an image of a brightly colored bridal bouquet with a bride and groom faded out in the background- Relationship triangle

9 Keys to a Successful Godly Marriage (Relationship Triangle with God)

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You may have heard of the marriage triangle before. It is a relationship triangle, also known as a God triangle, that depicts the ideal relationship between a man, woman and God. God is represented at the top point with the man and woman on the two bottom points. The idea is that as both man and woman get closer in their relationship to God, they grow closer with each other. So let’s explore an ideal Christian marriage.

an image of a brightly colored bridal bouquet with a bride and groom faded out in the background- Relationship triangle

Where is the first mention of marriage in the Bible? 

 

As we know, God made man, Adam, from the dust of the earth. God physically breathed life into him. But man was never intended to be alone. So in Genesis 2:18, we see that mankind needed a help meet. According to Lexico.com, the definition of help meet is “A helpful companion or partner, especially one’s husband or wife.”

 

Genesis 2:18 KJV “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

 

God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep where He took one of Adam’s ribs and created a woman named Eve.

 

Gen 2:23 KJV “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

 

From there, we learn of the introduction of marriage. You can search all over the internet for a good definition of marriage. But I believe the best definition is found in the next verse.

 

Genesis 2:24 KJV tells us “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

 

Later in Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus clarifies who exactly makes up a marriage from the Biblical view. In our current world view, mankind is trying to redefine marriage. But marriage has always been between a man and a woman. God said it, that settles it! As Christian’s, we must hang tight to the Biblical view of marriage as one man and one woman.

 

Matthew 19:4-6 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Adam and Eve touching fingers and Genesis 2:23 quoted

Who designed marriage? 

 

Marriage was defined by God as one man and one woman. There are no other references in the Bible of any other pairs. It is not man and man, or woman and woman. Marriage is one man and one woman. Go back to look at Matthew 19:4-6 again if you need further clarification.

 

Marriage is the representation of Jesus Christ and His Bride, His church

 

In Ephesians 5:31-32 KJV we see Paul comparing Godly marriage to Christ and His church. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

 

The marriage between man and woman is the earthly representation of God’s plan for Christ and His church. Christ’s church is referred to as His Bride. Then, in Ephesians 5, Paul lays out the foundation of that marriage.

 

2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

 

Ephesians 5:22-25 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

 

How does the marriage fit into a relationship triangle?

 

Now that we’ve dug into God’s definition of marriage and what it looks like, let’s take a look at the relationship triangle. If you take a look at the image of the God triangle below, you will see what the marriage triangle looks like. God is at the top of the triangle. The man and the woman are the bottom points of the image. This is the image of the relationship. As children come along, they will be under the protection of the parents and the providence of God. The placement of children in the relationship triangle lays them on the line between man and woman.

 

Relationship triangle with God, husband and wife

 

As the husband and wife each work to become closer to God, they will grow closer to each other. But what if one partner is at a different pace than the other? Then the shape of the God triangle will become distorted. It’s up to the couple to work together to put the relationship back together so that they both can fulfill the ultimate relationship with each other and the Lord.

 

What are keys to a successful Godly marriage? 

 

There are so many factors that go into a Godly marriage. I’ve narrowed down 9 keys that I believe are critical to keep the marriage triangle balanced and keep your eyes on building a strong, long-lasting, loving marriage. I also want to remind you that your kids are watching to see what a healthy marriage looks like. Set a great example for them.

 

You Make the Commitment

 

Unfortunately, we live in a world today where couples don’t even bother with marriage. Young people are willing to move in together and have children together, but they aren’t willing to stand before God and their families and say “I do!” I don’t know what holds them back from commitment. But in the eyes of God, as soon as you sleep together, you’re married.

 

Making a commitment means you’re dedicating your life to that person. Choose a marriage that lasts “until death do us part.” If divorce is an option, you’re not in a committed marriage. Expect that problems will arise. But a commitment means you’ll work through them and grow stronger and closer. 

 

You’re Equally Yoked

 

This is a concept we’ve stressed to our children since they were young. What does it mean to be equally yoked? It means that you share the same set of beliefs and values. In a Christian relationship triangle, this means you have the same set of biblical beliefs. You practice the same religion. You have the same beliefs on raising your children and the roles that each partner has in the marriage.

 

We all know families where the parents practice different religions. When that happens, there are disputes about which church to raise the children in. It sends mixed signals to the kids and most of the time, it’s the kids that suffer. When you’re looking to marry, ideally you should look for someone within your church.

 

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. What if you fall in love with someone who is not a Christian? This is where the scripture in 1 Peter 3:1 comes into practice. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”  Then we pray and let God work on him.

 

Communication is key

 

Having strong,  respectful communication is an important key in the marriage triangle. Many couples don’t prioritize communication. In fact, the average couple spends less than 20 minutes a day actually talking to each other. Turn off the TV, put the phones down and ask how your spouse’s day went. And then listen, with both ears. Look him in the eyes and let him know that what he has to say is important.

 

Respectful arguments

 

Undoubtedly, an argument will come up from time to time. If a problem arises, don’t let it fester. Address it immediately without pointing your finger. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements. Don’t criticize or blame. And remember, neither one of you are mind readers.

 

Forgive and Forget

 

As a Christian, forgiveness is a critical part of our life. We know that if Jesus can forgive, then so can we. Holding onto past sins isn’t healthy for the relationship and will throw the marriage triangle off kilter. So accept each other’s apology and let it go. It’s the healthiest way to a strong Christian marriage. Again, teaching your kids how to forgive starts at home.

 

Matthew 6:14-15 KJV “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Green flowers with Matthew 6:14-15 quoted

Make time for each other

 

Spending time together is important. While you’re married, you should also be friends. My husband is my best friend. Yes, we have friends outside of the marriage, but your spouse should be the closest relationship that you have after the Lord. Go on dates. Build the romance. Spend time together without the kids. Play. Nurture the marriage relationship.

 

Show Appreciation for Each Other

 

It’s important to encourage and edify others. We often make it a point to lift others up outside of the home. But when it comes to our spouse, he’s the last one who gets encouraging treatment. Do you show others your best side and let all the good stuff fall by the wayside when you’re at home? Never take your spouse for granted. Show your appreciation daily.

 

Tell him how much you appreciate him and everything he does for you. In our home, my husband works a full time job. And then because of my disability, he has to care for me and take care of most of my chores too. As much as that breaks my heart, God has meant it for His glory and our good. I’m always looking for ways to show my husband how much I appreciate him. I help where I can, remind him how much he’s appreciated, I send him text messages to share my love. Just never let him forget how much he means to you.

 

Wives, Submit to Your Husbands

 

This one might make you a bit bristly if you’re a modern woman. However, if you’re going to follow God’s Word, then follow all of it. I mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating. Paul shares the point of submission not only in Ephesians, but Colossians as well. The man is the head of the household. He follows Christ, and as wives, we follow our husband and Christ.

 

Ephesians 5:22-25 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

 

Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

 

Husbands, your job is to lead your wife and children and be the spiritual head of the household. The last part of the verses I shared in Ephesians remind you to love your wife, as Christ loves His church. That’s a tall order, my friend. I hope you don’t take it lightly.

 

Always Work together

 

As a Christian couple in the marriage triangle, you’re a team. It’s important that you work together in all things. Make Christ your priority, always striving to learn and grow your relationship with Him. Then work to strengthen your relationship. You need to work to raise your family and maintain your household.

 

The term of the moment is “living with intention“. This means, live on purpose as the Lord wants you to do. Holding family devotions, managing your finances, running the household and taking care of the yard and the cars, etc. It all takes teamwork.

 

How do you spiritually grow together in marriage?

 

We’ve established the keys that will create a balanced relationship triangle. In other words, we want that line between man and wife to stay horizontal. So now let’s address what it takes to grow together and get closer to God spiritually to move the base of that triangle closer to Jesus.

 

  • Put the Lord first! He needs to be your first priority, above each other and above the kids, your job,  your friends or any other hobby or activity.
  • Pray for and with each other.
  • Worship together, attend church together and witness to others together.
  • Spend time together. Make each other a priority.
  • Teach your children together. It’s always best to have the same beliefs on how you’re raising your children. Come to a consensus and never undermine the other in front of the kids.
  • Be hospitable together.

 

How does love grow in a marriage?

 

Over the years, love grows. At the point of marriage, it seems like we couldn’t possibly love our partner more than we do then. Then we raise children, go through financial struggles and health issues. In the case of my husband and I, we’ll be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year. We’ve been through all of the above, including breast cancer, and life threatening illness, coma and quadruple amputations.

 

Had we known what was coming, neither one of us would have signed up. But with the attitude of “with God all things are possible”, we’ve weathered every storm. Our love today is definitely stronger than it was on the day we wed. So in spite of the struggles, how does love grow?

 

First, you need that commitment to love the other. You must trust your partner, and promise to be true to each other until death do you part.

 

Sharing is an important factor in the relationship triangle. What do we share? We share our hopes and dreams, our fears, our feelings,  our desires, our hurts and our emotions. Share all of it!

 

Togetherness in a marriage means being intentional with the time you spend together. Share life together. You don’t have to be stuck at the hip. It’s okay to have different interests and friends. But be interested in what’s important to your spouse.

 

Don’t forsake intimacy in your marriage. Emotional intimacy is that security you feel when you love and trust your spouse. Physical intimacy is not only sex, but hand holding, affectionate touches and physical closeness. Both types of intimacy are important. 

 

Communication is a critical component in your marriage. He talks, you listen and vice versa. Express your positive feelings. Communication is more than just talking. It’s understanding, expressing, listening and responding in the most effective way.

 

Lastly, encouragement goes a long way in helping your marriage grow in the God triangle. Put notes in his lunchbox that remind him you love him. Remember important events and let him know you’re cheering him on. Just give him simple reminders that you’re his biggest cheerleader and how thankful you are that he’s all yours. Everybody needs encouragement. Set the example.

 

I love the relationship triangle, because it’s a very simple visual representation of what a Godly marriage should look like. Remember, if we work hard to keep at the same pace of growth as our spouse, we’ll set a great example for our kids.

 

We’ll also move those arrows closer to God. Follow the Lord by loving Him with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. Then love everybody else as we love ourselves. These are the basis of a strong relationship with the Lord and a healthy, well-shaped God triangle.

 

We need the protection of the Lord. We also need to live a life that’s pleasing to Him.

 

***All scriptures quoted are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

 

Writer Wendy Wallace Bio

wendy wallace

Wendy Wallace is a wife, mom, Christian Inspiration blogger and author. She is also a quadruple amputee. You can find her at One Exceptional Life, where she blogs about Overcoming Challenges,  Positivity, Christian Living and Amputee Life. Her free ebook, Inspiration Overload, is available for all new subscribers to her blog.

https://OneExceptionalLife.com 

An image of a pink bridal bouquet- Relationship triangle
Susan is a writer, speaker and the creator of Women of Noble Character ministries. She is passionate about helping Christian women deepen their walk with God through Bible study and creative worship and strengthen their marriages.

She lives in rural North Central Missouri with her handsome and hilarious husband and a myriad of dogs, cats and chickens.

Susan runs on Jesus, coffee and not enough sleep.
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