The purpose of all our actions in life should be the pleasure of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). This is true for marriage as well. Together husband and wife make a fantastic team but for this their mutual relationship has to be strong.
Regarding the husband-wife relationship Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says: “They are as a garment for you and you are as a garment for them.” [Quran 2:187] The following two ayaat of the Quran explain what the function of a garment is:
“Indeed, We have bestowed upon you garments to cover your shame, and as a thing of beauty.” [Quran 7:26] Thus, clothes 1) cover the parts of our body we should keep hidden, 2) beautify the person who wears them.
What clothes do for us is what husbands and wives are supposed to do for each other. 1) They should never divulge those aspects of their spouse’s personality that are shameful and which their spouse would like to keep concealed. If you are hiding your spouse’s shortcomings from others then you are doing what Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is asking you to do.
2) Clothes beautify us. This is why we spend so much time and effort on getting clothes for ourselves – so we can look good. Thus, husbands and wives are supposed to beautify each other. Their representation of their spouse should only be positive.
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) further elaborates on the function of garments: “God … has endowed you with garments to protect you from heat [and cold], as well as such as might protect you from your [mutual] violence.” [Quran 16:81] Thus, clothes 3) provide protection against the weather (e.g. jackets) and 4) are armour against violence (e.g. bullet proof vests).
3) Thus, spouses are the first line of defense. He/she whose spouse does not defend them becomes very vulnerable to attack by others. We should protect our spouse’s person and reputation from harm. 4) A very serious violence to protect our spouse from is the attack of the Shaitaan. We should help our spouses to understand and follow Islam so they can fight effectively against Shaitaan. The person with the least resistance gets sick first. But then that disease spreads to other people in the house. Thus, if we don’t strengthen our spouses against Shaitaan and he makes our spouse sick, then the disease of Shaitaan’s obedience can spread to other members of the household too.