Are you looking for the perfect Bible passage to include in your wedding? Do you want to find something to include for a reading during the ceremony, a verse on your invitations or programs, or during a prayer?
The verses below can be a great addition for your big day while also offering wisdom for a happier and stronger marriage. They share a lot of truth about how to love well and create fulfilling, forgiving, long-lasting relationships.
Wondering which verses you could use for your wedding?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (English Standard Version)
This is what real, lasting love looks like and how to demonstrate it to others. It is a kind, strong, patient, enduring and humble kind of love that’s different from what you may experience on a regular basis. It’s the way that God loves you and the way He desires for people to love each other.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. (New Living Translation)
According to these verses, love is active, true, affectionate and honoring to the other person. It takes effort and sacrifice. It can withstand the struggles, joy and pains of life through prayer, patience and hope in God.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)
While dating, you may have spent a lot of time thinking about how you will dress on your wedding day, but have you thought about what you will need to “wear” every day throughout your marriage?
These verses talk about how you need to “dress” or respond each day in your relationships. It doesn’t take effort or intentionality to be self-focused, unforgiving or impatient — that comes naturally.
But it takes an active choice, time in the Bible, prayer, praise and thankfulness to God to be able to “put on” kindness when it’s hard, to wear humility when you think you are right, or dress with forgiveness as generously as Jesus did.
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it. (ESV)
In ancient Israel, where God’s people lived at the time this passage was written, the word “seal” meant possession or belonging. The wife in this poetic passage wants her husband to set her as a seal on his heart.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (ESV)
The Bible describes love as being filled with empathy (putting yourself in someone else’s shoes), tenderness and humility in both action and thoughts.
This kind of love doesn't give the other person what you think they deserve, but instead responds with kindness no matter what is “deserved.” This is how to demonstrate the way Jesus loves the world through the way you live and love the people in your life.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (ESV)
God’s design for people is for them to be in relationships and not to go through life alone. In friendship, teammates, family and marriage, you need the other person. Two are better than one.
But this verse goes on to also talk about a cord or rope not just being made of two strands but three. In this example, Jesus Christ is the “third cord” of a strong and healthy marriage or relationship. Putting God at the center of your relationship supernaturally strengthens it.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (ESV)
If one law governs your married relationship, let it be the law of love — of loving God first, and loving each other as yourselves. When you seek to do this, you’ve fulfilled all the other laws.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (ESV)
Love contributes toward genuine peace because it graciously forgives — as opposed to living in denial, dwelling on injustice or meting out paybacks.
The choice to keep loving each other even when you’ve been hurt is because you are choosing to forgive. God intended marriage to be a picture of how He loves us, and how He knows all of our good and our bad and still chooses to love us.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)
Following His creation of the world, God commissions Adam to name the animals. In this parade, it becomes clear to Adam that, in contrast, he has no suitable companion, no life partner.
God responds to Adam’s felt need by creating a partner, an intimate ally. In marriage, God intends a man and a woman to bond together and create a new family, above any other human relationship.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (ESV)
God knows what it’s like to love as a human. He knows humans love the idea of love, but not the hard work or sacrifice it takes to love someone well.
These verses say to make the perfect, immovable, persistent love of God be where you find your identity and hope when life doesn’t make sense.
Demonstrating God’s love to others and trusting isn’t easy and doesn’t always make sense. But, when you do, God promises to work things out for your good.
…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 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. (ESV)
Ephesians says the worthiness of your calling is marked by humility and gentleness. Those qualities define the way Jesus Himself lived and loved, and in your marriage you have the opportunity to mirror His humility and His gentleness in the way you love one another.
And as a married couple filled with the Holy Spirit, unity — oneness — is one the utmost callings (see John 17). What will you be willing to work through for the sake of true oneness?
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (New International Version)
On your wedding day, you will verbally declare your love and commitment to each other. But forty minutes and forty years from your wedding day, what will the story of your love be when times get tough? What will it look like when your spouse disappoints you? Or if you become a parent and mess up? Or when your bank account is empty and bills are piling up?
Proclaim your love not just in your vows but through the way you live and treat your spouse. You won’t do it perfectly, and you will need forgiveness along the way, but you can make loving through your actions your aim.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.” (ESV)
Poetically, King Solomon, the author of this passage from the Bible, speaks to his bride with metaphors of spring, appealing to her senses as a young husband. His words depict love at its finest: life-giving, blooming and full of new life.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)
The Bible refers to followers of Jesus, or the church, as His bride. This is because God created marriage to be a picture of His love for His people here on earth.
Your marriage is meant to mimic the greatest love story of all time: Jesus pursuing the world (followers of Jesus — His bride, the church) to the point of laying down His life for them and their sins.
If you follow Jesus, you are dearly loved and called to follow His example by humbling yourself and living in a way that demonstrates that love in your marriage and other relationships.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (ESV)
Loving each other as Jesus unconditionally loved, then sacrificed for you and me: It’s not easy. But when you love as Jesus did, it paves the way for creating and sustaining a healthy marriage.
Because, as Paul Miller writes in “A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships”:
“...once we discover that the other person is deeply flawed, we often pull back, thinking everything is wrong. A bad marriage is one where neither spouse does the hard work of love. But as soon as one spouse begins to do [steadfast, unfailing love], the bad marriage disappears.”
This doesn’t mean a relationship becomes easy. But when agendas are laid down and there is a desire to love even when it hurts, God’s love is beautifully demonstrated.
[Give] thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
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, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (ESV)
Marriage in the Bible reflects values different than those in popular culture, just how love in the Bible looks different from the love commonly seen in the world today.
These verses from Ephesians 5 that talk about the different biblical roles for the husband and wife in marriage can be tricky to read. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
Marriage is meant to be a picture of how Jesus loved the church, or His followers, by giving up His own life for them.
The passage begins by calling all people to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ.
The husband’s role uses Christ as the example to follow (who gave up His life by dying for those who love and follow Him). And then the passage goes into further detail about how a husband should serve his wife, by caring for her as diligently and faithfully as he cares for his own body.
In the context of this time period, a wife was to love and submit to her husband’s sacrificial leadership. This kind of submission was not a submission to violence, or exploitation, abuse or power (see Psalm 5:6, 11:5; Proverbs 6:16-19). It was a submission to the husband’s love, care, service and provision — like Christ’s bride trusts him.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV)
Sacrificial love allows us to see and experience God’s character as well as His love. God sent His own Son, Jesus, to make a way for us to be forgiven and have a relationship with the heavenly father, God, by dying and paying the punishment for sin.
God’s intervention, to the point of his own Son’s death, showed the depth of God’s love.
That is the model of love in marriage: playing out God’s example of loving and putting your spouse before yourself at times. Loving others in this way allows them to see God.
Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition 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. (ESV)
In life and marriage, the Bible calls for you to be unified with your spouse, and that will mean at times laying down your own way, pride and selfishness.
When you lay down your own agendas, rights and way for your partner’s sake, your life and marriage become a picture of the sacrifice God made for us through Jesus.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)
Having gentleness and tenderness toward the other person, even when you’ve been wronged, demonstrates the love of God and the making of a healthy marriage. You will both need love and forgiveness in your marriage. And you both need the other person to be kind and tenderhearted.
Love isn’t one sided. As author Ruth Bell Graham once said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (ESV)
In ancient Israel, it was legal for a husband to divorce his wife if he found any “indecency in her” (Deuteronomy 24:1). This could lead to a man divorcing his wife for almost any reason, leaving women in that time financially destitute without land and a way to survive.
Jesus saw this injustice and reminded people that divorce was never God’s desire. It only exists because of human beings’ failure to be loving: “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8, ESV).
(Matthew 19:6 could be placed on a save-the-date, wedding invitation or guest book.)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)
Among the gifts that God grants us within this life, only these are permanent: Faith, which is belief and trust. Hope, which is the expectation that God will bring about good. And love, which is wholehearted devotion to one another.
Don’t let your attention leave them.
(Try this verse on save-the-dates or wedding invitations.)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. (ESV)
This passage capitalizes on something you may already have recognized: Trust lies at the core of real love.
In Genesis 2:25, we learn that Adam and Eve, at their marriage, were “naked and unashamed.” In this, we find a metaphor for marriage as a whole: being holistically ourselves, yet unafraid — totally embraced and accepted.
Dr. Timothy Keller observes in “The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God” that “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.”
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (NIV)
This verse can celebrate your relationship and your wedding, and it can point to the source of joy, Jesus.
(Consider this for use on save-the-dates, invitations or place cards.)
I found him whom my soul loves. (ESV)
Solomon’s young bride poetically exclaims over her lover — and offers beauty that is still read centuries later.
(Consider this for use on save-the-dates, invitations or place cards.)
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together! (ESV)
For the couple that centers itself on Jesus, this verse expresses the purpose and thrill of their relationship.
(Consider this for use on save-the-dates, invitations or place cards.)
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (ESV)
A healthy marriage provides one of the richest ways to tangibly experience God’s generosity and kindness to us. Your relationship and the celebration of your marriage are both opportunities to demonstrate the faithfulness of God to those who trust in Him.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever! (ESV)
Use these ancient words of poetry to express your joy and delight in a God whose love has shown up and will continue to do so in your life and marriage.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
These words are a verbal blessing for unified relationships between Christians. “Unity” doesn’t eliminate personhood. Like a song with harmony, God-given uniquenesses are blended together for His honor.
(Consider this as a closing prayer or benediction to your ceremony!)
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (ESV)
In Jesus’ final prayer before His death, He asked God the Father for the kind of unity among Christians that would make them “perfectly one” to most clearly display Jesus to a watching world.
Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth. (ESV)
This verse is just one of many to express the fullness of your happiness and gratitude for God bringing you and your spouse together.
(Consider this as a concluding blessing to your ceremony, or consider using on place cards, invitations or save-the-dates.)
So many aspects of weddings express God’s love: the celebration, oneness, beauty, connectedness, family, sacredness, and pledges of faithfulness.
As you plan your own ceremony and prepare for your marriage, may these verses encourage you and be a great foundation for your life together.
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