Six Common Challenges to Marriage

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By Yetta YaoJune 29th, 2017

God made marriage beautiful, and it is one of His blessings; however, with the corruption and weakness of man there resulted many problems in marriages that violated the good intention of God when He first made marriage. It is even the same with Christians.

"It is the problems we need to solve, not marriage itself," says Huang Aoxiang from "Faith Council" in an article about the main issues in Christian marriages. No matter what, it is sin to God to divorce even with it being legal. God indeed understands our weaknesses and forgives Christians for their broken marriages due to different reasons. But Christians should also work hard to manage their marriages with awe and faith in God.

Huang offered six solutions to common problems in marriages.

1. Affairs

There is no doubt that affairs are a major marital problem that came with the so-called "sexual revolution" and also the main reason for divorce. Affairs have become the primary killer of marriages.

What do we do when a spouse is having an affair? The author believes that the person concerned must control his or her anger in this situation and can't quarrel uselessly or beg, nor say vicious things to others or the children. People should examine their flaws first, even though it can be very hard, and beg our heavenly Father to save the marriage. They should also pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit and for the unfaithful spouse to make a U-turn from sin.

The author pointed out that divorce is an option if one spouse cheated; however, it is not a must. Everyone makes mistakes, and of course this is a major one. But Christians shouldn't divorce immediately when such things happen, but seek God's love to fill them to help their spouses to return. Again it is not easy. The person concerned should think that they were spiritually distant from God themselves, but God doesn't hide Himself nor abandon us.

2.  Different personalities

Among the challenges is the personality issue. The flaws in people's personalities tend to be covered in the sweet dating period prior to them tying the knot. However, they will be exposed after people get married and many couples divorce due to this issue.

Huang raised questions in his article: Can personality be changed? Can a couple change for each other? Maybe the ability of people and their love is limited, but once the Holy Spirit pours in, everything is possible.

From another perspective, the personalities of a couple don't necessarily need to be exactly the same, the author pointed out. Is it really good for both parties to be just as careless or careful? Slow to anger or impatient? Just as there is an accelerator and a brake in a car, and it won't work with either missing.

Indeed, just as God used the tyranny of Levite in the Bible and he became a priest that offered sacrifice before God, personalities that God created also have their shining value. It is the same in marriages. Different personalities between husband and wife can complement each other instead with the love and Holy Spirit of God.

3. Abandonment

The Bible clearly has teachings regarding this issue. "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace." (NIV 1 Corinthians 7:14-15)

A Christian spouse should work hard to maintain the marriage instead of giving it up easily, let alone bring up divorce first. However, the hard work can fail because of a stubborn heart where the non-Christian spouse is determined to get a divorce, and the believer can then agree to divorce.

4. Domestic Violence

Huang wrote in his article that concerning long-term domestic violence or bad habits without repentance such as physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism, gambling, or severe mental issues. If an offending spouse has no intention or ability to change, the other must still think twice before divorce to avoid further harm to oneself or children.

5. Infertility

Unlike the traditional procreation thinking in China, marriage and giving birth are not a must in life. Couples can't divorce because they can't have children. Some say that getting married is for procreation and if they failed that purpose they should divorce. However, as the author points out in the article, Jesus said in Matthew 19: 11-12 "everyone can accept this word. For some have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. "

6. Sleeping in separate bedrooms

The Bible teaches that "Each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." (NIV 1 Corinthians 7:2,4,5)

Therefore, couples should pay attention to such problems when sexual desire can't be satisfied according to the teaching of the Bible. For instance when one spouse works far away from home, or they live in different places because of work and don't spend much time together. Some people sleep in different bedrooms for so-called "devotion." People should adjust in time and stop living away from each other or sleeping in separate bedrooms for long periods of time, otherwise, it will leave a breach for Satan to exploit.

Translated by Grace Hubl

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