Scan and scroll the internet, and you will find countless videos, tutorials, and services to plan a wedding. All the how-to’s may outline the details and nuances of how to prepare for the event. Sadly, the volume of information about what builds a marriage or what keeps couples standing strong is not met with the same number of searches or resources.

Marriages don’t come with a standard manual that the world acknowledges. However, those of us who know the Lord can seek the source of truth to inspire and equip us with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father has crafted the blueprint for us to thrive in life and relationships, with Him and through His Word.

While we are constructing a marriage, a home, and a family, God is building us. He has the materials and processes we need to develop a union that will be an example of His abiding love for His Church. While we are walking through difficult seasons in our marriages, He will build us such that we will be able to stand against the enemy and the foes that would otherwise destroy.

The Father invites us to ask, knowing that He wants to provide us with the wisdom to heal our relationships. Let’s embrace practical encouragement as we look to restore our marriages to God’s original intent and design.

Life does not skip over us, and we don’t get to opt out of trouble, whether that is individually or as a couple. We can, however, look to the Lord’s equipping for storms that are sure to come. Building with Him ensures that our personal lives and our marriages are stabilized on the rock of Christ’s foundation.

Our decision to anchor our relationship in Him makes us durable and resilient against the winds and the waves of circumstances that will batter us (Matthew 7:24-27). When we structure our relationship on godly principles, we fortify the connection we’ve established by faith, partnership, and investment.

Friends and foes

However, part of that same ceremony where we took vows, underscores that we have a role in stewarding what God has joined together (Mark 10:9). We must recognize that the enemy will try it, but both the known and unknown weapons that are formed against us by unseen enemies will not prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

God has orchestrated our path, but we are responsible for cultivating our covenant in our daily choices to live out our vows. God blesses the work we put into our marriage, maturing and deepening our relationship with Him as we serve and submit to one another. His Spirit breathes on what we build together, with Him at the core.

The Holy Spirit is the unseen essential ingredient that causes us to flourish. Partnering with Him invests in the health and viability of our marriage, creating a fortified place where we can take refuge in Him and find respite in one another.

There will be seasons of stretching and testing, but submitting ourselves continually to the Lord invites Him to show us how to befriend and support our spouses, even when we feel disenchanted with the state of our marriage. Our union’s ability to thrive does not fall to one partner but rather is nurtured through moment-by-moment decisions to initiate and respond in Christ’s compassion as we continue refining and strengthening our commitment.

Building 101: Foundation first

As couples, what are we building our foundation on? Jesus described the differences between those who constructed houses on sand and rock. The structures were similar, but the foundations differed. We choose how to establish our marriages. While attraction and chemistry are important components of sparking a connection, they are not enough to sustain us through sickness, health, better, or worse.

Couples must consider the bedrock of God’s Word and keep connecting authentically through shared time, intentional activity, and spiritual investment. To be a partner for the long haul, we need to develop a love relationship with the Lord that permits His character to be formed in us, extending into every area of our lives.

As Christ and His Church are reflected in earthly marriages, we can ask the Lord to develop in us what we need. The dance of loving and reverencing each other as couples seem impossible when our romance and respect for one another have waned. We need God to intervene and a miracle to resuscitate what we may have lost through emotional distance and disinterest.

Seeking godly counsel is a good place to build with fresh fervor. Working with a couples therapist to facilitate dialog and explore issues can be lifesaving, no matter how long we have been married or what we have endured. We can and ought to pray at all times and about everything (Philippians 4:6-7), but we elevate our faith into active mode when we take practical steps to improve our connection and communication.

Enlisting the support of an objective, yet empathetic professional helps us to see, hear, and perceive ourselves and our spouses with fresh insight.

Couples counseling: Building identity

As we build our marriage, we may also consider how God’s Word informs our identity. How we see ourselves filters into our relationships with others. It will show up in how we view our role as a partner and the expectations we place on our mate. When we have unhealed pain and trauma that we haven’t resolved, pieces of our difficult pasts wind their way into our present.

We may place burdens on our spouse to meet certain expectations. We may not even realize that we have set a standard of behavior, possibly without ever communicating it to them. Often, when we expect them to meet or exceed the bar we’ve established in our imagination, we set them up for failure and sabotage our marriage’s potential.

Couples counseling: Building peace

We need to decide to let peace rule. Wherever there is difference there will be conflict, but it doesn’t have to be contentious. We won’t agree on everything, and God didn’t create us as carbon copies of one another. Our differences can be complementary and harmonious.

We may find that in our marriage, our strengths complement or offset the weaknesses of our partner. Likewise, their abilities, gifts, and skills may introduce balance into the relationship where we ourselves require support.

Biblical peace is known as shalom, which has to do with fullness, completion, and wholeness. Essentially, it translates to having total provision and with nothing missing, broken, or out of place. When we view our marriages from this place, we both, as husbands and wives have a role to play in working with God and one another. As we seek peace and pursue it, we combat those threats where the enemy wants to break down the wall of God’s protection

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. – Psalm 34:14 NIV

Couples counseling: Building partnership

While we are paired to help one another, God has given us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. He counsels us in the way that the Father knows we need to go. The Spirit knows the Father’s Heart, and when we pray, He intercedes through us, making the language of our needs known, even where we lack words to describe our marital conditions to God. Furthermore, we may need the outside help that a counselor can provide.

We can think of it as a remedy for our marriages. Whether they are in distress or not, the support of a counselor can help us to identify weakened places in our marriage and fortify it with the time and attention it needs. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away, but if we envision it like a cracked wall, we will see that fissure enlarge and expand as the elements and weather break it down.

Next steps

God has already begun a work in your hearts. Though you cannot see it yet, He is faithful to do what He said. As you commit to believing, follow up on your faith with the next step. Consider working with a couples counselor listed in our online counselor directory. Reach out and schedule an appointment to enlist support in building a thriving marriage that lasts.

“Devotions”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez,, CC0 License; “The Kiss”, Courtesy of Frank Mckenna,, CC0 License; “Forever”, Courtesy of Gabby Orcutt,,, CC0 License; “Wedding Bands”, Courtesy of Sandy Millar,, CC0 License


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