Berean Blog

A Marriage that Matters: One Ingredient that Makes All the Difference

Sadly, in our culture today, marriage is often regarded as outdated, and the prospect of marriage has been dulled by the prominence of divorce. Young people are often more cautious to enter into a marriage commitment because of the failure and heartbreak of their own parents' marriage. But what if those watching our marriages saw that marriage is a beautiful gift to be pursued? What if they could see that Jesus makes all the difference? Here at Berean, we believe that Jesus transforms lives. That includes transforming our sometimes empty and messed up marriages into the very best.

by Todd & Ellen Johnson on November 07, 2023


Marriages, weddings, brides, and bridegrooms – they make the pages of the Bible from the first chapter to the last.

In Genesis, God created man in his own image to walk in relationship with him. Then God said it was not good for man to be alone, so he created woman and established the first human relationship – marriage. In Hosea, we read the story of Hosea’s love and pursuit of Gomer, his unfaithful wife. Song of Songs describes the love relationship between Solomon and his bride.  Fast forward to the end of the Bible, as Revelation 21:2 talks about the New Jerusalem “prepared as a bride (the Church) adorned for her husband (Jesus).”

Remarkably, the Bible uses the example of frail, sinful human marriages to help us understand the perfect, eternal relationship between God and his people, the Church. This makes us believe that marriage is important to God.

Our culture often does not value marriage.

The prospect of marriage has been dulled by the prominence of divorce and is often regarded as outdated. Children who witness the failure and heartbreak of their own parents' marriage, often ending in divorce, are understandably more cautious about making a commitment that could go bad for them as well. Our media certainly reinforces that mindset. Can you think of many TV shows or movies that portray marriage in a positive way?

What if, instead, those watching our marriages saw that marriage is a gift to be pursued and, if they looked closely, discovered that Jesus makes all the difference?

What is God's view of marriage?

God’s view of marriage has not changed because God and his Word are unchangeable.

Ephesians 5:31 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” God tells them both to leave - to transfer primary dependence and affection from others (family and friends) to their spouse and prioritize their relationship above all people. “Hold fast” sounds like super glue, making a powerful, instant bond difficult to tear apart. When a man and woman marry, this covenant or promise before God “holds fast” and binds them together. In the security of a priority relationship, cemented with a covenantal promise, a couple can begin to experience one-flesh intimacy (emotional, physical, and spiritual) in marriage as God intended.

Ephesians 5:32 says, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church.” A Bible commentary on this verse says, “The profound truth of the union of Christ and his 'bride,' the Church, is beyond unaided human understanding. It is not that the relationship of husband and wife illustrates the union of Christ and the Church, but that the basic reality is the latter, with marriage a human echo of that relationship” (italics ours). We love this image!

All of us have an opportunity for our marriages to echo what we know and have experienced as followers of Christ. And those watching will notice.


We must model marriage as a priority for our kids.

As we raised our four kids, we tried to have regular date nights several times a month. We sometimes had to disappoint our kids when our own plans for a date interfered with their plans. We believed that giving our marriage priority gave our kids security in our family and an example for their own future marriages. As parents, it is so tempting to make kids the priority and allow our lives to totally revolve around them. It can feel selfish to put our marriages above our children, but it is one of the most important things we can do for them.

In his book Fun Loving You, Ted Cunningham says, “Our En Gedi (lush garden/oasis) begins by prioritizing marriage and eradicating the kid-centered home. According to Genesis 2:24, God created the bond between husband and wife to be stronger than the bond between parent and child . . . Children are a welcomed addition to the home, but they are not going to be with us forever.” So true! There is a phenomenon called the “Graying Divorce,” and couples find that after the kids leave the nest, they no longer know, love, or enjoy one another. They have been living as roommates and parents, but not in the oneness of marriage as God intended.

Parents, your children are watching your marriage. What are they seeing? 

Jesus wants to change our lives, including our marriages.

Interestingly, the first miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding – a very festive Jewish celebration. How symbolic that Jesus (the bridegroom) began to build his Church (the bride) at a wedding!

John 2:1-11 tells the story. With his mother's prompting, Jesus spared the master of the feast the humiliation of running out of wine, showing some who were watching that he was the Son of God. He changed water into wine, providing the guests with a plentiful supply of not just wine but the very best wine. Most guests didn’t realize that a miracle had occurred, but those watching closely knew that Jesus was not just an ordinary man. Jesus saved the party that day, but more importantly, began saving people as they believed in him.

Just as Jesus was able to transform plain water into fine wine, he wants to transform our lives, including our sometimes empty and messed up marriages, into the very best. And those watching will notice what he has done.

God will be faithful as you put him first in your marriage.

In our own marriage, we have experienced seasons of joy, uncertainty, loss, frustration, abundance, financial stress, sickness, happiness, conflict, and oneness. God has been faithful through the ups and downs of our 43 years of marriage. In difficult times, we have often grown the most in our dependence upon God, and then he draws us closer together as a couple. We pray that God uses our marriage as an example of his love and faithfulness to our children, grandchildren, friends, family, and others watching.

If you are married, we encourage you to see your marriage as more than a means to be happy, but a call to love, forgive, and serve each other out of love for Christ so that those watching cannot help but notice!

About the Authors:
Todd and Ellen have been attending Berean since 2015, and Todd has served as a Berean Elder since 2019. They are involved in Marriage Mentoring and the newly created Marriage Ministry Team, as well as ushering. Todd and Ellen have been married for 43 years and have four adult children and seven grandchildren.

Did you know Berean has a Marriage Ministry?

Berean has Marriage Mentors available to coach both engaged and married couples in preventing relational problems and enriching marriage. Although they are not counselors, they are trained to know when and how to refer a couple to a licensed professional counselor. Please visit Berean's Care Page to learn more.

Berean also offers Marriage Ministry events throughout the year with special date nights, speakers, and classes. Check back to our Events Page in 2024 for our next Marriage Ministry event!

To hear a story of how Jesus transformed one marriage, click HERE!

Marriage Ministry

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