The foundation of a healthy marriage is a servant heart, with each spouse submitting to the other. A servant heart takes the mind off yourself, can receive criticism without being crushed, gives suggestions without crushing, and forgives without residual anger.
How can we have a servant heart? First, we remember that we were nothing. Now, we are children of God entirely because of Christ, not because of our performances, accomplishments, or love. Christ sacrificed dearly for us and our spouses. So, at least out of reverence for Christ, we should serve our spouses with an unselfish heart gifted us by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:21).
Marriage is a permanent, exclusive, public, and legal commitment to share your entire life together. This commitment should override your feelings and emotions. Your commitment, investment in the relationship, and love toward your spouse strengthen each other. Where you invest your time and effort—where your treasure is—is where your heart will be.
Marriage should be prioritized above all other relationships. It is where a man leaves his parents and unites to his wife (Ephesians 5:32-33, Genesis 2:24). Most other societies emphasize children and parents, but in Christianity, marriage is the vortex of your life. The relationship with your spouse must come before that of your parents, children, friends, and career (Ephesians 5:28).
Differences in upbringing, previous family patterns, and previous ways of living can lead to misunderstandings and severe conflicts within a marriage. You need to understand your spouse deeply. Sit down, discuss the differences, and change. Let marriage be a fresh start; it has the power to change the course of your life, tear you down, and build you up.
Marriage isn’t a human invention, and its primary function isn’t for your happiness. Marriage was created by God to make you holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27). It is the most intense relationship because you can’t hide from your spouse. You are forced to see your mistakes, selfishness, and prejudices; God makes you confront them through marriage.
Love is something only a Holy-Spirit-created unselfishness can maintain. So go to God in your marriage and rely on Him.
Summarized from a Tim Keller’s sermon: