I’m a big proponent of the idea that we should interact with our husbands the same way we interact with any other believer –or unbeliever, depending on your situation.
Although this post is mostly about dealing with believing husbands, many of the verses still apply to unbelievers.
It seems simple to say that bible commands apply to husbands and wives, and yet I was taught that interaction between husbands and wives was different than between other believers.
Although there are specific commands given to husbands and wives, much of Scripture’s instruction for interaction applies to and is very helpful for marriage.
The commands to believers about how to interact with others aren’t made void by marriage. In fact, we need them all the more if we’re to have successful unions!
Here’s a list of non-marriage-specific verses that still apply to marriage. When adopted and applied to our lives, these can have a huge impact on our marriages.
Even if they don’t change your marriage for the better (because you can’t change your spouse), they can change you for the better.
Either way, God gets glory from our lives when we live in accordance with God’s word.
That’s our purpose here on earth: to glorify God.
1. Be kind to your husband
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Romans 12:20
2. Encourage him toward goodness
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:24
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
3. Watch how you speak to him
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:29-30
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
4. Let go of your anger
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31
Be… slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,* and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-28
(*“Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” is a figure of speech meaning “Don’t wait long to resolve anger.”)
5. Bear with him in his weaknesses
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:1
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
6. Be willing to show him more honor than he shows you
Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
7. Don’t be vengeful
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. Romans 12:17
8. Avoid evil in any form
Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path. Proverbs 1:10,15
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11
9. Seek peace with him
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
10. Love fervently and sacrificially like Jesus
Love one another earnestly from a pure heart. 1 Peter 1:22
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
11. Give grace like God gives it
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10
12. Correct him if necessary
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:13
13. Address your own sin before you address his sin
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5
14. Be selfless
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant. Philippians 2:3-5
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14
15. Go beyond what is required
To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. Luke 6:29-30
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Romans 12:20
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
16. Listen and try to understand without anger
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19
17. Show him by your actions and attitude that you love him
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18
18. Forgive him because you’ve been forgiven by God
If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
“Lord, how often will my [husband**] sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3
His master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. Matthew 18:34
(**I added the brackets [ ] replacing “brother” with “husband” for emphasis. The application is accurate. The Bible verse actually says “brother.”).
19. Pray for him
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
Continue steadfastly in prayer. Colossians 4:2
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18
20. Be thankful for what you have
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
21. Remember that you’re not better than he is
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20
There is no one who does not sin. 1 Kings 8:46
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide. John 15:16
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
22. Do not condemn him
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
23. Work as if you’re serving Christ himself
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23
24. Don’t let your husband (or anything else) pull you away from God
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” Hebrews 13:5
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:11
25. Go to him if you know you’ve wronged him
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore, confess your sins to one another. James 5:16
I’m sure there are many more verses that I could add, but this seems to be a good place to start. This chapter in Psalms has encouraged me toward better character since I first read it when I was young.
I wonder how many conflicts we could avoid in our marriages if we obeyed these verses.
Let’s find out!
May the Lord be honored in our lives and in our marriages.