7 Stages of Marriage, Part 1

A Biblical look at the 7 Stages of Marriage. This first part looks at the stages of Passion and Realization.

According to a recent Reader's Digest article there are 7 Stages of Marriage.  I "translated" this article with a Biblical lens, hoping to add principles that help us navigate these 7 possible stages successfully. Obviously, these are generalizations. Very few marriages will identically match these 7 stages, but they can give us perspective and wisdom if we apply them where they are applicable.

1. The Passion Stage
This stage starts before marriage and continues for one or two years.

During this stage God actually gives couples a burst of "neurotransmitters" that not only produce great joy but also help establish "trust, respect and emotional intimacy." 

For the Christian, the passion stage before marriage is a great foundation if built on purity, without sexual intimacy. This is one way God sets Christian relationships apart, sparing couples from guilt, harmful fantasies, and false attitudes toward marital intimacy. 

If your marriage relationship included premarital sex, I encourage you to seek God's wholeness in this area by repenting of your past. 

1 John 1:8-10: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

2. The Realization Stage
Usually after the first year or two a more realistic view of married life emerges. 

We begin to notice our spouse's weaknesses, sins - his/her "humanness" - and we experience some disappointments and conflict. 

It's important to work through this stage with commitment and acceptance, examining our own sins before addressing our spouse's sin. Judging our spouse without first judging ourselves is the kind of judging Scripture condemns (Matthew 7:1-4). 

As Christians, we know that our world is fallen and we're sinful beings. We know the importance of giving and receiving grace. 

Unrealistic expectations at this stage (or any stage) can cause problems. It's important to remember that God will use the difficult aspects of our spouse's personality/character for our good (Romans 8:28).

Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. 

To read more about the "The 7 Stages of Marriage":
Part 2: Rebellion, Cooperation, Explosive
Part 3: Reunion, Completion
*These posts are a summary of the material presented in the Reader's Digest articles plus my personal insights and experiences.

A Biblical look at the 7 Stages of Marriage. This first part looks at the stages of Passion and Realization.


  1. I've always been fascinated by the "seasons" of marriage and feel like they are very much like the stages of grief, although not completely. I'm interested in hearing about the next two stages, Gail. This was a very interesting post!

  2. Very good information, especially for young newleyweds who have no idea that the seasons change. Better to anticipate them and prepare

  3. wow! great information. i was just talking with a friend about how most arguments come from unmet expectations. thank you for this post! can't wait for more... here from- growing home link-up!

  4. You are never to old or married to long to learn something from the wisdom of others!
    Looking forward to reading the rest.

  5. Even though we both didn't know or weren't aware of these stages and messed up badly on stage two, it amazes me how God has extended grace as we stuck it out together for the past 34 years. Ours isn't a perfect marriage by any means but yet God keeps working on my heart.

    I saved this post in an opened tab for two days until I could get the time to read it. I'm looking forward to the continuation!!