For those of you who have my devotional book: STRENGTH FOR TODAY, here is the Bible Study from yesterday entitled Conflict in Marriage.
“Then the man said: the woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree.” (Gen. 3:12)
One of the consequences of sin is human conflict. Here we see a hint of the first marital problem in the Bible—Adam blaming Eve for his disobedience. Sin is at the root of all interpersonal conflicts, and this is the first illustration of it in history. But note also that Adam is not only blaming his wife for what he did, he is also blaming God—the One who gave him his wife! Note: "the woman YOU gave me". Thus the blame-game begins. Human beings have a terrible habit of blaming others for their actions instead of taking personal responsibility themselves. It’s always somebody else’s fault.
The happiness Adam and Eve had in their relationship was gone. Eve is no longer viewed as a blessing from God but a burden. The wedding picture has been shattered, not just because of sin, but because of man’s inability to admit his sin. Adam is not communicating with Eve, he is talking about Eve. If we analyze this marriage problem more closely, we discover the following Biblical truths:
First, Eve acts independently from Adam’s authority, and thus places herself in a position of being more vulnerable to Satan’s temptation.
Second, Adam blames his wife when in reality he was responsible for her spiritual protection. He was absent when the temptation occurred showing a laxity in his leadership.
There are several illustrations of marital conflict in the Scriptures, and from each one we may learn some valuable lessons. Abraham developed resentment toward Sarah because of how she wanted to handle the bondwoman, Hagar. (Gen. 16) Rebekah schemed against her own husband Isaac because she disagreed as to which of the two sons should receive the blessing. (Gen. 27) Job and his wife were angry with each other over whether they should bless or curse God. (Job 2) Pilate and his wife clashed over the question of what to do with Jesus. (Matt. 27)
In all of these cases, there is a common thread—a serious breakdown of communication between the husband and the wife. The point is not so much who was right and who was wrong. The point is more basic: they were not on the same page because they had not talked about (and prayed about), what they should do. Marital conflict comes because two people have differing ideas about what to do, and never ask the question: “what does God want us to do—what is His will in this matter?”
Oh, if only married couples would seek the Lord, the One who is the vital third member of the marriage triangle, for His advice! We would spare ourselves a lot of hardship, conflict, and grief if we would learn to do that. Only Christ can bring peace in the midst of marital conflict.
P.S. If interested in purchasing the devotional book (all 365 Bible Studies), go to the Amazon website and enter STRENGTH FOR TODAY, or contact me be email and you will receive a discounted price. firstname.lastname@example.org.