Couple Shouting

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Their throats are opened graves; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of vipers is under their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Romans 3:13-14

Some people I know make me very sad. I know a couple who have been married many years, yet it is impossible to be around them for more than a few minutes before they are in an argument. Not just a small tiff; these people are ready to go for each other’s throats and sometimes it seems they would, even with others around them. People’s reactions vary, but most of us try to ignore them, make light of the situation, or just plain leave the room. Even though I know these people well, I do not understand, nor can I fathom how they’ve gotten to this place. What makes anybody—Christian or not—get so out of control in front of others? And if it’s that bad with an audience, what is it like when they are alone? The issues must be so ingrained in each of them that nothing gets in the way of their antagonism towards each other.

When I was a college counselor and thought I was pretty smart, I used to have a saying: A healthy relationship is one in which two people who are totally capable of taking care of themselves choose to care for one another. Not “take care of” one another, but “care for” one another. Well, I’ve had to back off of that somewhat idealistic description of a “healthy” union in recent years. What about things like substance abuse and addiction? Profound physical illness or disability? Mental illness? Unforeseen events that leave one or both persons severely traumatized? The simple fact is, long-term relationships, especially marriage, are difficult for many of us. One thing is certain: without Christ as the head of the household, things can and do get dicey. If God is truly at the helm of our lives, our relationship with Him cannot help but affect our dealings with people. The first four commandments speak of loving God (Deuteronomy 5:6-15). The last six tell us how to love other people (Deuteronomy 5:16-21). Loving God and loving others are interdependent and require our total dependence on Him.

Loving Lord, You created marriage as a sacred bond. Grant us Your wisdom and patience in our unions. Amen

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