|by Robert Dodson
One of the most wonderful things God does is join two people in marriage. But not everyone's marriage is so wonderful! There are problems in marriage! Sometimes devastating, seemingly unbearable problems! If we do not deal with our problems, they will destroy our marriage.
Jesus helps us with the problem of selfishness (Luke 9:23). Me, myself,and I - that's the problem!
In marriage we must ask not what can my mate do for me, but what can I do for my mate (Compare 1 Corinthians 10:24; 13:5, 7:3-5; Philippians 2:4; Matthew 7:12). Spend about 10 minutes to list how you might be selfishness.
The husband or wife who will humble himself or herself to display such acts of service as did Christ (John 13:3-17), will have a profound effect on their mate and will go a long way in solving the problems in marriage.
The first thing involved in good communication is listening (Compare James 1:19, John 8:43, Proverbs 18:13). Do you really stop to listen in order to understand how your mate feels?
We must also speak in a constructive way (Ephesians 4:29). As we build up our spouse we build up our marriage, and as we tear down our spouse we tear down our marriage. Avoid bitterness and anger (Ephesians 15:1), teasing and sarcasm (Proverbs 26:19), nagging, whining and quarreling (Proverbs 19:13) and lying (Proverbs 6:17).
Good communication is well summed up in Ephesians 4:15, "Speaking" - Not silent treatment; "Truth - Open and honest; "In love" - Attitude greatly effects our communication.
We are able to forgive because God has forgiven us (Compare Ephesians 5:32; Colossians 3:13). God teaches us to forgive no matter how many times we offended (Matthew 18:21ff) or how bad the offense may be (I john 1:7,9), and when God forgives, God forgets (Hebrews 8:12).
Go home and practice James 5:16. God can heal any breaks in your marriage.
Problems in marriage don't have to be viewed negatively. They can be seen as stepping stones to greater maturity and spirituality (Compare James 1:2-4) and ultimately to a better relationship with the one you love the most upon this earth.
©1999 Robert Dodson. Permission granted to use this article in any manner, as long as:
1) The content is not changed and 2) the name of the author is left on the article.
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