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  • Lysandra Osterkamp

Healthy in Marriage

Can a healthy marriage exist? You hear so many stories of terrible marriages. Women being physically abused by their husbands, men putting up with an angry nagging wife, women berating and harassing their husband, or stories as horrific as a wife being raped by her husband for years. Where are the stories of happy healthy marriages that last the test of time? Are there marriages where two followers of Jesus love each other and treat each other in a loving healthy way? Do marriages like this even exist or are they a myth? Is it even possible to hope to have a unicorn marriage like that?

We are so happy to say that happy, healthy marriages do exist. They are not impossible. They are not just some myth or fantasy. The way to have this kind of marriage is as simplistic as following God’s plan for marriage as described in the Word of God.

The reason there are so many miserable Christian marriages is because there are people twisting what God says in His Word about a loving healthy marriage to become a heinous monstrous dangerous relationship. There are religious leaders who will interpret Bible passages incorrectly and then teach others what they believe this passage on marriage means.

Usually, the man is given the freedom and permission to treat the woman any way he sees fit. Then you are told you have no way out. Divorce isn’t an option. So, you’re stuck in a terrible situation because you have a desire to follow God.

This is not what God wants for you. This was not His plan for you. The most important thing for married

Christians to do to understand God’s plan for marriage is to read and understand scripture for ourselves. As you research God’s plan for a healthy marriage remember two things: context and character.

First context. Don’t allow someone to teach and preach a whole philosophy on marriage from a single verse pulled out of a chapter. Read the entire chapter. Read the entire book. Get an understanding of who is writing, who it is written to, what the culture of the day is, and what the spirit of the writing is. Understanding the context of verses is crucial to preventing a perversion of God’s Word through false teaching. If someone is teaching you about marriage using Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” and they say that submission in marriage means the wife does anything and

everything the husband says, you can be sure something is not right and a verse has most likely been taken out of context.

When this happens ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you personally seek truth from the Word of God. Read the entire chapter where the verse was pulled from and get a feel for the passage. Read the entire book. Research who it was written to and why it was written. When you do this you will find the truth from this verse does not mean that a husband is ruler over the wife and therefore gets to do anything to her and gets to make her do anything and everything he says. This is not what you find in the context.

Looking at the context of Ephesians 5:22, reveals the false teaching in their interpretation of that single verse. In the previous verse just one before it we read, vs 21, “submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ.” That verse tells us all to submit to one another. As we are told in Romans 12:10 to “defer to one another;” men and women. Men are the head of the home as Christ is the head of the church. Which means sacrificial love. That is

how Christ treated and treats His church.

Context is only the beginning of understanding a healthy marriage. Next look at character. Read the Word of God cover to cover. Study who God is and how He responds to people, to situations, and to sin. Get an understanding of the character of God. Study the gospels. Read and reread the life of Jesus who was God in the flesh. What was His character How did He treat people, how did He respond to situations, and to sin?

When we have an understanding of who God is we can identify false teaching. It’s as though a red flag has been thrown into the air. We know that the teaching we’ve just heard doesn’t line up with the character of God. Something isn’t right about this teaching.

We urge you not to go on this red flag alone but allow this to drive you to personally study this teaching. Based on the fact that this teaching goes against what you know of God’s character, begin to study other potions of Scripture on this topic. Pray asking guidance from the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. Compare scripture with scripture. Get the whole story.

A healthy marriage can be a reality for you and your spouse. We want to share a few tips on how to create a healthy marriage based on our study of marriage in the Word of God.

1. Seek God first.

Even before your own happiness or your own desires, seek God. Seek God before you

seek your spouse. Seeking God first is the key to a healthy life and therefore a healthy

marriage. When both spouses are seeking God first, the results are a healthy

relationship. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and

all these things will be added to you.”

2. Love like Jesus.

If you are loving your spouse as Jesus loves and your spouse is loving you as Jesus loves,

your marriage will be spectacular! Jesus loves unconditionally, sacrificially, wholly,

unrestrained, continuously, and with action. Jesus’ love is perfect, if you and your

spouse will strive to love each other as Jesus loves, you will have an unbelievable

marriage! John 15:13, “No greater love has a man than this that a man lay down his life

for His friends.”

3. Put them first.

It is human nature to look out for ourselves. We want to protect ourselves and our

interests. If you want your marriage to be amazing, both spouses must put the other

first. The goal should be to give your spouse what they want and need over what you

want and need. When both spouses are putting the other first, your marriage will be

incredible! Philippians 2:3-5, “Do nothing from selfish ambition 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.”

4. Forgive Often.

Your spouse will mistreat you. You will mistreat your spouse. Forgiveness must be a

regular part of your relationship. Forgive the way God forgives, completely and

repeatedly. Forgive the way you want your spouse to forgive you. Holding on to the

wrong done against you will only make you miserable. You will become bitter and

unhappy. Forgive, let it go, move on. Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another,

tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

5. Communicate clearly.

Talk to each other. It sounds so simple but it’s important and can be way harder than it

sounds! It may be difficult for you to talk about your feelings or why you’re upset. It may

feel impossible to share what you truly think about something. Being honest and open is

incredibly valuable. Tell the truth in a loving way. Be open, be honest and when you are,

you will experience a deeper more fulfilling relationship. Ephesians 4:15, “Rather,

speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into


These are just a few tips on how to create a healthy marriage based on some principles found in Scripture. Now it’s time for you to search our context and character. Are these points taken out of context? Do they go against the character of God? If they do, don’t follow them. If they are in line with God’s Word and God’s character, follow them and enjoy the beauty of a healthy marriage.

Lysandra Osterkamp is a passionate follower of Jesus. She is a speaker, storyteller, teacher, podcaster, women’s and marriage counselor, and author. She is married to her childhood sweetheart, Thomas Osterkamp, Lead Pastor at Beachside Community Church in Palm Coast, FL. They have been serving God in pastoral ministry for over 20 years. Lysandra and Thomas have four beautiful, spunky, funny girls: Kathryne, Isabella, Abigail, and Violet. Their house is always busy, dramatic, exciting, and full of love.

Check out Lysandra's podcast and book!

Family Meeting Podcast

Happily Never After

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