OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
In the long ago, Solomon wrote: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord” (Prov. 18:22). The writer of Hebrews penned these words about marriage: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). Both of these verses picture marriage as God intented for it to be. He wanted it to be a relationship of a husband and wife that brings happiness and fulfillment to both persons.
However, when two parties come together, there will always be periods of tension and strife. Thus, marriage is not going to be exempt from its times of debate and argumentation. In II Samuel 6:20-23, we read of a time of strife in the marriage of David and Michal. Michal was appalled by David’s actions as the ark of God entered the city of Jerusalem. When she confronted David about this, the conflict started. It ended as many arguments do, the parties were deeply estranged from each other. “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death” (II Sam. 6:23).
One of the main causes of marital strife is selfishness. Both parties want what they want. Neither will relinquish his/her rights. This tension generates anger. Oftentimes the anger is allowed to spew forth without control. Harsh, biting words and wicked actions are often the result. James summarized the matter well in James 4:1. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?”
In times of marital controversy, the fact that selfishness is often at play needs to be remembered. One should ask himself: “Why is this so important to me?” Or “What am I trying to get out of this?” Once this has been determined, a second question should be considered. “Does this really matter?” Or, “Is this really that important in my life?” If it really isn’t a big deal, give in. This is what love is all about. In I Corinthians 13:5, Paul said that love ‘seeketh not her own.” When we yield our rights to our partner, we are also following the example of Jesus Christ. “For even Christ pleased not himself…” (Rom. 15:3).
As we close, there are two points we want to make. First, there are some issues that involve right and wrong. These are issues that deal with God’s Word. These points cannot be yielded or compromised. The marriage partner who is seeking to transgress God’s Word should always yield in such cases. In fact, true repentance is essential when God’s Word is at stake. Second, if both partners are willing to give up their selfish desires when conflicts arise, then perhaps they can come to an agreement as to which option will bring both the greatest pleasure. There may also be a way to find a third solution that satisfies the needs of both partners.
Please, do not let marital strife and self-gratification harm your partner and ruin your marriage. Divorce is running rampant in our country. It has not left the homes of Christians untouched. We must find ways to handle our conflicts and be better and stronger once they are in the past. May God bless every Christian couple with the wisdom to solve every grievance they have with each other. May every Christian couple honor the vows they took on their wedding day and continue therein “until death do us part.”