‘Be imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, as Christ loved us…’ – Ephesians 5:1
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Whenever a man and a woman develop a close relationship (and especially one as close as marriage), that degree of intimacy and knowledge of another person may reveal areas where disagreement between the partners is present, and cannot always be ignored or overlooked, as it might be possible to do with more casual acquaintances or even close friends, with whom each partner is not in continual contact, or where the same degree of commitment does not exist. Also, from a Biblical perspective, in this life, even Christian couples remain susceptible to sin.
Face The Issue Head On
In addition, a couple who have made such a commitment to each other will normally be confronted with situations or issues that they have to face or address as a unified team. Disagreements about how these occurrences should be addressed therefore have to be resolved in a way which both partners can accept and support. And the more basic or important the area of disagreement, the more necessary it is to reach a mutual understanding.The longer the problem is ignored or swept under the rug, the more damage it can cause.
This resolution should ideally be done in a caring manner that is respectful of each partner’s views and emotions. However, even Christian spouses are capable of anger at each other, especially with regard to subjects they feel strongly about (although that anger, however strong, never serves as a justification for violence or physical injury).
What Does The Bible Say?
The Bible, in both the Old (Psalm 4:4) and New (Ephesians 4:26-27) Testaments, recognizes the possibility of disagreement and anger, but counsels prompt resolution of any such disputes, rather than allowing Satan to gain a foothold in a relationship through retaining anger, dwelling on it, and allowing it to progress to the point of sin.
Part of the human condition is ALL have an old nature. ALL have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23-24). After salvation, accepting Christ as your Lord, gives you control of your behavior in a way that was not possible before salvation. You have Christ in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Greater is he that is in you then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Putting It All Into Practice
Another part of the human condition is playing the blame game. We learned it from the first couple to ever walk the earth – Adam and Eve. When God confronted Adam, he blamed Eve, who in turn, blamed the serpent. No one wants to take responsibility for struggles in a relationship, but the truth is, this is the only way to start the healing. Ephesians 5:1 tells us to “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
As we strive to be imitators of God, and to walk in love, we must give ourselves first to God, and then to our spouse. Sacrifice is what we learn from Jesus, and what we are to bring into our marriage.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:1-2