On our 31st Anniversary, 4 Keys to Being a Godly Leader in Your Marriage

First off, we do not have the perfect marriage. My wife can improve in a lot of areas. Guess I haven’t learned much in 31 years – haha. But seriously – none of the topics I write on mean that I have arrived and certainly this one doesn’t mean that we’ve arrived in marriage either. However, I write the Essential Godly Leadership blog to point people to God for leadership advice, which isn’t usually where people turn to for their leadership advice I’ve learned through the years. 

When it comes to marriage, it’s important to remember that this whole thing is God’s idea. He created us emotionally, physically, and relationally to be someone of the opposite sex. This gift of marriage is actually called just that in I Corinthians 7 – the spiritual gift of marriage. By the way, for all of my single friends, in that same passage is the spiritual gift of singleness. For those with the gift of marriage, it’s the better path – God’s path for them. For those with the gift of singleness, it’s the better path – God’s path for them. But as we talk about being a Godly Leader in your marriage, remember that God has a plan for marriage because He created it!

On our 31st wedding anniversary, I will say that we have discovered, through the path the Lord has led us on, several keys to being a Godly (not perfect) Leader in your marriage. 


We believe God created the marriage relationship to be done together. We see the support of that in marriage surveys and statistics. We see the proof of that in couples that we have known through the last 30 years that have thrived and survived and those that didn’t. We were made to be together as a husband and a wife. 

I’m amazed at how many couples have so much life that they do apart. One of our keys to marriage has been to do life together. We go to bed together at the same time. We have all of our bank accounts and our budget together. We go on walks together. We eat meals together. We go on our vacations together. We watch shows together. Now we obviously aren’t together 24/7, but if you were to look at the vast majority of our days and weeks, we had purposeful, intentional time doing life together. 

For the most part, doing life together doesn’t just happen by chance. As you live and lead in your marriage, it is Essential that you talk about the how, the when and the why that you need to do life together. Talk about it as a young married couple and talk about it as life (and maybe kids) start to drift you apart. Without intentionality and leadership, life and marriage drifts. 

Matthew 19:5-6 gives us the charge as a married couple – to be one. “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”


Yes, life can get into ruts. Yes, I like my ruts. No, I am not spontaneous. But, one thing our marriage isn’t, is boring. We take trips. We go to games. We go kayaking. We go out to eat. We go for drives. We do things with our friends and family. We plan for fun, date nights and excursions in advance to ensure that they are protected and planned. 

Now, there is a huge element of fun and excitement that comes from spontaneity. My wife Rachel is much better at that than me. I encourage spontaneity and enjoy it while it’s happening. I’m just not good at it. 

But marriage is about both – planning and spontaneity. Let the spouse with the greatest ability in each category lead the charge for you. 

We have a creative God that created an incredible world – take advantage of it!


You’re probably saying right now, “You’re a pastor, so you have to put ‘go to church’”. Well yes, I am, but that’s not why I put that down. If you want a Godly marriage, church needs to be a weekly priority. As you Go to church, and as you Get involved and as you Give to the Lord’s work, your marriage will Grow in its relationship with and connection to the Lord. That’s not because you are doing those things per se, but because as you do those things (and do them together in large part) your heart for and love for the Lord will grow. Godly Leaders realize and recognize that and lead their marriage relationship, discussions and commitments to that end goal. 

I also believe in being in a community of other married couples that you can learn from, have fun with, pray for and with and talk about life’s ups and downs. I love learning from our group what is working in their marriage. I love seeing God work in their marriage. We love praying for our group and meeting on Monday nights. The question should not be “Are you in a group?” but rather “What group are you in?


31 days of marriage, 31 months of marriage and 31 years of marriage all bring ups and downs. Life comes at you hard. It’s amazing and it’s challenging. All of it needs prayer. Prayer in marriage doesn’t just happen. (See a theme here?). It takes thought, intentionality and leadership. Our kids still think that our make love secret phrase is “let’s go pray together”. We do have a secret phrase but you’ll have to read to the end to find out what it is. When they were growing up they heard us say “let’s go pray together”. Guess what – that’s what we did! The couple that prays together stays together! Paul wasn’t talking to married couples when he penned Philippians, but the prayer principle sure applies to married couples. Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

No, you didn’t miss it, I’m not telling you our secret phrase. 😉

This is just 4 of the ways that we have grown in having a Godly marriage over 31 years. Literally we could write a book on the topic and would include 144 additional keys. What other keys have you found? 

We could talk a lot more on this topic, but we’ll leave it there for now. What are your thoughts or questions? Leave them in the comments. If you found this blog helpful or thought-provoking, please Subscribe Below to receive a new weekly blog in your email on Tuesday morning. Also, if you think this blog would be helpful for others, please share it on social media or tell a few friends about it! 

Love being on this Essential Godly Leadership journey with you!

Essential Godly Leadership: “Leading your life, your family, your work, your relationships, and your world in a way that is seeking wisdom from, and pleasing to, the Lord Jesus.”


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