging wife, checked-out husband” cycle may not be the biggest threat to a relationship. Researchers are currently considering the ways wives are using the silent treatment. 

    "The effect can be debilitating. Marital satisfaction is low in couples with an angry, silent wife – even more so than those who hash out problems heatedly, then return to business as usual. A cold shoulder is perhaps the most dangerous kind of avoidance." 

    Read 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/AndreyPopov

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    6. 5 Things a Wife Really Needs (But Doesn't Know How to Ask For)

    From the article:

    "A woman may know that she's the most loved woman in her husband’s life, but it matters for her to hear it. 'I still need to know that he likes the way I look, and that I am still treasured,' said one woman surveyed. 

    "Women can sense when their husbands do something to express their appreciation. But for many of these women surveyed, words take the cake. One woman put it this way: 'I think a lot of men try to say it with without words, but we know there is power in words.'"

    Read 5 Things a Wife Really Needs (But Doesn’t Know How to Ask For) in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    5. 10 Lies the World Spreads about Marriage

    From the article:

    "Marriage is an amazing gift from God. Yet often, the greatest gifts aren’t always cherished the way they should be. Life gets busy. We get hurried and distracted. We start taking each other for granted. We argue and let resentments rise. We compare our own marriages with those around us, longing for happily ever after, instead getting stuck in hurt and regret. We begin to drift apart. And sadly, many times, we start looking for the nearest 'exit.'”

    "In a society that bases many of its beliefs about marriage on reality TV love stories or the latest Hollywood news, we’d be wise to stay cautious about all it suggests. With divorce rates still around 50 percent, and statistics that say '23 percent of men and 19 percent of women have admitted to cheating on their spouse,' are we sure we’d want to listen to its advice?

    "One thing is certain, there’s a battle over marriages today, and the enemy wants nothing more than to destroy them all."

    Read 10 Lies the World Spreads about Marriage in full here.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    4. 10 Incredible Qualities Not to Overlook in a Husband

    From the article: 

    "The best relationships I’ve seen have a bit of mutual awe built into them. This guy thinks you are almost 'out of his league'… but you feel the same about him. He admires characteristics in you, and he believes in you. He reminds you of who you really are, and he sees you as you at your best. And in each other’s presence, you are both better people. This is the true picture of a marriage with Christ at the center, and I believe that there are Christian men and women who are honestly following Christ who WON’T meet this criterion together. At the end of the day, there is a mystery of love that can’t be programmed or planned. It requires faith, surrender, and a giving in even when it defies reason. Maybe that’s why they call it 'falling' in love…"

    Read 10 Incredible Qualities Not to Overlook in a Husband in full here.

     

    Photo credit: Unsplash

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    3. 10 Things Your Wife Hates

    From the article:

    "It’s not easy to listen without wanting to immediately fix the problem for your spouse. I get it—I’m wired that way too. But it’s important to listen to your wife with great concern, give her a touch to let her know you’re there, and when she’s dumped it all out there, let her know that it must be hard.

    "Communicating to your wife with this kind of care will go a long way to open her up in a way to receive your advice or problem-solving. Always make sure she knows you’ve listened, you care, and you empathize with the hardship of the matter before trying to fix it for her. Your concern to fix it in the first place is admirable but make sure to put her needs to be heard and cared for first."

     
     
    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock
  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    2. 10 Things Your Husband Really Doesn't Like

    From the article: 

    "He hates when you remind him of his past failures.

    "It’s something that was settled long ago (or maybe just last week), and you just can’t seem to let it go. We’ve all failed. Let go of things that have already been worked through and settled. If there are unresolved issues that were never dealt with biblically, don’t bring them up as a bully club, but take steps to graciously resolve them and move on!"

    Read 10 Things Your Husband Really Doesn't Like in full here.

  • 20. 12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship

    1. 20 Reasons Marriages Fail (Christian Marriages, Too)

    From the article: 

    "Marriages fail for many reasons and often from a combination of reasons. Any of the issues listed here should give cause for concern and care. Unaddressed personal and spiritual issues will affect both partners, even if one is unaware or innocent. If you're wondering why your marriage is failing, this list may have the answer.

    "While there is little difference between Christian and non-Christian marital woes, a Christ-follower has the power to recognize issues in the light of God’s Word and experience the transforming power of His Spirit. Marital bliss is fictional, but marital happiness can be a reality."

     

    Read 20 Reasons Marriages Fail (Christian Marriages, Too) in full here.