What I learned through marital conflict

My wife and I have been married for about six months now. We got married June 18, 2021. We had this perfect idea of a Christ centered marriage. She would take care of the home and I would go to work, she would prepare dinner while I prepare scripture lessons, she would humbly submit while I would lead the marriage.

We wanted to honor God in all that we did within the marriage. However, one thing we didn’t realize is that this would demand a lot of endless sacrifice, patience, and love. more than we were willing to give.

Throughout our marriage there has been much conflict, more than there should be for a newly wed couple. We came to a point in which one of us would leave for a little bit and stay with family until things cooled down and we could work out our differences.

We quickly found ourselves in a desperate situation. We wanted to keep the marriage and do whatever it took to get past these struggles. We reached out to friends, family, even our pastor in an effort to preserve our marriage and have a Christ centered marriage.

My wife told me about a ministry called ThinkLifeChange a counseling ministry that helps married couples deal with their conflict. It wasn’t until we began the sessions that it really clicked in my head. I wasn’t the problem, she was. Or at least I thought.

We began the counseling sessions and I quickly became interested. This truly was a biblical ministry focused on addressing biblical issues. The problem in the marriage wasn’t her, it was me. I was so prideful to point out the sins of my wife that I failed to look at myself. I was actually holding my wife to a higher standard than I would anybody else.

4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:4-5

I had too much pride in my role as a husband and leader to lead my wife into Gods righteousness that I failed to be righteous myself. I was leading the marriage, but I lead it the wrong way. By my own behavior towards my wife, I was showing her that it’s okay to point out every sin.

Through Jesus ministry, He never said “you are a sinner stop”, rather when one would sin, Jesus would instruct them with a lesson, a parable which would help to show WHY our HOW the disciple was sinning and it would show a better way to live for God rather than for our flesh.

This was my failure. I failed to live out my role as a husband to my wife as Christ does to His church. Rather than trying to correct in a loving and teachable manner I was too busy pointing fingers at her rather than myself. I was trying to get the splinter out of her eye rather than working in the plank in my own.

I continued in the counseling workbook that was given to us, dug into scripture but to be honest what I found was limited. It’s not that the scriptures are limited, but my focus on passages were. I needed to have a broader scope.

I came to find a book called The Exemplary Husband (the woman’s version is The Excellent Wife). This book has been a great help to me as a handbook on how to be a godly husband. It uses scripture not to make its point, rather expounds in the scripture to show us biblically where the sin is and how to be a more godly spouse to another. How to love my wife better

There is no such thing as the perfect marriage. You will find that even Christian marriages have their conflict. But when we have the right frame of mind can we successfully overcome the dark times.

To you who are reading this I would ask you this question… are you focused more on what you get out of the marriage and how your spouse is sinning against you or are you concerned with how YOU have sinned against THEM?

John writes in his first epistle:

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 3:15

If we are too focused on pointing out the sins of our spouse, we fail to love them as Christ loves us. We show a form of hatred for them rather than love. The more we continue in this mindset, the more evident that the love of Jesus is not in us. We are murders who have no eternal transformation within our soul.

When my wife and I got married we made an oath before God. An unbreakable covenant to cherish and to love for better or for worse. I challenge you brothers and sisters, to cherish and love your spouse better than you do now.

If you have heavy conflict in your marriage, I would encourage you to look within yourself to discover your sin. Admit your shortcomings and repent to God, and RUN into the arms of your spouse. Show your spouse that you love them enough to be more concerned about your own sins than you are theirs.

Voddie Bauchum once said “when two sinners come together the idea is happily every after. But the reality is forgiveness and reconciliation ever after”

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, ESV)