Marriage is the union of two people who professed love for each other. When God created man, He noticed man needed a helpmeet to come alongside him. He created them male and female. God made male and female with distinct shape and different personality. God understand that a man is not going to think and behave like a woman. But God knows these two beings can live together in harmony if and when they understand each other. However, it is the lack of understanding and acceptance that men and women are different that causes issues in many marriages. Some men want women to understand them and behave like them. Some women cannot understand why men behave differently from them. The first step to solving or preventing marital challenges is the recognition and acceptance that men and women are different. An awareness that the two needs to understand each other’s differences and be willing to learn and tolerate each other. Below are some of the reasons why marriages face problems.
Lack of Knowledge
Ignorance, lack of experience, unawareness are some of the reasons marriage get into trouble waters as soon as husband and wife move and living together. The Bible recognises the need for knowledge as stated in Hosea 4:6 – “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”
Couples who fail to recognise the laws and principles of marriage cannot thrive in marriage
Couples who fail to recognise the laws and principles of marriage cannot thrive in marriage. How do people get to know these laws and principles if they are not taught? Therefore, marriage education is important for any intending couple and those already married. Many people married in ignorance, not knowing exactly what they are getting into or who they are yoking themselves with. From the wealth of information, infodemic available and the awareness that love alone cannot sustain a marriage, men and women must no longer walk into marriage blindly. Dr Myles Munro in his church makes sure that couples registered to be marriage undergo at least nine months of marriage education and counselling. To his surprise, some couples realise they are not meant for each other and break up during this counselling period. Let us assume they did not have to go through such intense and long education, they will probably get married quickly and divorce quickly. Knowledge is power and very important that husband and wife should seek marital knowledge. For example, many men do not understand women and many women do not understand men either, yet these two people want to come together and become one flesh. Without knowledge, understanding and wisdom, they will always misunderstand each other. Men are known to communicate fact and are logical, they will interpret any word spoken literarily. Women on the other hand are metaphorical and can exaggerate when trying to communicate. When a woman says, “you never loved me”, it does not necessarily mean never- yet a man who does not know women, will take the word never as never and be offended. I have seen cases of men who have understood women accept that what a woman may be saying when she is emotional is only temporal and they never get offended. So also, women who lack an understanding that a man needs their space sometimes will feel rejected and unloved, if a man is pulling away. For a woman who has gained an understanding of men’s behaviour, they will be able to withstand such pulling away and allow the man to be himself when he needs to. But without knowing how can a man or woman get this understanding?
Suggested Read: 7 things you can do together as a couple to strengthen your bond and friendship in a marriage.
Living in Disobedience
I have checked and examined and can say that, when a marriage is troubled, it is very likely one or both spouses are living in disobedience to the word of God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, we so often quote this scripture, but it is the truth. As simple as this scripture is, if everyone who claims to be a Christian or a child and lover of God will strongly follow this one statement, the world and Christian marriages will be heaven on earth. Alas, we are not perfect and as Christians, we are work in progress. When a man or woman fears the Lord, they will easily forgive any offence that may come their way. So, if offences are forgiven and no record of wrongs are kept, what will contribute to the issues in marriage? When husbands and wives trust the Lord to provide and meet their needs, why would there be fights over money? If a man truly fears the Lord, what will cause him to commit adultery? If a woman loves the Lord, what urge would she not ask God to help her overcome?
Obedience is better than sacrifice and there are consequences for disobedience.
Obedience is better than sacrifice and there are consequences for disobedience. Even though our heavenly Father is loving and forgiving, He is also a just God and will reward sin and disobedience. Although He does not wish that anyone perish, He saves us, but we still lose our inheritance if we continue to live in disobedience. That is why being a Christian does not exempt couples from facing the marital challenge if they decide to disobey the word of God and the laws of marriage. For example, one of the main laws of marriage is stated in Genesis 2 – “for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, the two shall become one flesh.” This law has been twisted and broken by tradition and many do not understand they are living in disobedience to God’s commandment. When a man refuses to leave as God commanded, he will not be able to cleave to his wife and does suffer the consequences. It is a taboo to ask a man to leave his father and mother in some culture, it is the wife that must join with the extended family. This ought not to be so, many are living in disobedience to God’s law and wondering why they are not enjoying the marriage. Another law of marriage is – “what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9). However, many husbands and wives separate themselves due to work, parents, travelling and relocation and all sorts of reasons that may seem good, but it is in disobedience to God’s law on marriage. Some couples live apart for months and years and expect their marriage to work and blossom. These should not be happening, unfortunately, culture and tradition have made people accept them as normal. It is disobedience to Gods law, what God has joined together, let no one including the couples themselves separate.
You can also read: Is your marriage relationship dull and gloomy? Read this before your quit!
Many couples are distracted and lack focus on what matters in a marriage, building a life together. A distraction is something that takes your attention away from what you are supposed to be doing. distraction is when you are dragged away from your task or your concern. Work, friends, family, economy and so many other issues are distracting many couples and thus pull them apart from each other. Social media constitute distraction nowadays. We will see husband and wife on their phones communicating with friends far and near yet have no time to communicate face to face or even on the same social media with each other. For some women, caring for the children and home can distract them from giving attention to their husband. Why have we allowed ourselves to be distracted from what matters? It all comes down to lack of knowledge, lack of wisdom and lack of understanding about marriage. Many men are distracted by other women, pornography and lust have made many to lose focus in their marriage.
I want to encourage you today, if you are reading this, please look at the points we have discussed, although not in-depth as I would have loved to discuss it, I hope to write more on it later. What knowledge do you have about marriage? If you are single and looking to be marriage, how are you equipping yourself for marital life? Everyone that becomes an expert in a field has studied and studied hard. Yet we all desire a beautiful and blissful marriage with no yearning for learning and continuous learning. Let husbands and wives decide to learn about marriage, attend seminars etc. You do not need to wait until you hit troubled waters before getting advice on how to treat a woman well. Do not wait until your husband has battered you before you read about how to respect a man. Knowledge is acquired, it is not cheap nor free, you and I should and must invest in our marriages.
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Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.
Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.
My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here