Are you recently engaged, or do you know someone who is? The Bible has a lot to say to couples in this phase of life. So if you’re in the middle of navigating what a Christlike engagement looks like in a world that’s anything but - here are 10 verses you need to hear!
1. Genesis 2:24
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
From the very beginning of time, God-ordained an optimal way of doing things. One part of this ordained order is marriage. He created marriage as a way for men and women to be united in a partnership and companionship to help each other and glorify God.
At a point in their lives, they separate from their parent’s household and become united. This oneness is something that requires preparation. It’s a good thing to look forward to throughout your engagement season.
Sometimes, parents can struggle to let go and give a newly married couple some space to adjust. That’s why this is an excellent time to think about setting boundaries with your family so that you can put your new spouse first. This verse is a good reminder that even when it’s hard, it’s the way God created things to be!
2. Ephesians 5:31-32
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians is a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus to help them understand their role in God’s kingdom and how to grow into maturity. In chapter 5, he discusses roles in marriage. This chapter has since been a staple in premarital counseling sessions and marriage retreats.
The entire chapter is worth studying. It addresses both the husband and the wife on their roles in a biblical marriage. As you prepare for your wedding day, this is the perfect text to study together to learn about the roles Christ asks you to play in each other’s lives.
At the end of the passage, Paul concludes his arguments by stating that the reason behind marriage is Christ himself. Marriage was always meant to reflect the relationship between Christ and his church. In preparing for your marriage, verses like these can inspire you to remember who you represent as you display your love for one another.
3. Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it
Earlier in this chapter, Paul directly speaks to husbands about their part in the marriage covenant. This is another glorious reminder of the beauty behind marriage.
Most people will agree that weddings are beautiful celebrations. However, they become even more meaningful when that couple’s love is a symbolic representation of God’s eternal love for us.
As you prepare for marriage and discuss how to join your personalities, passions, talents, joys, and trials together into one household, this is an excellent time to talk about what it means to cultivate the selfless, self-giving love that this verse speaks of.
When Jesus gave his life for his bride, he demonstrated a standard of unconditional love that we should all strive to display for one another, especially our spouse.
4. Isaiah 62:5
For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
Even back in the prophetic books, the writers were talking about this beautiful analogy. For example, the book of Isaiah is filled with messianic prophecies that foretold the new reality we would experience when Jesus was here.
But even before the incarnation, themes of betrothals and marriages were used to help us understand God’s relationship with his people.
As you prepare for your wedding, you may be processing through intense emotions of joy, anxiety, excitement, or fear of change. Additionally, you may feel sentiments about your fiancé that run more deeply than what you’ve felt for other relationships in your life.
As you process the love and admiration you feel for your fiancé, these verses are a great reminder that God feels similarly about you. He rejoices over you, he loves you, and he invites you to be united with him in intimate communion. As you experience new things with another person for the first time, allow them to be sweet nudges that lift your eyes to your savior.
5. Deuteronomy 24:5
When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
Some people don’t make it through Deuteronomy when reading through the Bible because it’s filled with ancient rules and laws that don’t seem applicable anymore. This section of the book is talking about marriage and divorce laws that the Israelite people were to abide by.
It’s hard to keep reading when the context still seems to be removed from the modern-day church, but many of the underlying messages are worth noting.
For example, though marrying into other kingdoms or peoples is no longer forbidden, some of the same things still threaten to undo our marriages and bring conflict between husband and wife.
This is one reason why this law was so valuable. God knew that marriages take time and work to settle into, so he created a way for couples to protect that time together.
Though much of the context behind this law is not the same for us today, it may still be an excellent principle to simplify your schedule and prioritize time getting to know your spouse and establishing your marriage together. This will set a firm foundation for the years to come!
6. Proverbs 15:22
Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
Proverbs is called the book of wisdom for a good reason. Solomon, who wrote the book, was one of the wisest men on Earth. God offered to give him anything he wanted, and his request was to be wise. As a result, he wrote several biblical books of wisdom and served as a good king.
You could find good verses for marriage throughout the book, but this stands out because many new couples falsely believe they have to do this alone. Though engagement and marriage are intimate endeavors between the two of you, that doesn’t mean you have to figure it out yourselves.
Many couples have done this before and have many years of experience working to create good marriages. This proverb reminds us that getting advice from those around us is wise.
Find an older couple that you and your fiancé can talk to when questions come up. That kind of mentorship is a valuable tool to a new marriage that many people overlook.
7. Romans 12:9-10
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
Now that you’re engaged, you know what it means to be in love with someone. In this relationship and others, you have shown love towards those around you. But Romans takes it to a new level, reminding us that love doesn’t always feel warm and gushy.
This chapter of Romans tells us that a Christian’s act of spiritual worship requires offering themselves as a living sacrifice to God. In doing so, share his love and their spiritual gifts with the whole body of Christ. These are all marks of a faithful Christian.
The book follows these ideas with verses 9-10, telling us to show devotion in the way we love one another. Though this is not limited to only your fiancé, it is a practical way to learn to love your future spouse with devotion and humility now as you prepare for a lifetime together.
8. Philippians 2:3-4
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Themes from the last verse can be seen here in Philippians too. In this passage, Paul is exhorting the church to strive to exude the same humble disposition that Christ modeled. Considering the needs of your partner before your own is something that you can start practicing now.
A wide arrange of fights and arguments can be avoided by laying down your pride and embracing this humility. If the goal is to reflect Christ’s love to your partner, Paul is saying that Christ laid down his very life because of the love he has for us. He laid down his position in heaven and took on the limited nature of humanity to serve us.
As you consider how to serve your future spouse, consider Christ’s example. Your partner will notice when you put their needs above your own, and it will grow mutual trust and unity between you.
9. Hebrews 13:4
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Our world holds marriages very lightly. Divorce seems to fill up headlines and tabloids everywhere you look. And the percentage of couples that choose to live together and never marry is rising. However, the Bible sets a different example. Hebrews tells us to honor marriage and hold it with reverence.
The Bible also explains a robust sexual ethic that God tells us to live by for our benefit. Unfortunately, that doesn’t diminish the strength of sexual temptation that can come up, especially for engaged couples nearing their wedding day.
As you grow closer with your future spouse and look forward to greater intimacy with them, it is good to take practical steps to avoid temptation and keep your marriage bed pure. Sexual immorality of every kind can bring rifts between your relationships with God, your future spouse, and even a healthy view of sexuality.
Now is an excellent time to sit down with your future partner and discuss your expectations and boundaries so you can honor one another and look forward to your honeymoon with growing excitement!
10. 1 Corinthians 13:6-8a
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth
As you develop patterns of communication, conflict resolution, and trust that will lay a strong foundation for your marriage, chapters like 1 Corinthians 13 can help. This is called the love chapter because Paul lists out what true love is and what it isn’t. This can bring clarity as you seek to love your fiancé well.
These verses specifically mention themes of trust, truth, and perseverance. These words might not always be the first that come to mind when watching a romance movie, but the Bible tells us that this is the basis of a healthy relationship that radiates Christ.
Are you honest with your future spouse? Do you trust them, and are you proving to them that you are trustworthy? When things get hard, are you patient to work through it even if it takes a long time? Do you speak words of hope and faith to your partner when they’re having a bad day?
These are good questions to ask yourselves individually and together. How can you create patterns in your relationship that stand up even when you have a busy week and never see each other?
How can you establish rhythms that you can fall back on even when you’re disagreeing? Go through this chapter with your fiancé and discuss how you can grow this kind of love together.
10. 1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Marriage is hard. That’s one of the reasons there is a whole category of marriage books in bookstores. It’s an entire market because people need help. Even though divorce is common, very few people are pleased to get a divorce. It’s a sign of a very broken world that is filled with sin and pain.
Some people will say the first year of marriage is the hardest when you’re still getting to know each other. Some might say year three is the hardest because that’s when the honeymoon period wears off. Some might even say it’s year 10 or 20 when the real slump comes.
The reality is that every marriage goes through seasons and difficult parts. Pledging yourself to another is a commitment. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The Bible gives us more hope and joy about the marriage covenant than any marriage book will. This verse in 1 Peter specifically tells us that in our desire to love each other deeply, that same love will cover over many sins.
Not that they will disappear, but when you know someone loves you, it’s far easier to overlook their flaws and imperfections. Even small things that hurt you can be forgiven if there is mutual love and trust established. So, strive to create an environment where you practice forgiveness and reminding each other of the bigger picture when those little things get annoying.
Engagement is a time filled with excitement and hope as you wait for the day you say, “I Do!” Periods of waiting are times in the Bible that God reminds his people to rely on Him and be faithful to his covenants. So, as you look forward to establishing your own covenant, use these verses to help you meditate on the deep love of God, which will help you build a strong foundation of deep love for each other!