With so many mixed messages about marriage in the world today (and sometimes the church), it has never been more important for married couples to build their marriage on the solid foundation of God’s Word. Memorizing Scripture as a couple is a powerful tool in the hand of God to do just that.
The following Bible passages about marriage and life are not a comprehensive list, nor do they all refer specifically to the marriage relationship. But this selection is a great place to start memorizing the Bible as a couple so that your thoughts, words, and actions will be pleasing to our heavenly Father.
Choose from Four Methods of Learning
- Memorize Scripture passages. (Download PDF)
- Pray for God’s help to believe, obey, and treasure His truth.
- Study each Scripture passage in its proper context for the full picture and maximum richness.
- Listen to the sermon linked to for each passage with your spouse to dig deeper. (Courtesy of The Gospel Coalition Resource Library.)
Ten Bible Passages for Every Married Couple to Memorize
1. Mark 12:29-31 — The Greatest Commandments
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
These two commandments are vital for every moment of our lives. They teach that God comes before each other, and others come before ourselves. Your spouse should never be the #1 love of your life. If they are, they will only let you down and become an idol. Put your hope and joy fully in the Lord and you are guaranteed blessing and satisfaction (Matthew 5:6). Then, let the love of God overflowing from your heart lead you to love others.
Sermon: The Great Commandment by Sandy Willson
2. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 — What is Love?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Pray over these famous words on love and ask yourself, “Does this describe me?” Are you patient, kind, or rude? Do you insist on your own way? Ask God to change your heart. Then meditate on the character of God who perfectly reflects love. (Except for insisting on His own way, which He does, but for our good.)
Sermon: What Does Love Look Like? by Colin Smith
3. Proverbs 3:5-6 — Trusting God at All Times
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
These are verses to hang on to for dear life when faced with difficult circumstances, a major (or minor) life choice, or when you just don’t know what to do. I can’t tell you how many times God has proven Himself faithful as I’ve trusted Him, not relying on my own understanding. Remember that during times when you reach the end of your own understanding, God generously gives wisdom to those ask for it (James 1:5). Memorizing and praying this passage will help you and your spouse find God’s will during troubling times and difficult situations—times bound to come during the course of a marriage.
Sermon: Total Trust by Joshua Harris
4. Philippians 2:3-5 — A Life Focused on Others
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Selfishness is a major cause of tension in marriage. Make it your heart’s desire and prayer to obey these powerful commands for the good of your spouse, those around you, and your own soul. I recommend memorizing the whole section of Philippians 2:1-11, which flows from encouragement in Christ and participation in the Spirit (1-2), the call to selfless humility (3-4), and the stunning and glorious example of Christ’s humility (5-11).
Sermon: The God Who Came Down by Danny Akin
5. Ephesians 5:25-26 — A Gospel-Shaped Marriage
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…
These verses comes from one of the richest marriage passages in all of Scripture (Ephesians 5:22-33). Husbands are to sacrificially love their wives as Christ loves the church. Wives are to submit to their loving husbands in respect. Both are extremely difficult! But as you and your spouse grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, fulfilling your role will become more natural and more joyful. This is a passage where missing the Christ-centered context would miss the passage’s point.
Sermon: Planting Hedges in Marriage by Alistar Begg
6. Hebrews 13:4 — Honoring God by Honoring Marriage
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
This verse is a good reminder to honor your marriage in every way. We can apply this by not making sarcastic comments about our marriage or spouse and by keeping our minds and hearts free from any hint of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3). The fear of God’s judgment should drive us to repentance and holiness.
Sermon: Personal Ethics by R. Kent Hughes
7. James 1:19-20 — Honoring God and Each Other in Communication
Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Marriages thrive and languish because of communication. A fundamental part of communication is listening to each other. That means your focus needs to be hearing and understanding what your spouse is saying, not waiting for them to finish so you can share your opinion (that wouldn’t be slow to speak). Do you and your spouse have regular times to talk to each other? In disagreements, are you quick to anger or do you bring a calming force to difficult conversations? Let these verses drive you to honoring God and your spouse by listening well, being slow to speak, and being slow to anger.
Sermon: Doing the Word by R. Kent Hughes
8. Galatians 5:22-23 — The Fruit of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
What kind of fruit are you producing? In Galatians 5:19-23, God gives us a dashboard to monitor whether you are living by the flesh or by the Spirit. If your life (and marriage) is characterized by any of the following: “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19-21a), then you need to heed Paul’s serious warning: “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21b). When you begin to act selfishly, in anger, or have impure thoughts toward your spouse, your sinful nature is controlling you. Repent from those thoughts and actions, turn to the Lord and ask Him to change your heart and help you live by His Spirit. Set your mind and heart on the things of the Spirit and you will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Romans 8:6).
Sermon: The Gospel of Grace and Peace by Josh Moody
9. Matthew 28:18-20 — The Great Commission
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
All Christians are called to be and make disciples. Our marriages need to reflect that. As you memorize this passage, meditate on the power (all authority) and presence (I am with you) of Christ to help you fulfill the command to make disciples. Also pray for God to show you and your spouse how you will grow as disciples and make disciple-making a central part of your marriage. Since the church is an integral part of discipleship, ask God to lead you as faithful disciple-making church members.
Sermon: Christ-Centered Disciple Making by Harry Reeder
10. Romans 8:28 — God’s Good Purposes
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Difficult times will come up in your life and in your marriage. Never lose sight of the fact that, if you love God, He will work those difficult times for your good. Your marriage is not about “Your Best Life Now”, but rather your best life later—enjoying an eternity of communion with God and the riches of your inheritance in Christ. Let the difficulties of life and marriage drive you to trust God’s good purposes for you and this world that have existed since Creation (Genesis 1:31).
Sermon: A Christian’s Happiness by Timothy Keller
5 Recommended Christian Books on Marriage
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller (my favorite!)
- When Sinners Say ‘I Do’ by Dave Harvey
- You and Me Forever: Marriage In Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan (free PDF)
- This Momentary Marriage by John Piper (free PDF)
- What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp
Other Recommended Resources:
- A Summary of the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- 3 Francis Chan Sermon on Christ-Centered Relationships
- The Importance of Commitment Before Intimacy
- Why Go to Church? 50+ Things You Miss Out On by Not Attending Church
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