Every family has problems and challenges but successful families try to work together towards a solution instead of resorting to Criticism and contentions.

The question many Christians ask is that if God instituted and ordained marriage then why are conflicts in marriage happening? There is no way around it no matter how much you love someone. You will have differing ideas, preferences, or favoured activities. Marriage conflict is a normal part of married life when two people come together. In marriage, conflict is bound to happen. Each person has had different life experiences and undoubtedly has different expectations of marriage and from his or her spouse.

It would be pertinent to look at an example of marital conflict in the Bible. This can be found in the Book of I Sam. 25 Abigail had every reason to be angry with her husband, and she had every reason to be rude to Nabal. She chose to be a peacemaker instead. Nabal did a foolish thing. He insulted David’s men and railed at them. David was very angry and intended to kill Nabal and all his men. Abigail, rather than being angry with her husband berated him for his stupidity. She pacified David using her wisdom.

A contemporary example of Abigail’s attitude is that of a young couple where the husband left the church. They were raised and were married to go to church where preaching and doctrines were completely different even though it tore the heart of the young wife, she did not let it escalate into uncontrolled marital problems. She was patient with him and kind rather than ridicule, molest and nag him about his choice which would surely have driven them apart. She chose to continue to respond to him in love. Because of her attitude towards him, he saw the wrongness of his choice and returned to church.

The above words of wisdom are very true because it is a wrong choice of a partner that leads to frustration and destruction. Most failed marriages are in distress the day they began. The moment one picks a wrong partner you make your marriage foundation unstable, the foundation determines the type of structure when the foundation is faulty.

There is the likelihood that the whole structure will collapse like a pack of cards. It is advisable to make God the head of “COMMITTEE”. Just like the servant of Abraham did when he was instructed to look for a wife for Isaac. He made God the head of COMMITTEE he said in Gen. 24:12-13:O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day and show kindness unto my master Abraham.

The Bible says we should look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. We need Jesus as the head of our home, When Jesus is invited, every storm ceases. A home where Jesus dwells will survive the storm. When Jesus steps in a storm steps out. We need to master some sets of skills:

  • Skill of Patience
  • Skill of Honesty
  • Skill of Obedience
  • Skill of Submissiveness
  • Skill of Empathy
  • Skill of Appreciation
  • Skill of Understanding and Knowledge
  • Skill of Diligence,
  • Skill of giving attention

Every marital problem has to be explored very well because if the area is not explored and diagnosed, it cannot be solved, “A problem improperly diagnosed may make solution impossible”. On the issue of cultural differences, the spouse especially at home. If she does know and appreciate the culture of her spouse, the marriage may be heading for the rock, The husband and wife should be able to understand each other very well if they handle the issue of a third party in a marriage, they must speak with one voice at all time. This will discourage third-party interference from coming in between the couple.

There should be enough communication between the couple because blessings are for couples who talk over grievances with mutual love and respect for bitterness and shall find no place in their home. The principles of effective communication should be followed. Meanwhile, the best form of communication is communication with God on every issue.

Prayer

I Thess.5:17- “Pray without ceasing”

The couple needs to develop a constant habit of praying and making their request known to God. Prayer will take care of unseen forces that are standing against the success of marriage. There should be prayer and understanding between husband and wife. If there is, most of the storms that rock the boat of marriage will not have the power to do so. It is a lack of prayer understanding that empowers storms in marriage. Spouses are therefore admonished to study and observe one another to know the approach to adopt in handling issues at home.

It is necessary to identify the areas of strengths and weaknesses that should be strengthened through the expression of love, appreciation, and correction in love, and not abuse, scolding, criticism etc.

Love is a potent weapon

Love in its depth and breadth is the foundation and sustaining force of marriage and the family. It is one thing that distinguishes human beings from animals where love decreases, joy and fulfilment in the family also decrease.

Entering into a marriage union without love is like coming into a world without a heart. A defective heart creates an untold problem for the family without it, money, property, children and all other things fail to give us a healthy family. Therefore, love should be developed, expressed and sustained throughout to forestall unseen forces of storms.

In-law in marriage

In-law marriage is very crucial to a long span of a marriage Eph. 4:31-32: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ sake. Heb.12:14: Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.

The influence which in-law has in marriage is very strong, especially in Africa where the extended family system is in operation, no one can do without them, it is a normal practice and norm that is difficult to do away with, the moment you decide who to marry automatically the issue of in-law is already determined. The Bible encourages us to be at peace with all men. The couples therefore should prayerfully ask God to give them wisdom, knowledge and understanding, to handle this all-important necessity, not necessarily evil.

Helpful tips

In a culture where a wife is considered a slave, there must be re-orientation that your wife is neither a slave or an inferior partner.

The husband should endeavour to educate, defend, protect and fight on behalf of his wife where necessary. In the first three years of marriage, don’t bring any dependent relatives to live with you. The proper understanding between couples will help in handling third-party issues.

Avoid revealing your family secrets to your in-laws.

Never engage in an open confrontation with any in-law. This may have a serious effect on you.

Do not run down your spouse in the presence of your in-law in an attempt to please them, it is not good

Whether your in-law is a Christian, or non-Christian, ask God to give you wisdom, understanding and maturity in relating with them despite your difference in beliefs and principles Address relations and issues that can hurt your family with politeness

Having a Christian in-law is not a guarantee that you will not have any problem with them, having a pagan as an in-law is neither a guarantee of a crisis-ridden relationship.

There should be periodical marital seminars, and symposiums in all our churches, this will create awareness for people who are in the dark and expose them to the truth and realities in marriage, it will a long way in reducing storms in marriage.

Today, many marriages have crashed because of the inability to resolve issues peacefully and the devil is happy with the devil who is roaming about like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour is happy with the increasing trend in the divorce rate. As children of God, we should not give room for the devil. Marriage is an institution ordained by God to be void of certain irregularities which are not of God. The marriage instability invariably affects the home, church and society as a whole.