The Number One Problem in Marriages
Here's a truth worth listening to: It is more important to avoid strife than to appear justified. The wisdom from above is peace-loving and easily entreated, willing to yield to reason. As a result, we enjoy one of God's greatest blessings: a love-ruled home.
When you begin to order your life by the love of God, you will find that the easiest place to remain selfish is with those dearest to you, in your own home. When we're in front of other people, there seems to be an incentive to operate in love. But with your family, you're tempted to allow yourself more selfish privileges - as if selfishness had no consequences at home.
There is no barrier in the home to keep you from seeking your own way except the love of God. Before you even thought about walking in the love of God, you were probably nicer and more courteous to friends and acquaintances than to your family. It doesn't make sense, but most of the time you will say things to those close to you that you would not dream of saying to anyone else.
When it comes down to it though, discord or disagreement in any relationship drops the shield of faith, stops prayer results and invites Satan to sow discord into your life. Strife will stop you from perfecting the love of God and will cause you to walk in darkness instead of in the light of God's wisdom (James 3:16).
Strife is deadly. It stops faith and paralyzes the power of God in your life. The moment that you become aware of Satan trying to move you into an area with strife, stop him immediately with the Name of Jesus. Learn to resist strife just as you learned to resist sin and sickness. The Word says, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory..." (Philippians 2:3). Obey God's Word and be free from Satan's evil works.
Strife and selfishness are luxuries that a Christian cannot afford - especially at home! If you allow Satan to stop you with strife at your own front door, you will be no threat to him anywhere else. The home is where strife is the deadliest. The home is also the place that walking in the love of God produces the greatest joy and blessing.
Your husband or wife may see things differently from you, but if you are both committed to the Word, strife won't exist. You can't be committed to the Word and be in strife with one another. That does not mean going along with or getting involved with sin just to stay out of strife. We must be led by the Holy Spirit in making decisions.
A Christian husband and wife who learn to live in harmony are mighty instruments of the Lord Jesus for good. Whatever the two agree on will come to pass (Matthew 18:19). The rewards of living in harmony and backing each other with prayer are more than worth the effort it takes to walk in love with each other.
Keeping the Marriage Bed Undefiled
From the Scriptures, we learn the proper attitude about marriage: "Let marriage be held in honor - esteemed worthy, precious, [that is,] of great price and especially dear - in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be (kept undishonored,) undefiled; for God will judge and punish the unchaste (all guilty of sexual vice) and adulterous" (Hebrews 13:4, The Amplified Bible).
Within the confines of a marriage, God says the marriage bed (the sexual relationship between a man and his wife) is undefiled or pure. Many people have wondered about issues of right and wrong in marriage, but sometimes there are no direct answers. Fortunately, the Bible gives us the basic principles on which to base our decisions.
Ephesians 5:21-33 gives a good foundation of marriage principles that will help determine how couples should treat each other. These verses instruct us to submit to each other in love and to cherish and care for each other. The special "one flesh" union between a man and a woman is likened unto the relationship between Jesus and the Church - one of total love and devotion in which one party would never do anything to hurt or embarrass the other.
Remember, whatever we do in word or deed should be done in the Name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17). Also consider the instruction in 1 Corinthians 6:20 which says "ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Together as a Christian couple, pray and meditate on these scriptures and then base your decision on what is mutually acceptable and pleasing to each other.
If you need further counsel, consider contacting your local pastor or a pastor in your area who is full of the Word of God and allow him to minister and counsel with you.
A Confession of Faith
The following faith-filled confession is based on God's Word. It can be used in time of need or simply to make a deeper commitment. Don't wait until something bad happens to use it - it can be used daily. Remember, love never fails!
Father, in the Name of Jesus, it is written in Your Word that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us. Because You are in us, we acknowledge that love reigns supreme.
We believe that love is displayed in full expression, knitting us together in truth, making us perfect for every good work to do Your will, working in us that which is well pleasing in Your sight.
We desire to live and conduct ourselves and our marriage honorably and becomingly. We esteem it as precious, worthy and of great price. We commit ourselves to live in mutual harmony and accord with one another, delighting in each other, being of the same mind and united in spirit.
Father, we believe and say that we are gentle, compassionate, courteous, tenderhearted and humble-minded. We seek peace and it keeps our hearts in quietness and assurance. Because we follow after love and dwell in peace, our prayers are not hindered in any way in the Name of Jesus. We are heirs together of the grace of God.
We purpose together to live in agreement, to live in harmony, to live in peace, to live in power toward each other and toward all men. We confess that our marriage grows stronger day by day in the bond of unity because it is founded on Your Word and rooted and grounded in Your love. Father, we thank You for the performance of it in Jesus' Name.
Scripture References from The Amplified Bible: Romans 5:5; Philippians 1:9; Colossians 3:14, 1:10; Philippians 2:13, 2; Ephesians 4:32; Isaiah 32:17-18; Philippians 4:7; 1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 3:17-18; Jeremiah 1:12.