For every wedding that I perform, I pray a blessing over the bride and groom near the end of the ceremony. The prayer goes something like this:
Heavenly Father, I pray your blessings upon Joseph and Mary. May Jesus be the Lord of their lives and the Lord of their home. May the Bible be their guide for living and may prayer be an important part of their life together as husband and wife. I pray that their love will be an example of Christian love, the kind that will point people to true love found only in Christ. May the Holy Spirit work in amazing ways to produce His fruit in the lives of Joseph and Mary. Bless their family and be glorified through their marriage. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.
What does a Christ-honoring marriage look like? The Bible describes Christ-honoring love in 1 Corinthians 13, and it addresses Christ-honoring marriage in Genesis 2:18-25, Ephesians 5:22-33 and other passages, including 1 Peter 3:1-7.
1 In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives. 3 Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. 5 For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming. 7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:1-7)
The witness of a godly wife
In the first century, many people were coming to faith in Christ. In some families, a wife would come to faith in Christ but her husband remained an unbeliever. The same thing happens in our day when one spouse comes to faith in Christ before their spouse. What advice does the Bible give a wife in such circumstances? The Bible is clear in verses 1-2 that the wife is to focus on living a Christ-honoring, pure, reverent life and let her actions speak louder than words. Rather than preaching sermons at her husband, she is to win him over by the way she lives her life. Her life is to be a reflection of the love, humility, and lifestyle of Jesus, and this will be a powerful witness of a life changed by Christ. Her Christ-honoring life and love may lead her husband to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The beauty of a godly woman
It is tempting for women (and men, for that matter) to focus on outward beauty. Peter reminds us that true beauty is not found in fashionable clothing, jewelry or accessories. True beauty is what is on the inside of a woman, a gentle and quiet spirit, which are very valuable in God’s eyes (v4). Ladies such as Sarah (Abraham’s wife) serve as an example for women to follow. She was focused on pursuing inner beauty rather than being consumed with exterior beauty. Ladies are to follow her example of godliness and inner beauty, the kind that God produces in your life.
The understanding of a godly husband
A godly, Christ-honoring husband will live with his wife with understanding. That is, he will seek to really understand her. He will understand that even though she may be physically weaker than him, that does not mean she is lesser than him (v7). She is his co-heir of the grace of life. She is truly his partner in life. He should protect her, love her, serve her, care for her, and sacrifice for her. He should understand her needs and seek to meet them. When he does these things, he will keep his relationship with his wife strong, their marriage will be Christ-honoring, and his prayers will not be hindered. His fellowship with God will be strong.