Is Jesus at Home in Your Marriage?

by Ryan Rasberry on

Articles 8 min read
Genesis 2:24 Ephesians 3:14–19 Revelation 3:20

It is funny what some people say about marriage.

"Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are." —Will Ferrell

“When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” —Prince Philip

“I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” —Rita Rudner

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you will be happy. If you get a bad one, you will be a philosopher.” —Socrates

“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”Benjamin Franklin

Funny, huh?

Did you know…

Of the marriages that end in divorce, the average length of those marriages in less than 8 years. Every 42 seconds, there is one divorce in America…that equates to 86 divorces per hour, 2,046 divorces per day, 14,364 divorces per week, and 746,971 divorces per year. (From “Divorce Statistics: over 115 studies, facts and rates for 2022”)

The point: Marriages are fragile.

And marriage is fairly important to God, to put it mildly. Marriage was the first institution He established in the Bible (Genesis 2:24)… before nations, before governments, before Israel, before the church. Marriage was the building block, the platform, the foundation that God built all other institutions in the world upon. So, it isn’t surprising then that the first attack that Satan brought against humanity was against a married couple. And it isn’t surprising that as marriage goes, so goes the family, so goes the neighborhood, so goes the community, so goes the city, so goes the state, so goes the country, so goes the world.   

My wife and I are thrilled that three of our four kids are now married. We are excited for them and expect that our fourth child is headed in that direction. There are few joys in life that can compare to being married, but there are also few heartaches and challenges that are greater than marriage. Based on our 31 years of matrimony, we know that a marriage will not hold together because of feelings, romance and butterflies in your stomach. Healthy and growing marriages do not happen by chance. They take intentionality, hard work, dedication and much more than just reciting your vows before a crowd of witnesses.

For a marriage to stay alive and thrive, it takes three! One woman, one man and one God. Think about marriage like a triangle. A husband and wife, the bottom corners of the triangle, will move closer to each other if they are moving closer to Jesus, the pinnacle. He’s the one who said in John 10:10,I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Now Jesus certainly could be talking about the eternal state… the life He gives after this life ends. But He could have meant, and even likely meant, that a person’s life in this present reality will be more alive and overflowing with Him in it. Wouldn’t that apply to marriage, too?

Is Jesus a part of your marriage? If so, how much? Is He a guest in your home or is He one of the family? Does He have a seat at your dinner table, a voice in your conversations, a key to the front door, a coffee cup with His name on it? Calling yourself a believer, a saint, a Christian, does not necessarily mean that Jesus is “at home” in your heart. And if He is not at home in your heart, how can He be at home in your marriage?

Listen to what Paul prayed for the believers, Christians at Ephesus.

For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Paul’s desire and prayer for every believer was to know the love of Christ and that comes when Christ “dwells” in their hearts. That means Jesus is at home, not a guest, one of the family, full access, refrigerator rights granted, no rooms off limits. I’d call that an “open house,” wouldn’t you?

Here are two ways to make Jesus at home in your life and marriage.

Open the door when He knocks.

Jesus told the churches in Revelation 3:20,Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in....” Remember, this is the church He’s talking to, not unbelievers. Jesus had been praising, correcting, encouraging and rebuking the seven churches in Asia right before He said these words. Some had lost their first love and others had grown lukewarm, while others had grown more worldly in their lives. They were drifting, and when we drift away, Jesus knocks. He never pulls away from us. He gets even closer. Jesus wants intimacy, an “at home” relationship with His bride. So, when Jesus knocks on the door of your home by His Spirit, in your gut, open the door.

Have dinner with Him.

Jesus goes on to say in Revelation 3:20, “…I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” Eating together is for intimacy, fellowship and conversation, not just for consumption of calories. When I walk into my mom and dad’s house, I give them each a hug and walk right over to the refrigerator to see what they’ve got. They don’t let just anybody do that—that is what family does. Family eats together; family laughs and cries and discusses and debates and works things out together in a communal way. One of the most inviting things to say to someone who comes in your home is, “Can I get you something to eat or drink?” Eating together draws us to one another and what Jesus was saying to His family was “Let’s sit and eat and talk and fellowship and commune with each other. I’d like to be at home with you.”

So, what does having dinner with Jesus look like on an individual level? It looks like personally, consciously and literally talking to Him. The biblical word is pray...the normal word is talk. You have many things pulling at you…stress and strife and wants and wishes. He doesn’t want you to bear this on your own, so cast all your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). But don’t do all the talking. You need to listen too. Actively and expectantly listen to Him. This most often comes through His Word and by the Holy Spirit in you. Listen and receive whatever He tells you. Whatever! He may want to talk to you about your money, your anxiety, your lust, your courage, your hope, your healing, your faith…whatever He wants to talk about, listen and discuss it with Him.

What does having dinner with Jesus look like in your marriage? It means that you set the table for Him because He lives there too. With Jesus at the table, you include Him in the conversation. He has a voice in working through your challenges and celebrates your successes with you. He speaks into your marriage to address unhealthy, ungodly, unhelpful thoughts, words, attitudes and actions between the two of you. When you’re discussing your budget, Jesus is right there chiming in. When you’re struggling with the kids, He listens and cares and offers advice and support. Jesus becomes more at home in your home because you’ve made room for Him. He is part of every conversation and every decision. His opinion matters, more than anyone else’s.

So, is Jesus at home in your heart? If not, pray Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-17. Is Jesus at home in your marriage? Listen for the knock, open the door and bon appétit!

About the Author

Ryan Rasberry (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) is a Community Pastor and Director of Care Ministries at Central Bible Church.