The 4 Types of Marriage…which one are you pursuing?
A few weeks ago, my husband and I spoke to a group of marriage-minded, single men and women. The message we spoke on was called, The 4 Types of Marriage…Which One Are You Preparing for?
As I worked on crafting the message I came up with the following types of marriage:
- A Self-centered Marriage
- A Spouse-centered Marriage
- A Child-centered Marriage
- A Christ-centered Marriage
And then we encouraged the singles to prepare for the most fulfilling one; the Christ-centered marriage. As I worked on the message of what the singles needed to hear, I thought about the end result; being married.
But here’s the reality (and the point of this post)…just because you’re a Christian woman married to a Christian man, this does not mean you’ll have a Christ-centered marriage. Shocking, I know!
If we don’t have the correct biblical vision, then we will either pursue our own path for marriage (what we saw growing up) or we’ll default to the path that is right in front of us based on our choices and emotions.
Even as a born-again Christian, I can easily get off the path of a Christ-centered marriage. And here’s how.
In a child-centered marriage:
My kids could so easily consume my life. Now, I love my boys dearly, but if my number one focus and pursuit is about them and me trying to be the best mom ever then I’d have to ask myself,
“What about my husband?”
Do I have time to be his wife?
Am I interested in fostering and nurturing a deeper relationship with him?
Or am I too busy being mom?
If I’m not careful, the idea of being a wife could become a mere after-thought. Our marital union will get neglected because I’ve put the role of mom before the role of wife. This path will not only cause my marriage to breakdown, but also my children’s future marriages based on what was displayed in the home. My kids will learn how to do marriage based on how my husband and I do marriage. I want to do marriage well because I want my kids to have a fulfilling marriage; one that points to Jesus Christ.
In a spouse-centered marriage:
Then there is my man. He if decides to live to please himself and not Christ, then he can demand his own way where the marriage is all about him and his needs. If this is the case, then he’s got some explaining to do! I’d flat out ask him, “Who’s on the throne in the marriage. Him or Jesus?”
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
Note: If your husband happens to be an unbeliever, he’ll live by a different standard than you. If this is your situation, you’ll want to read this post.
In a self-centered marriage:
There is me. Me. And me. I could pursue a life of what I want and what makes me happy. But this path of marriage will cause the Cross to be blurred because of my emotions, to-do lists, my dreams, and aspirations are dictating the direction of my marriage. Yes, even ministry pursuits.
Here’s an example of this scenario: In case you’ve been wondering why I haven’t written any new posts lately, it’s because I’ve been busy helping my husband in his business. Now, I could choose me and what I want or I could choose him. Being that a wife is created to be her husband’s helper, I want to walk in obedience to God’s ways and not my own.
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18
So, I’ve chosen my husband and I’ve put this ministry on the back-burner instead of my marriage. 🙂
Now, all of the above marriages are not God-honoring because they don’t reflect Christ, they reflect others.
But let’s move on to the good stuff, shall we?
A Christ-centered marriage is an awesome marriage. It’s a fulfilling marriage. A thriving marriage. It’s the type of marriage God intended and it’s the type of marriage every woman (and man) longs for.
God knew back in the Garden that the perfect marriage would end soon based on Adam and Eve’s choices. However, He made a way for us to have a fulfilling marriage in spite of our sin nature. I like to call this God’s redemptive plan for marriage…
In the book of Ephesians, a Christ-centered marriage hinges on these two verses:
For the woman, we want to be loved, nurtured, and cherished.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Ephesians 5:25
For the man, he wants to be respected.
So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph. 5:33
My Happily Ever After is not possible unless I heed the biblical directions from God. This means I need to be walking in obedience, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to the biblical commands set forth before me in the scriptures. As does my husband.
As I’ve scratched the surface on developing a marital perspective for you, let me give you some practical take-aways that you can apply in your marriage today.
A Christian wife should pursue the following for her marriage:
- Same mission. Oneness in marriage. The purpose of marriage is to glorify God.
Question: Do your actions and choices reflect this mission?
- Submission to your husband. Biblical submission means freedom and less responsibility on your shoulders. By the way, biblical submission does not equate to physical abuse. Also, you are not to submit to your husband’s sin. (For more info on biblical submission, subscribe and you can download my free ebook on it.)
Question: Are you willing to follow your husband in the mission that has been set forth for your family? Will you let him lead? Will you let go of the reins? I realize that not all husbands try to lead their homes. If this is your situation, read this series.
- Serving your husband. This pursuit reflects Christ in your marriage. Jesus was a servant to others and we should seek to reflect Him.
Question: Do your actions and choices reflect this?
- Sensitive to his needs. We are to bear one another’s burdens. Is your husband having a hard time in life? Does he feel like he’s drowning? Depressed?
Question: Are you willing to minister to him?
- Sex with him. Sexually intimacy is what sets your marital relationship apart from all others.
Question: Is sex a chore or a duty to you? If so, why? Ask yourself what happened in your love story that the physical intimacy has eroded or diminished? If you’re struggling in this area, read this post.
I’ll be away from this writing space for sometime. What I plan to do in the meantime is
a) help my man
b) develop more comprehensive marriage-related resources for you that will go much deeper than a single blog post!
Here’s the new stuff I’m working on:
- 10 Lies Wives Believe and the Truth that Will Strengthen their Marriage
If you’re new here, you’ll want to subscribe so you’ll receive these resources when they’re launched!
You can also follow me on Instagram!
For additional resources you can check out the following:
Encouraging Him to Lead Series
When a Husband Isn’t Loving His Wife with Christ-like Love Series
Wives of the Bible: 25 Easy Lessons You Can Learn from these Imperfect Women that Will Radically Transform Your Marriage
Wives of the Bible Expanded Bible Study Version
Wisdom for Wives On-line Conference
Live a poured out life for Christ,
In the 8 years of my marriage God has revealed so much in so many ways. My marriage still needs lots of healing but with God nothing is impossible.
I thank God for my friend who shared your website and I pray to learn more with it.
I am young an engaged, and this article itself, has helped me understand a lot! Those 4 marriage types sound correct to me! If i were to be married now, I`m afraid I would be in a self-centered marriage. And that, I`m not proud of. I will be using this advice!
You are absolutely right on the money. Many people forget that no one is to come before your spouse, not even your children. And the two shall become one.
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