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Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 10 “Resolving Conflict”
In the first few weeks of this study we talked about some of the key components of marriage, then we covered the wife’s role and submission. Last week I shared a video by my husband Mike. His explanation of biblical decision making has helped many couples understand how to honor God in an area that can be difficult.
Mike uses a 4-way stop intersection to explain both the husband’s and wife’s roles and the responsibility each of them have to not allow differences to escalate into conflict.
But what happens when couples don’t seek to resolve problems biblically? And why is it so hard, even when we know what we should do? Look at James 4 for a minute:
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask (Jas. 4.1-2 NASB).
Lust isn’t just about sexual desires. It can be the result of any strongly held desire. When we lust sexually, we’re so controlled by the desire for sexual pleasure that we’re willing to sin by going outside of God’s ordained will to obtain it.
When we lust after other things, we fight and quarrel, rather than resolving problems biblically. The things we want have become controlling desires and we, too, are willing to sin to get them.
Lustful desires might be having the house we want, spending money on a certain purchase, being in control, spending holidays or other times with our biological family, raising our kids a certain way, or a host of other things.
Even good things can become lusts if we’re willing to sin to get them or to hang on to them.
Sometimes, when conflicts arise we go on the attack, verbally or physically.
Sometimes, we put up the “do not enter” sign. Our spouse learns that attempts to discuss the matter lead to anger, withdrawal, tears, or various forms of withdrawal. So conflict goes unresolved.
Sometimes, one spouse or the other is a controller. He or she may control through manipulation (tears, anger, withholding sex or affection) or fear and intimidation. It’s “one way, my way.” Continue reading