I know that sometimes out in public it would be hard to tell the difference between a Christian couple and a non-Christian couple. But I also know that at times you can clearly tell the difference. If a husband “so loved his wife as God so loved the church” would that marriage look different.
That came from Ephesians 5:25 for you bible readers, and non-bible readers if you want to check me. Sometimes, no not always, people can point out a Godly man just by how he treats his family, his wife. The primary difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage is that Christ is the center of the marriage.
When two people are united in Christ, their goal is to grow in Christlikeness throughout the life of the marriage. Non-Christians may have many goals for their marriage, but Christlikeness is not one of them. This is not to say that all Christians, when they marry, immediately begin to work toward this goal.
Many young Christians don’t even realize this actually is the goal, but the presence of the Holy Spirit within each of them works with them, maturing each one so that the goal of Christlikeness becomes increasingly clear to them. When both partners make becoming more like Christ their individual goal, a strong, vibrant Christian marriage begins to take shape.
This leadership should not be dictatorial, condescending, or patronizing to the wife, but should be in accordance with the example of Christ leading the church. Christ loved the church (His people) with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect, and selflessness. In this same way husbands are to love their wives.
Another key component in a Christian marriage is selflessness, as described in Philippians 2:3-4. The principle of humility outlined in these verses is crucial to a strong Christian marriage. Both husband and wife must consider their partner’s needs before their own, which requires a selflessness that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells them.
Humility and selflessness do not come naturally to the fallen human nature. They are traits only the Spirit of God can produce, nurture, and perfect in us.You must understand that it is by God’s design and not by some chance that you were saved while married to your spouse.
If your unbelieving spouse is willing to live with you, then be assured God is working out His plan in and through your life. Paul encouraged the Ephesian church that God had saved them and that He wanted to fulfill His work through them: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
Therefore, don’t look for a way out of the marriage. Instead, ask God to show you how He wants to fulfill His work through you in your present circumstances. Then do it. But, can Christianity become a barrier? The first is, that in order to be in-tune with one’s spouse, the Christian in the marriage might have to push Christ to the margins of his or her life.
This will affect things like a devotional life, tithing, raising children and fellowship with other believers. Another outcome can include the non-Christian partner being marginalised instead, if the believer in the marriage ends up holding on to a healthy Christian life.
This scenario I am sure will bring on some spiritual warfare for the Christian. What usually ends up happening is that the marriage undergoes a lot of stress and breaks up, or it experiences stress and stays together, achieving some kind of truce that involves one spouse or the other capitulating in some areas, which leaves both parties feeling lonely and unhappy.
If the marriage of two people can include marriage to the church, the trials of life seem more like light affliction, and carry less weight. So, I say yes, the two types of marriages are different. Being married to someone of faith seems to help when you need a spiritual shoulder to lean on. A spouse filled with faith just seems to know the things to say and when to say them.