[By Jeremy Lelek, M.A., LPC, President, Association of Biblical Counselors and Metroplex Counseling. He also is an adjunct professor with Redeemer Seminary and a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Jeremy is our blogger for the month of July and this is his fifth post.]
I. Does the couple read the Bible together on a regular basis?
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, ESV).
II. Does the couple place their marriage as a priority?
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…(Ephesians 5:22; 25, ESV).
III. Does each seek to put the interests of their spouse above their own?
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4, ESV).
IV. Do they use their speech to build up one another?
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6, ESV).
V. Are they honest in their communication?
“Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Proverbs12:19, ESV).
VI. Do they have a mutually satisfying sexual relationship?
“For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited tie, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (I Cor. 7:4-5).
VII. Is the couple sexually faithful to one another?
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14, ESV).
VIII. Do either of them use or view pornography?
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, ESV).
IX. Does either the husband or the wife abuse alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription)?
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads righteousness” (Romans 6:16, ESV).
X. Is the couple dealing with any significant financial debt?
“One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless” (Proverbs 14:16, ESV).