There are times in every marriage when these issues rise up and threaten the peace in that marriage relationship. The important thing to remember is that whether these are little annoyances that can quickly be resolved, or great big insurmountable problems that threaten your marriage, is largely up to you and your wife. You may be able to just not speak to each other one day because you are in the midst of an argument.
But if you do that too many days in a row, you may actually build a wall of noncommunication that threatens the life of your relationship.
Can this marriage be saved from poor communication?
Poor communication is generally more than the result of poor hearing. We have developed communication systems that permit men on earth to talk to men walking on the moon, yet often husbands can't talk to their wives as they sit across from them at the breakfast table. Problems and differences in marriage are not dangerous, but not being able to communicate with each other about those problems is very dangerous. Communication is to love what blood is to the body. When it stops flowing, your marriage dies. Communication is not outyelling your wife, and communication is not the art of winning an argument. You can win an argument and lose your marriage.
In the midst of a marital argument or disagreement on any matter, the question each person must ask himself or herself is this: "Do I want to be reconciled to my mate, or do I merely want to be right?" If you want to be reconciled...give your jaws a rest. Silence is golden. Communication is not winning the argument. Arguing with your wife is as useless as trying to blow out a light bulb. Trying to intimidate your wife through anger is not communication.
A man and a wife were on vacation. She was the navigator with the map in her hands, and he was driving their new Mercedes across country. She decided to take a nap. After a while, she woke up, looked at the map, and shouted, "We're lost!" She looked at her husband and said, "You're going wrong way." He exploded in anger. After two hours of pouting, they passed a mule in the field. "Is that a relative of yours?" the husband asked his wife. The wife responded, "Yes...by marriage.“
Communication is when your wife can tell you how she feels, what she thinks, what she loves, honors, esteems, hates, fears, desires, hopes for, believes in, and is committed to without starting Word War III. Words are a transcript of the mind. Mt 12:34 says, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Mt 12:36-37 says, "For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Be careful what you say to your wife or your husband. God is listening, and you are going to answer to Him on Judgment Day for every word that you have said about your spouse that is less than kind. If you really want better communication, don't show up in combat gear.
Can this marriage be saved from a lack of passion?
A wife took her husband to the doctor and told the doctor, "My husband has no passion. He has no fire. He has no desire to be around me. Give him a physical examination to see what problem he has." The doctor examined the husband, and after a thorough examination, he excused the husband and invited the wife into his office to speak to her alone. The doctor said to the wife, "If you would cook three square meals every day for your husband and have a meaningful sex relationship with him, he would be OK." On the way home, the husband asked his wife, "What did doctor say to you in his office?" The wife responded, "The doctor said you are going to die."
Has your marriage lost its passion? Has it lost its fire and excitement? Is the sizzle gone? The first step toward making your marriage an affair-proof marriage is to determine that both of you want to improve your marriage. Every marriage can be a better marriage. Turn off the football game. Put down the newspaper, and plan a date night. Sit down and make a list of exciting things you would like to do together, and then do them. Insanity defined is "doing the same things the same way and expecting a different result." Your marriage can sizzle, but not without your planning to make it happen.
Can this marriage survive poor money management?
Many of America's marriages are destroyed by the lack of money management. Jesus gave us thirty-six parables in the NT. Thirty of them deal with how to manage material wealth. Prov 22:7 says, "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." Many marriages are enslaved by American Express and MasterCard charge cards. The joy of the relationship has been destroyed because they are in debt beyond their capacity to pay back. If you can't control your spending any other way, do it with plastic surgery-cut up your credit cards and start living on a cash basis.
Money management is a lengthy and involved topic, but the road to getting your life on an even keel financially is to begin by admitting you spend too much. Both husband and wife need to sit down with a financial counselor and plan an airtight budget, and then stay with it. Don't let your marriage be destroyed by your inability to control your financial spending.
Seven steps to marriage survival
Totally forgive and forget the past. The foundation for every marriage reconstruction begins with absolute and total forgiveness. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us, "Forgive us...as we forgive..." (Mt 6:12). Forgiveness is not optional. If you will not forgive other people, God cannot forgive you. Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and loosens the handcuffs of hatred. Forgiveness is a full pardon. Forgiveness is a fresh start. Forgiveness is another chance and a new beginning. Sooner or later, you will fall, and you will need to be forgiven by someone. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you.
The husband is the king, priest, and prophet of his family. As king, he governs the family. As priest, he guides the family spiritually. As prophet, he guards his family and blesses his children. I encourage every father to put your hands on the head of your child every day and bless that child. It does not have to be a long, ceremoniously conducted prayer, but you should do it.
Realize that submission in the Bible means mutual submission. When Paul writes of submission in Eph 5:21, he says, "submitting to one another in the fear of God." Husband, you don't submit to your wife's lead, but you must submit to her need. That means if she needs you to help her clean the kitchen, you do it. That means if she needs you to help her wash the dishes or to go shopping, you do it.
Submission does not make a man the "Hitler" of the house. Submission means that he does have leadership, but he is a loving, compassionate leader who loves his wife as Christ loved the church and is willing to die for her in an instant to redeem her.
Eliminate the absentee father. America's number one problem is the absentee father. Gangs run in the streets of America like packs of wild wolves, because sons are looking for leadership. They are looking for authority. They want someone to tell them what to do. They want a role model, and because they can't find it at home in the absentee father, they go to the streets to find it. If you are an absentee father who has abandoned his children for a lover or a new wife, you are required by God to be a father to those children. You may have divorced your wife, but you never, ever divorce your children. Go home and rear those children in the fear and admonition of God, or face the wrath of God on Judgment Day for your negligence as a father.
Start communicating today. Communicate openly and honestly.
Live in sexual freedom. In 1Cor 7:4, Paul states, "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over this own body, but the wife does." Manipulating your partner with sex is witchcraft. Witchcraft has these three manifestations: manipulation, domination, and ultimate control. Any married person who tries to manipulate his or her spouse through sex is committing sin in the counsel of heaven.
Reverence for the marriage relationship. Eph 5:25, 33 says, "Husband, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her....Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." The word "reverence" means "to stand in awe." Husband, would you like for your wife to follow you around the house saying, "Awe...Awe?" If you will love her as Christ loved the church, that may happen in your marriage. Can this marriage be saved? Only if you are willing to forgive completely and to begin anew. Any marriage can be saved if both partners are willing to practice total forgiveness.