Marriage Secrets from 'Famous Lovers
in the Bible'
By Belinda Elliott
If you have had trouble trying to figure out what goes wrong in your relationships,
you are not alone. It turns out that for as long as people have been having
romantic relationships, they have also been having problems with them.
Even couples in biblical days had their share of problems. They may not
have had to deal with water and electric bills, rush hour traffic or getting
the kids to soccer and cheerleading practice on time, but many of the
challenges they did encounter are the same issues that continue to plague
Authors Doug and BJ Jensen set out to study these relationships of biblical
times, and their book Famous Lovers in the Bible gives interesting
insights into the problems and challenges that all couples face in relationships.
Their quest to discover how relationships can be improved began when
their own relationship was falling apart after two years of marriage.
Hoping to save their marriage they began to seek answers that could help
“We diligently researched relationship-building information, we
interviewed couples happily married over 20 years, and most importantly,
we turned our focus to the best marriage instruction manual – the
Bible,” Doug said.
It was when they volunteered to teach a Bible study about couples in
the Bible, that they began to see how couples have always struggled with
many of the same issues in relationships. Through their study they observed
30 different issues that biblical couples often dealt with including:
communication, trust, forgiveness, temptation, jealousy, faithfulness,
loneliness and anger.
“We glean relevant knowledge from Biblical couples when we focus
on the choices they made and the consequences they experienced because
of their choices,” Doug said.
The lessons they learned helped them take the steps needed for God to
heal their marriage. Now, they hope to help others by sharing those lessons
in Famous Lovers in the Bible.
The book highlights ten different biblical couples and examines three
relationship challenges faced by each couple. In the first section of
each chapter, the authors have written together about the couple and the
challenges they face. Following that, Doug has written a section about
the issues faced by the man in the relationship and BJ writes about the
issues faced by the women.
“In that way, Famous Lovers in the Bible tackles relationship
issues and also personal issues, because our personal issues do affect
our marriage,” BJ said.
For instance, the chapter that examines the relationship between Abraham
and Sarah begins by discussing the couple’s struggle with faithfulness.
Next, Doug examines Abraham’s struggle with obedience, and BJ discusses
Sarah’s struggle with waiting on God’s timing for a child.
Both authors said they chose one of the biblical couples as their favorites
to write about. For Doug, it was the relationship between Adam and Eve
that impressed him the most.
“Adam and Eve are the only couple in history that had a perfect
marriage, at least until they ate the forbidden fruit,” Doug said.
“Their perfect relationship, before they fell into sin, is the model
BJ’s favorite couple to learn about was Pricilla and Aquilla. “They
served God as a team – they were together in most everything they
did. It seemed like they came full circle from Adam and Eve and back to
what an ideal marriage looked like, a relationship of complete unity,”
She was also impressed by Mary’s courage in her relationship with
Joseph. “I am in complete awe and totally inspired when I think
of how Mary willingly and obediently answered God’s call by saying,
‘May it be to me as you have said,’” BJ said. “I
loved that Mary’s focus was not horizontally on her circumstances,
but vertically on God.”
The authors hope couples will see reflections of their own relationships
in the lives of the biblical couples and learn from their examples how
to effectively handle the challenges they are facing.
“Our hope is that Famous Lovers in the Bible will be a
valuable asset to couples on a journey to create an abundantly blessed
marriage … whether they are a couple struggling in their marriage
or a couple seeking ways to make a good marriage a great one,” BJ
The book features discussion questions in each chapter making it useful
not only for couples, but also for churches, small groups, and pastors.
Read an excerpt from Famous Lovers in the Bible -- Chapter
4: Jacob and Rachel
Purchase Famous Lovers
in the Bible
Doug and BJ Jensen have been ministering to married couples for many
years, leading Bible studies and marriage retreats. For more information,
visit their Web site, www.createlovingrelationships.org,
or email them at, [email protected]
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