Page 9 - October 2021 - Truth & Tidings
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as attacking their marriage; never view   men attacked the Lord Jesus, He never
        the spouse as the problem. “We” have a   experienced strife with anyone.
        problem which is affecting our marriage   If  it  appears  that  I  am  arguing  for
        and “we” need to find an answer to it!   spirituality and likeness to Christ as the
        Take responsibility for finding an answer.  antidote to every relationship problem,
          The needed mindset is defined for us by   you get high marks for being perceptive.
        the expression “fear and trembling.” Paul   That is the ultimate answer.
        employs this term on four occasions, once   The Implementing
        in regard to his entrance to Corinth (1Co
        2:3). Could I suggest that “fear” relates to   The  implementation  of  this  Spirit-
        a desire to please God by our solution, and   offered  system  of  resolving  problems
        “trembling” relates to a consciousness of   will demand sincerity and honesty. No
        how my flesh could sabotage the effort?   hidden agendas can be allowed to take
        If the goal of my heart is how I can please   priority over pleasing God and drawing
        God amidst/in this issue and not how I can   you closer together in your oneness. Scrip-
        win, I have made a quantum leap forward   ture reading is helpful, but most issues are
        in both my character and my capability to   not black and white, sinful or good. Most
        resolve the issue. When that is coupled   often it is between two courses of action,
        with a distrust of my own flesh and natu-  each of which is good in itself, but each
        ral wisdom, I have effectively arrived at   spouse has an opposite preference. Prayer
        where God wants me to be.             is very helpful here, as it is difficult to ask
          Now add to that an awareness that God   for divine help when we already have our
        is working in me. This suggests that in de-  minds set in concrete. In prayer we should
        pendence on God, we can find an answer   be marked by the spiritual virtues out-
        to this problem which will further His will   lined in the Sermon on the Mount (yes, it
        for our lives. Somewhere, I hear someone   does have application to us!). Am I poor in
        objecting that, in their marriage, the first   spirit and devoid of a sense of dependence
        argument was over whose parents would   on God? I should mourn over the possibil-
        be visited for the holidays. Can something   ity of missing what God wants to develop
        that “mundane” actually require this level   in me through this. Meekness to accept
        of spiritual commitment?              His will, hungering and thirsting after the
          Problems between human beings are   right path – these and others should mark
        rarely what they seem on the surface. Most   me while on my knees before God.
        often there is something far deeper at work   Having committed our need for guid-
        that is fueling the surface issue. Many of   ance to the Lord, if both courses of action
        us have control issues; others tend to be   are in line with Scripture, it is time to
        passive-aggressive in relationships. Feel-  discuss how we can arrive at a decision
        ings of insecurity and inferiority trigger   which benefits our marriage and in which
        responses. Some have deep-seated feel-  no one feels that they have lost. It may
        ings of rebellion against any hint of being   take time to arrive at the destination. But
        controlled. You can readily add to the list   a sincere commitment to work out the
        of character flaws. In summary, it is our   problem and to see the “salvation” of
        carnality which causes conflicts. “Strife”   your marriage is the God-honoring path
        is a work of the flesh (Gal 5:20). Though   of conflict resolution.

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