Ahead of Valentine’s Day, a marriage and family expert discussed how to navigate conflict in marriage and shared biblical advice for couples who feel like conflict has become the norm in their relationships.
In a recent episode of the Crossway Podcast, Christopher Ash, author of Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be, admitted that the first few years of his 37-year marriage to his wife, Caroly, were “hard.”
“Rubbing off the sharp corners was pretty painful sometimes,” he said.
“It’s like bringing suitcases into marriage. You think you’re marrying someone and it’s just them, but there’s all sorts of suitcases that you bring and they are full of all sorts of clutter and clobber–some of it really good and some of it not so good,” Ash explained.
A seasoned pastor and counselor, Ash went on to identify some of the common problem areas for many Christian couples.
“Sometimes it relates to career … prizing their career perhaps above their marriage,” he said. “Sometimes that causes tensions and sometimes it’s just straight ungodliness that a husband needs to say to his wife, ‘Look, our marriage is more important than my getting promotions.’”
Another source of tension for many couples is the “physical side of marriage and sex,” he added.
“We live in a fallen world and it’s all messed up,” he contended. “The air we breathe in our culture is completely messed up. The portrayals of sex and intimacy that you get even in movies and things that don’t show anything — they’re not explicit — but the implications that are there in a rom-com or something are pernicious.”
“They’re just evil and they’re simply not true,” Ash stressed. “The implication is it’s easy and wonderful and great and everything else. And the truth is, at its best it’s wonderful. At its worst it can be deeply disappointing. And most marriages have a bit of both.”
Money is another source of tension for many couples, the pastor said, specifically citing debt and different approaches to saving and spending. Additionally, many couples struggle with child-rearing and the decisions that come with children.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett