By Pr Ben Odongo
Many times two things make a marriage difficult to handle. These are anger and pride. When one party is too angry and the other party is too proud to make adjustments, a marriage will definitely have problems.
Pride, anger are destructive
If that kind of situation happens, you will be solving that problem for 30 years and you will just be wondering why the problem is just changing face. Because when you think you have solved it, it changes face because pride goes before a fall. As long pride is involved, it keeps changing face until that marriage is ruined because pride eventually takes you to the pit. The same thing with anger. Anger is destructive.
The Bible warns us not to make friendship with an angry man. In other words don’t make some body that has anger your friend – you will learn their ways. In the Old Testament marriages relied on culture. In the New Testament our marriages rely on Christ. Abraham and Sarah didn’t have teachings on the person of Christ so they couldn’t have learned from Christ how to run their marriages.
That’s why it wasn’t an issue for Abraham to sleep with his house girl. It wasn’t a big deal because their culture at that time accepted that. The only reason Sarah sent Hagar out of her house was because Hagar was insulting her. That means if it wasn’t for the insult Hagar would have been a second wife. They didn’t have Christ in them instead they had faith in things.
Revenge is dangerous in marriage
Today, we have Christ in us that’s why the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that look away from the Old Testament figures and look unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith (our model). We look into Christ to reflect what we see in our relationships. A man or woman that has not learnt forgiveness will bring that ‘unforgiveness’ into marriage.
If you find a man or a woman that is full of ‘unforgiveness’ and vindictiveness, they must revenge everything you do to them. Such a person is dangerous to marry. Many times we hear married people say their spouses have not spoken with them for two weeks. How can you stay together and nobody is talking to the other for this long?
Only God can define us
Many Christians have allowed physiologists to define them. You find someone saying ‘I am a choleric and I cannot change’. Some keep saying: ‘I am an extrovert and I cannot help it’. Listen, you are not a choleric neither are you an extrovert.
You are a man in Christ. If a man is born of God he is in Christ and a man in Christ cannot be defined by physiologists because they don’t know you. 1John 3:1 KJV Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.
So since the world does not know us, it can’t define us. You can’t find the definition of who we are in physiology. Your character is the fruit of the Spirit. How do I know me? I know me by knowing Him. And if the world does not know Him, the world cannot know me and if the world does not know me then it cannot label me.
You find a Christian lady saying ‘this is just how I am and any man that cannot marry me should forget’. No you are not
like that! You are suffering from identity crisis. How are you? The way Christ is… 1John 4:17 KJV herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.
Ephesians 4:26-27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the Sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. As you can see, giving a place to the devil contextually has to do with anger; you and Satan you walk closely. You must be able to understand the love of God for you to be able to love others.
John 13:34 KJV A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Not the way you want to love them, not the way you feel. Love them as I have loved you.
Jesus a standard for love
Agape means to prefer someone above yourself. It’s the opposite of selfishness. So your wife or your husband becomes the object of your love. Your love is directed to them not to you. You don’t love your neighbour as yourself… That is Old Testament. In the New Testament you love your neighbour as Christ has loved you.
There is a difference. In the New Testament we have a standard for love and that standard is Jesus Christ. So we look unto Jesus the Standard. That’s why He says husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. Real love is giving yourself. There are four fundamental areas that always create marital/family problems. We shall look at these in our next issue.