By Not Known
No one wants their marriage to be troubled. But, it is a reality that all marriages will have troubles at one time or another.
Several factors may combine to trouble a marriage including: financial problems, long working hours, physical separation, ill-health, infertility, difficulties with children and wider family, personal incompatibilities, unrealistic expectations, and sin.
All marriages are unions of two imperfect persons. We all bring a mix of personal inadequacies, foibles and phobias, and sinful mature into our marriages. Given the intense closeness of marriage, these imperfections can be magnified in their significance and impacts over time.
What can we do when our marriage is troubled? One thing that we should be do lightly is to head for the divorce courts, for God says: I hate divorce (Mal 2: 16). Marriages may break down and God allows separations and divorce in limited circumstances (Mt. 5: 31- 32; 19: 1- 9; 1Cor 7:12- 16). However, this is a permission of the last resort and is not to be used lightly.
The first step in a trouble marriage is to apply the gospel of grace and forgiveness inside the marriage. Both husband and wife need to identify and confess how they have contributed to any marital problems, forgive one another and seek God’s renewing help to move forward. There is no shame in seeking outside help if they cannot do this by themselves.
Of course, the better way is one of prevention. All married couples should recognise that their marriage is at risk of troubles or collapse and accept responsibility for the good health of the relationship. Here are some things that married couples can do to help prevent troubles from arising:
- Spend time with God together in public and family worship
- Restrict the time spent at work and in other activities, so that there is good time to be together each day.
- Make time for each other away from other family members
- Take holidays, take them together and get away from home
- Share your heart, soul, mind and body deeply
As a church we can help by creating ‘space’ for married couples, by praying for them and by sympathetic help and understanding when a marriage is troubled. Let us work together to build strong Christian marriages to the glory of God and our happiness.