Looking to build a marriage that’s godly, reverent, and lasting? We’ve assembled a list of six important attributes for you from scripture that you and your fiance can meditate on and discuss as you plan your wedding–or that you and your spouse can focus on in your day-to-day married life.

Of course, the greatest of all ingredients for a godly marriage is love, but the following list details some of the other important qualities the Bible tells us we need in order to have a happy, harmonious, lifelong marriage. These qualities come from love, and they’re just as important to your marriage as the warm fuzzies you feel for one another.

Faithfulness

When we say our vows at the altar, we promise to be faithful to one another for as long as we live. Loyalty to our spouse is the foundation of trust in our marriage; when loyalty and faithfulness disappear, so does that trust. And once broken, trust is difficult to re-establish.

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:9 (NIV)

Honor

Merriam-Webster defines honor as “high respect; esteem.” It’s next-level respect, and as married couples, we’re meant to give the highest regard to one another. We show honor in the way we speak to each other, the way we behave, and the way we conduct ourselves both in and out of the home.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 (NIV)

Humility

Pride and arrogance have no place in a harmonious marriage; instead, we’re meant to be humble and unassuming; we shouldn’t jump to worst-case conclusions about one another, and we must always be ready to step up and admit when we’re wrong. Humility means not pushing our opinions on one another (even when we’re right), and giving our spouse the floor when we might really want it ourselves.

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3(NIV)

Patience

It can be a challenge to be patient with one another, especially when it comes to the inevitable personality clashes we have with our spouses from time to time. But the scriptures urge us to exercise patience, and to show kindness when we’re feeling irritated with one another. It’s one of the many attributes that helps us keep the peace in our marriages.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

Understanding

Because a marriage consists of two very different people merging their lives and creating a home together, it’s important for us to try to understand each other–especially when our spouse is hardest to understand. Practicing empathy–the art of stepping into your spouse’s shoes and seeing situations from his or her angle–will help you as you work daily to understand one another.

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.” – 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)

Unity

In a marriage, husbands and wives are on the same team–two people who have chosen to be joined together as one. Unity doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything or have all the same preferences, likes, and dislikes; instead, it means sticking together in spite of your differences. It’s a conscious decision to work together to reach consensus, compromising when necessary as you make decisions together, both big and small.

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

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Written by Les and Leslie Parrott

Les and Leslie Parrott

Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott are international speakers and #1 New York Times bestselling authors of numerous books, including the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. They are also founders of the game-changing SYMBIS (check it out at symbis.com) for couples. Les and Leslie have been featured in USA Today and the New York Times and they have appeared on CBS This Morning, Fox News, The View, and Oprah.