I have written 5 Points for a Stronger Marriage, the theme of which is Christ at its center and its foundation. There, I have discussed the power of prayer with fasting. Recently, I have written 5 Simple Tips for a Happier Marriage. But still, there are important issues that need to be tackled regarding this subject. So, in this new series on marriage, we discuss marital problems and how to deal with them the Christian way.
Even in our Church where prayer with fasting is regularly practiced, spouses encounter difficult problems in their marriages. This is why during the mass healing portion, we often hear the preacher praying for marital problems being solved in Jesus’ name.
Problems in Christian marriages can be caused by a myriad of things. A few of the more common problems are mentioned below:
- The husband and wife have varying degrees of fervency in their faith and service to God. One may be zealous in praising, worshiping and studying the Word, while the other does not give it as much importance, time and effort. A problem arises when a spouse desires to keep the Lord’s commandments faithfully and strives to do the things that are pleasing to Him, but the other is not so supportive or could even be a cause of provocation, disappointments, discouragements and disharmony in the marriage and chaos in the family.
- One spouse has not so learned Christ. Problems in communication are the most prevalent. One may practice wisdom from above (James 3:17), speaking gentle and kind words laced with wisdom from the Word, while the other sticks to the old ways, speaking coarsely and sometimes even antagonistically. Uncommunicating (doesn’t want to open up and discuss problems deeply and sensibly), miscommunicating (veers away from the problem at hand and brings up other issues that only make the situation worse and misses the whole point), and malcommunicating (I coined this word up, using the prefix mal [bad, ill, evil, wrong] which means, a way of communicating that attacks and wounds using harsh, unkind and even cruel words) are the three problems in marital communications.
- The spouses have different styles in rearing their children or worse, one doesn’t have a laid-out plan on how to raise up the children with the Bible as a guide, and neither supports the other who has.
- The husband doesn’t play (or doesn’t know how to play) his role as the family’s spiritual leader but nevertheless expects and demands respect and obedience from the family.
- Lack of mutual respect and fervent love. Where there is lack of love, various kinds of problems arise, most prominent of which is being easily angered.
In an atmosphere where there is lack of love, respect and harmony between the husband and the wife, and ugly discussions or verbal fights occur, the children are the worst affected. The wife, if she is the receiving end of unkind, hurting words, would be beset by heavy burdens, sorrow and feelings of resentment and discouragement.
The discussion below is from a wife’s perspective. How does she deal with the problems mentioned above?
Do Not Dwell in Your Hurts for a Long Time
After an ugly discussion or fight wherein the more aggressive one has walked out, do not call back for him for another round of discussion. It won’t work while he is still simmering and you are too hurt and confused to think straight.
It is always more profitable to pour out all hurts, resentments and disappointments before the Lord and to lay all burdens at His feet. After you have sung songs of honor and worship to Him (for singing to the Lord in whatever circumstances is always the most effective and fast-acting “home remedy”) and have cried your heart out in prayer, you will have a clearer mind and a lighter spirit to face the problems.
In the meantime that you are awaiting God’s light and grace, channel the negative feelings that hound the heart and mind into something spiritual, enlightening and delightsome, like reading the Word, talking with the kids, visiting an inspiring blog, or anything that will take the mind off the heartaches.
Maybe it would be best if finally, you realize that this time, you wouldn’t desire or plan for another “meeting” with him to sort things out. Maybe it would be best to completely surrender him to the Lord and pray and trust that He will be the one to sort him out. Aaahhh… Did you feel that blissful relief enveloped your whole being just because you chose to let go and let God?
In the meantime, luxuriate in the serenity this “surrender” has brought you: take a sweet nap (if you have been missing some precious sleep due to a restless mind juggling between thoughts on hurts and thoughts on solutions), keep still and let your heart be ever mindful of that still small voice, for it will surely come after you have sought first the Lord. It will come, and because you have surrendered all your burdens to the Lord, your heart is ready for, and receptive to, His guidance.
Remember Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19). After escaping from his nemesis Jezebel who vowed to kill him, he found himself in a cave so depressed he wanted to die. Elijah has been zealous for the Lord God, and now this. But the Lord has great things in store for the poor, embattled prophet. After a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, there came an earthquake, then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in all these. Then came a still small voice and God talked to Elijah of His judgment for Israel.
If you have been zealous for, and faithful to, the Lord – after the strong wind that blew upon your marriage, the earthquake that rocked it you thought your dreams of having a blissful one has crumbled forever, and the fire that seemed to consume it – you will hear a still small voice. The Lord has come to talk to you and you will have light and peace.
Next Monday, by God’s grace: Dealing with a Difficult Marriage Part 2: Make a Firm Commitment to Obey God’s Word No Matter What
Additional readings:7 Tips in Practicing Good Communication at Home Communicating on the Higher Ground He that is Soon Angry Love’s Challenge: Loving the Hard-to-love The Dove and the Serpent: To Be Gentle and Wise To Be Christlike: Meek and Humble Kindness and Wisdom Living With Wisdom
If you have been enlightened and encouraged by this article, I’d love to hear from you! Would you consider leaving your comment below or sharing this on Facebook or Twitter (icons are found below)? Thank you!
And, of course, my gratitude list – thankful to the Lord for His gifts:
- answers to prayers when the heart heeds God’s voice to keep still and trust
- peace that passes understanding and flows like a river AND it’s mine!
- endings and new beginnings – His mercies are new every morning!
- Hannah’s foot size now 7 – she can use my shoes!
- photography, beautiful shots, and my new Canon IS telephoto lens
- and, my Delight (Ps. 37:4) canvas, a commissioned work by my artist-blogger friend Patsy is finally finished! (By God’s grace, I will show it to you after it’s framed).