There was a time in my life that I truly believed that the key to a perfect marriage consisted of one simple qualification: The husband and the wife just needed to be Christians. That was the secret. If they were both Christians, they might have a few problems but never any of the major ones. People who had affairs could not be Christians. People who verbally abused their spouses could not be Christians. People who were selfish in their marriages could not be Christians.
Even when I was beginning grad school to be a counselor, I was under the illusion that the marriage counseling I would be doing with Christians would be relatively simple. Maybe I would help steer couples who had gotten off track back in the right direction.
Then reality began to set in, and I learned that Christian couples are vulnerable to the same issues in life and marriage as non-Christians. Married Christians have affairs and use abusive language and are selfish. The difference is that Christian couples have hope in a God who greatly values marriage and will do everything we allow Him to do to turn a train-wreck marriage completely around.
So while it’s true that all Christian couples do not have great marriages, it’s also true that Christian couples can have great marriages. This formula is one that I talk about a lot: God first and spouse second. If you want a great marriage, put God first. Pray, read the Bible, seek to follow Him each day, and be the spouse He designed you to be. Then putting your spouse second will be the natural next step and you will be that Christian couple with a great marriage!