Is there a married couple who has not had some kind of problem in their marriage? The answer is yes, those who have only been married one day. Seriously, because we are human and not perfect as God is, sooner or later you will encounter some problem. I heard a man some time back advise another young man that he and his “bride to be” should live together for a while before they actually get married, to make sure they could make it together. In human reasoning that may make some sense and evidently it does because thousands of couples are doing it. The only problem, it is a gross sin against God and statistics show that most couples who live together before they get married split up within the first five years. Besides, there is no way that two people can live together for a few months or even a year and know whether they will have problems in the next 50 years. Perhaps one problem today is that many young couples do not think in terms of a lifetime commitment, they go into the marriage with the idea that, “well, if this doesn’t work I’ll do something else.”
There are certain things that married couples can do that will help insure that they will not have problems. Two basic issues must be identified and eliminated. These are: sinful practices and sinful attitudes. You must understand that sin is the basic cause of all marriage problems. When I say marriage problems I am not talking about arguments or disagreements that every couple is bound to have from time to time. I’m talking about things that tend to eat away like cancer at the very core of the relationship; things that cause a marriage to die. A marriage may last two weeks or twenty years, but if these two elements exist, sooner or later it will most likely fall apart, either internally or externally in divorce.
It is of the utmost importance that we not call sin by any other name. To call sin sickness or immaturity is to give a false notion that people are not responsible for their actions. If a man is a drunken slob, and neglects his family and husband responsibilities, that is not sickness, he has a SIN problem. Alcoholism is not a physical sickness, but a moral sickness. Alcoholism is a consequence of sin. A person does not drink because they are an alcoholic, as the A-moralists are telling us; they are alcoholic because they drink, as the Bible tells us. If the husband is fooling with pornography, it’s not a sickness, it is SIN. He has been drawn away of his own lust and enticed, so when lust is conceived its child is sin and when sin is grown up or matured it brings forth death (paraphrasing James 1:14-16) and it can bring forth the death of a marriage. If a wife is a flirt and flaunts herself in front of other men, stirring up jealousy in her husband, she is not immature, she has a SIN problem because she has a corrupt and lustful heart. If one or both partners are involved in any kind of ongoing sin, sooner or later your marriage will either implode or explode. There are many innocent things that people can get involved in, which, if are done at the expense of the marriage becomes sin. Even if a parent becomes obsessed with his or her children and neglects the marriage, it becomes sin. My heavenly Father knows that I love my children, but they are the product of the marriage, not the center of it.
I am quickly running out of space; so I would like to say before I close this first part of lesson 2 that I really appreciate the e-mails and personal comments I have received from past articles. At times I may say things that some don’t agree with, but I pray that the Lord will in some way provoke the reader to read and study your Bible more. Thanks again and thanks to the Clay County Free Press for giving me the space. E-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.