Five Admirable Traits of an Early Church Marriage

If you are in an imperfect marriage, take heart; a lot of us other humans are, as well. Not one of us is able to overcome the brokenness in ourselves and in our spouse. It is only at a distance that we can possibly look at someones marriage and see pure nuptial bliss. The closer we get to a husband and wife, the more we see how self-centeredness and insecurity impact even the most honest and loving of couples. Nevertheless, there are admirable traits of certain unions that we can look to for inspiration on the God-given gift of marriage.

Topics: Relationships

If you are in an imperfect marriage, take heart; a lot of us other humans are, as well. Not one of us is able to overcome the brokenness in ourselves and in our spouse. It is only at a distance that we can possibly look at someone’s marriage and see pure nuptial bliss. The closer we get to a husband and wife, the more we see how self-centeredness and insecurity impact even the most honest and loving of couples. Nevertheless, there are admirable traits of certain unions that we can look to for inspiration on the God-given gift of marriage.

In the Bible, one such example is the marriage of Priscilla and Aquila. They are mentioned only a few times in Scripture, but even in those brief moments, you will see commendable traits in their relationship that are worth further reflection. Like any couple, they weren’t perfect, but their story is one I admire and would love to see emulated in my own marriage and in those of my Christian brothers and sisters. Their story highlights five admirable traits of a Christian marriage. These traits are not recorded as God’s ordained requirements for us, but I believe they are worth seeking after as we navigate what a godly marriage looks like.

1. Godly couples are together. 

Each of the six times that Priscilla is mentioned in Scripture, her husband Aquila is mentioned with her. Likewise, you’ll never find Aquila’s name in the Bible without Priscilla. From what is told of them in the early church, what they do for the Kingdom, they do together. 

Heavenly Father, let us see more marriages where Kingdom labor is a shared ministry of the husband and the wife. Let us be equally yoked and jointly toiling for Your Name’s sake. 

2. Godly couples willingly go.

Acts 18:18 tells us that when Paul left the church of Corinth and sailed for Syria, he was accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. They were willing to leave behind places and people they knew well in order to share the gospel with the unreached.

Heavenly Father, let us see more marriages where our comfort is sacrificed for Your commission. Equip and inspire us to go where those who are now unfamiliar will, in Christ, become familial.

3. Godly couples serve the church.

1 Corinthians 16:19 tells us that a church was meeting in Priscilla and Aquila’s home. They used the resources they had been blessed with to serve the body of Christ by sharing with many what had been entrusted to them.

Heavenly Father, let us see more marriages where what has been given to us is not solely used by us. Bless our body with generosity and a sense of community, so that what one couple receives, we all, through them, receive.

4. Godly couples disciple others.

Acts 18:26 tells us that when Apollos began to speak boldly in the synagogue, Priscilla and Aquila took him aside to explain to him more accurately “the way of God.” When they saw inadequacies or immaturity in the lives of others, they took it upon themselves to instruct and guide them.

Heavenly Father, let us see more marriages with the transparency, integrity, willingness, diligence and patience to train others. Give us mature believers who invest in the weak and immature believers who seek the wise.

5. Godly couples courageously self-sacrifice.

Romans 16:3-4 tells us that Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for Paul. We don’t know the circumstances, but we can reasonably guess that in a time when believers were under frequent threat of death for placing their faith in Christ, Priscilla and Aquila acted bravely in the face of danger for the sake of others. They were willing to give up their own lives in service of the King. In fact, legend tells us that the two were eventually martyred.

Heavenly Father, let us see more marriages that respond to opposition, not with cowardice or timidity, but with courage and tenacity. Instill in us a fear of God that inspires a fearlessness of the world. Equip us to courageously risk all in this life by not taking our eyes off eternity with You.

Recommended Resources

The Acts Digital Guide

What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp

Catching Foxes by John Henderson