You need God
The only way that you can have a successful marriage is God. All other means will fail. You can do everything imaginable, but unless God intervenes your marriage will not be great. This is true for single people seeking marriage and those who are already married. This same principle applies across all of life not just in marriage; you need God or you will fail.
Many people want God to work within their lives and marriage, yet they refuse to acknowledge their sin against God. Repentance is the first step to God working within your marriage. You need to repent of all sexual sin within your present and past. You need to repent of all pride, selfishness, and anger. Many single people tell themselves that they will stop sinful behavior when they get married; this is simply self-deception. Many couples who are living in sexual sin believe that getting married is “making it right.” Repentance is making it right. You need to confess your sin to God and one another. You need to take steps to ensure victory over sin. These sins will destroy your marriage and grieve God, and you desperately need Him in your marriage.
Invite God into your life and marriage
Many couples ignore God yet blame Him when things do not go well. We must be seeking God’s involvement within our marriage. We need to be constantly around His people and under the preaching and teaching of His Word. We must pray with our spouse. We must read the Bible together and seek God’s face as a couple. We must ensure that our private devotional life does not suffer, and we must ensure that our spouse has the time necessary alone with God. Those who are single need to be seeking God now so that He will guide them into a Christ-exalting marriage.
Follow God’s direction
All of these things will avail you nothing if you do not actually trust God enough to do what He says. Many people turn up their nose at what God has said in the Bible about marriage, gender roles, divorce, children, etc. They then in turn blame God for their marital misery. The problem is not with God; the problem is those who did not follow His direction. God is the Creator of marriage; as such He knows how marriage works. You need to listen to Him and obey Him.
This is the Gospel
This advice is nothing more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ applied to the institution of marriage. We need to repent of our sin, receive Jesus into our lives, and in faith obey Him. This application of the Gospel to marriage is what builds strong, happy marriages.
Will you repent of your sin? How will you invite Jesus into your life and marriage? Will you obey His commands?